Finding multiple occurrences of a string within a string in Python


How do I find multiple occurrences of a string within a string in Python? Consider this:

>>> text = "Allowed Hello Hollow"
>>> text.find("ll")

So the first occurrence of ll is at 1 as expected. How do I find the next occurrence of it?

Same question is valid for a list. Consider:

>>> x = ['ll', 'ok', 'll']

How do I find all the ll with their indexes?

10/6/2010 2:10:19 PM

Accepted Answer

Using regular expressions, you can use re.finditer to find all (non-overlapping) occurences:

>>> import re
>>> text = 'Allowed Hello Hollow'
>>> for m in re.finditer('ll', text):
         print('ll found', m.start(), m.end())

ll found 1 3
ll found 10 12
ll found 16 18

Alternatively, if you don't want the overhead of regular expressions, you can also repeatedly use str.find to get the next index:

>>> text = 'Allowed Hello Hollow'
>>> index = 0
>>> while index < len(text):
        index = text.find('ll', index)
        if index == -1:
        print('ll found at', index)
        index += 2 # +2 because len('ll') == 2

ll found at  1
ll found at  10
ll found at  16

This also works for lists and other sequences.

2/3/2014 2:51:35 PM

I think what you are looking for is string.count

"Allowed Hello Hollow".count('ll')
>>> 3

Hope this helps
NOTE: this only captures non-overlapping occurences

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