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Pulling a random word or string from a line in a text file in Python

  • Difficulty Level : Expert
  • Last Updated : 11 Dec, 2020
Geek Week

File handling in Python is really simple and easy to implement. In order to pull a random word or string from a text file, we will first open the file in read mode and then use the methods in Python’s random module to pick a random word. 

There are various ways to perform this operation:

This is the text file we will read from:

Method 1: Using random.choice()



Steps:

  1. Using with function, open the file in read mode. The with function takes care of closing the file automatically.
  2. Read all the text from the file and store in a string
  3. Split the string into words separated by space.
  4. Use random.choice() to pick a word or string.

Python




# Python code to pick a random
# word from a text file
import random
  
# Open the file in read mode
with open("MyFile.txt", "r") as file:
    allText = file.read()
    words = list(map(str, allText.split()))
  
    # print random string
    print(random.choice(words))

Note: The split() function, by default, splits by white space. If you want any other delimiter like newline character you can specify that as an argument.

Output:

Output for two sample runs

The above can be achieved with just a single line of code like this : 

Python




# import required module
import random
  
# print random word
print(random.choice(open("myFile.txt","r").readline().split()))

Method 2: Using random.randint() 

Steps:

  1. Open the file in read mode using with function
  2. Store all data from the file in a string and split the string into words.
  3. Count the total number of words.
  4. Use random.randint() to generate a random number between 0 and the word_count.
  5. Print the word at that position.

Python




# using randint()
import random
  
# open file
with open("myFile.txt", "r") as file:
    data = file.read()
    words = data.split()
      
    # Generating a random number for word position
    word_pos = random.randint(0, len(words)-1)
    print("Position:", word_pos)
    print("Word at position:", words[word_pos])

Output:

Output for two sample runs

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