Python concatenate text files


Question

I have a list of 20 file names, like ['file1.txt', 'file2.txt', ...]. I want to write a Python script to concatenate these files into a new file. I could open each file by f = open(...), read line by line by calling f.readline(), and write each line into that new file. It doesn't seem very "elegant" to me, especially the part where I have to read//write line by line.

Is there a more "elegant" way to do this in Python?

1
146
11/28/2012 7:59:48 PM

Accepted Answer

This should do it

For large files:

filenames = ['file1.txt', 'file2.txt', ...]
with open('path/to/output/file', 'w') as outfile:
    for fname in filenames:
        with open(fname) as infile:
            for line in infile:
                outfile.write(line)

For small files:

filenames = ['file1.txt', 'file2.txt', ...]
with open('path/to/output/file', 'w') as outfile:
    for fname in filenames:
        with open(fname) as infile:
            outfile.write(infile.read())

… and another interesting one that I thought of:

filenames = ['file1.txt', 'file2.txt', ...]
with open('path/to/output/file', 'w') as outfile:
    for line in itertools.chain.from_iterable(itertools.imap(open, filnames)):
        outfile.write(line)

Sadly, this last method leaves a few open file descriptors, which the GC should take care of anyway. I just thought it was interesting

225
8/16/2013 6:06:39 AM

Use shutil.copyfileobj.

It automatically reads the input files chunk by chunk for you, which is more more efficient and reading the input files in and will work even if some of the input files are too large to fit into memory:

with open('output_file.txt','wb') as wfd:
    for f in ['seg1.txt','seg2.txt','seg3.txt']:
        with open(f,'rb') as fd:
            shutil.copyfileobj(fd, wfd)

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