accessing a text file

Thomas Jollans thomas at
Mon Sep 6 16:58:39 CEST 2010

On Monday 06 September 2010, it occurred to Baba to exclaim:
> On 6 sep, 00:01, Benjamin Kaplan <benjamin.kap... at> wrote:
> > On Sun, Sep 5, 2010 at 5:47 PM, Baba <raoul... at> wrote:
> > > level: beginner
> > > 
> > > how can i access the contents of a text file in Python?
> > > 
> > > i would like to compare a string (word) with the content of a text
> > > file (word_list). i want to see if word is in word_list. let's assume
> > > the TXT file is stored in the same directory as the PY file.
> > > 
> > > def is_valid_word(word, word_list)
> > > 
> > > thanks
> > > Baba
> > > --
> > >
> > >
> > 
> > Please do us a favor and at least try to figure things out on your
> > own, rather than coming here every time you have a question. The very
> > first result when you try searching "python read text file" is the
> > section in the Python tutorial that explains how to do this.
> > 
> >
> Hi Benjamin
> I did find that page prior to posting the question but i still wanted
> to have a second opinion to complement that info so as to make things
> easier The first line of my post clearly states that i am a beginner.
> It's nice to provide links which can help answer the question but
> please be so polite and keep personal comments for yourself.

That is of course perfectly legitimate. It would however have been polite to 
state that in the question. Show us that you're doing your homework, and not 
just using the list as a cheap path to having to think less yourself. 

Phrasing your post as "I would like to compare a ... I found the open() 
function here: [link]. Is this what I should use of is there any other/better 
way?" makes a completely different impression.

Also, keeping personal comments to one's self is just not how it works. On a 
list like this especially, answers along the lines of "That's the way to do 
what you were asking for, but are you sure the question went into the right 
direction? Have you thought of [...]?" can often be very helpful.

> To all other respondants: thank you for your kind instructions and
> directions.

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