Read and overwrite a file in Python


Question

Currently I'm using this:

f = open(filename, 'r+')
text = f.read()
text = re.sub('foobar', 'bar', text)
f.seek(0)
f.write(text)
f.close()

But the problem is that the old file is larger than the new file. So I end up with a new file that has a part of the old file on the end of it.

1
93
3/11/2010 10:01:43 AM

Accepted Answer

If you don't want to close and reopen the file, to avoid race conditions, you could truncate it:

f = open(filename, 'r+')
text = f.read()
text = re.sub('foobar', 'bar', text)
f.seek(0)
f.write(text)
f.truncate()
f.close()

The functionality may also be cleaner and safer using with open as per mVChr's comment, which is will close the handler, even if an error occurs.

with open(filename, 'r+') as f:
    text = f.read()
    text = re.sub('foobar', 'bar', text)
    f.seek(0)
    f.write(text)
    f.truncate()
164
5/23/2017 11:54:47 AM

Probably it would be easier and neater to close the file after text = re.sub('foobar', 'bar', text), re-open it for writing (thus clearing old contents), and write your updated text to it.


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