smart splitting - how to

Joel Goldstick joel.goldstick at
Fri Dec 13 12:35:13 CET 2013

On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 6:28 AM, Helmut Jarausch <
jarausch at> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'd like to read several strings by using 'input'.
> These strings are separated by white space but I'd like to allow for
> some quoting, e.g.
> "Guido van" Rossum
> should be split into 2 strings only
> Now, a simple split doesn't work since it splits the quoted text as well.
> Is there a simple way to do so?
> It would be nice if it could handle embedded quotes which are escaped
> by a backslash, too.
> Is there something simpler then a sophisticated regular expression
> or even a parser?
> Many thanks for a hint,
> Helmut
> --

Take a look at the csv reader module.  You can set it to use space as field
separator and also to handle quotes as field delimiters.  This would leave
your quoted strings with spaces as a single field.

I haven't tried your example, but I'm pretty sure it can handle it.

Joel Goldstick
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