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Python – Get number of characters, words, spaces and lines in a file

  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 29 Dec, 2020

Prerequisite: File Handling in Python

Given a text file fname, the task is to count the total number of characters, words, spaces and lines in the file.

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As we know, Python provides multiple in-built features and modules for handling files. Let’s discuss different ways to calculate total number of characters, words, spaces and lines in a file using Python.



Image of a text file sample.

Method #1: Naive approach
In this approach, the idea is to solve the task by developing our own logic. Without using any built-in function of Python, the total number of characters, words, spaces and lines of the file will be calculated.

Below is the implementation of the above approach.




# Python implementation to compute
# number of characters, words, spaces
# and lines in a file
  
# Function to count number 
# of characters, words, spaces 
# and lines in a file
def counter(fname):
  
    # variable to store total word count
    num_words = 0
      
    # variable to store total line count
    num_lines = 0
      
    # variable to store total character count
    num_charc = 0
      
    # variable to store total space count
    num_spaces = 0
      
    # opening file using with() method
    # so that file gets closed 
    # after completion of work
    with open(fname, 'r') as f:
          
        # loop to iterate file
        # line by line
        for line in f:
              
            # incrementing value of 
            # num_lines with each 
            # iteration of loop to
            # store total line count 
            num_lines += 1
              
            # declaring a variable word
            # and assigning its value as Y
            # because every file is 
            # supposed to start with 
            # a word or a character
            word = 'Y'
              
            # loop to iterate every
            # line letter by letter
            for letter in line:
                  
                # condition to check 
                # that the encountered character
                # is not white space and a word
                if (letter != ' ' and word == 'Y'):
                      
                    # incrementing the word
                    # count by 1
                    num_words += 1
                      
                    # assigning value N to 
                    # variable word because until
                    # space will not encounter
                    # a word can not be completed
                    word = 'N'
                      
                # condition to check 
                # that the encountered character
                # is a white space
                elif (letter == ' '):
                      
                    # incrementing the space
                    # count by 1
                    num_spaces += 1
                      
                    # assigning value Y to
                    # variable word because after
                    # white space a word
                    # is supposed to occur
                    word = 'Y'
                      
                # loop to iterate every 
                # letter character by 
                # character
                for i in letter:
                      
                    # condition to check 
                    # that the encountered character 
                    # is not  white space and not
                    # a newline character
                    if(i !=" " and i !="\n"):
                          
                        # incrementing character
                        # count by 1
                        num_charc += 1
                          
    # printing total word count 
    print("Number of words in text file: ", num_words)
      
    # printing total line count
    print("Number of lines in text file: ", num_lines)
      
    # printing total character count
    print('Number of characters in text file: ', num_charc)
      
    # printing total space count
    print('Number of spaces in text file: ', num_spaces)
      
# Driver Code: 
if __name__ == '__main__'
    fname = 'File1.txt'
    try
        counter(fname) 
    except
        print('File not found')

Output:

Number of words in text file:  25
Number of lines in text file:  4
Number of characters in text file:  91
Number of spaces in text file:  21

 
Method #2: Using some built-in functions and OS module functions
In this approach, the idea is to use the os.linesep() method of OS module to separate the lines on the current platform. When the interpreter’s scanner encounter os.linesep it replaces it with \n character. After that strip() and split() functions will be used to carry out the task.
Get more idea about strip() and split() functions.

Below is the implementation of the above approach.




# Python implementation to compute
# number of characters, words, spaces
# and lines in a file
  
# importing os module
import os
  
# Function to count number 
# of characters, words, spaces 
# and lines in a file
def counter(fname):
      
    # variable to store total word count
    num_words = 0
      
    # variable to store total line count
    num_lines = 0
      
    # variable to store total character count
    num_charc = 0
      
    # variable to store total space count
    num_spaces = 0
      
    # opening file using with() method
    # so that file gets closed 
    # after completion of work
    with open(fname, 'r') as f:
          
        # loop to iterate file
        # line by line
        for line in f:
              
            # separating a line 
            # from \n character 
            # and storing again in line 
            # variable for further operations
            line = line.strip(os.linesep)
              
            # splitting the line 
            # to make a list of
            # all the words present
            # in that line and storing
            # that list in
            # wordlist variable
            wordslist = line.split()
              
            # incrementing value of 
            # num_lines with each 
            # iteration of loop to
            # store total line count
            num_lines = num_lines + 1
              
            # incrementing value of 
            # num_words by the 
            # number of items in the
            # list wordlist
            num_words = num_words + len(wordslist)
              
            # incrementing value of 
            # num_charc by 1 whenever
            # value of variable c is other 
            # than white space in the separated line
            num_charc = num_charc + sum(1 for c in line 
                          if c not in (os.linesep, ' '))
              
            # incrementing value of 
            # num_spaces by 1 whenever
            # value of variable s is 
            # white space in the separated line
            num_spaces = num_spaces + sum(1 for s in line 
                                if s in (os.linesep, ' '))
      
    # printing total word count
    print("Number of words in text file: ", num_words)
      
    # printing total line count
    print("Number of lines in text file: ", num_lines)
      
    # printing total character count
    print("Number of characters in text file: ", num_charc)
      
    # printing total space count
    print("Number of spaces in text file: ", num_spaces)
  
# Driver Code: 
if __name__ == '__main__'
    fname = 'File1.txt'
    try
        counter(fname) 
    except
        print('File not found')

Output:

Number of words in text file:  25
Number of lines in text file:  4
Number of characters in text file:  91
Number of spaces in text file:  21



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