Skip to content
Related Articles

Related Articles

Improve Article

Python seek() function

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 20 Jun, 2021

The concept of file handling is used to preserve the data or information generated after running the program. Like other programming languages like C, C++, Java, Python also support file handling.

Refer the below article to understand the basics of File Handling. 

 Attention geek! Strengthen your foundations with the Python Programming Foundation Course and learn the basics.  

To begin with, your interview preparations Enhance your Data Structures concepts with the Python DS Course. And to begin with your Machine Learning Journey, join the Machine Learning - Basic Level Course



seek() method

In Python, seek() function is used to change the position of the File Handle to a given specific position. File handle is like a cursor, which defines from where the data has to be read or written in the file. 

Syntax:, from_what), where f is file pointer
Offset: Number of positions to move forward 
from_what: It defines point of reference.
Returns: Does not return any value 

The reference point is selected by the from_what argument. It accepts three values: 

  • 0: sets the reference point at the beginning of the file 
  • 1: sets the reference point at the current file position 
  • 2: sets the reference point at the end of the file 

By default from_what argument is set to 0.
Note: Reference point at current position / end of file cannot be set in text mode except when offset is equal to 0.
Example 1: Let’s suppose we have to read a file named “GfG.txt” which contains the following text: 

"Code is like humor. When you have to explain it, it’s bad."    



# Python program to demonstrate
# seek() method
# Opening "GfG.txt" text file
f = open("GfG.txt", "r")
# Second parameter is by default 0
# sets Reference point to twentieth
# index position from the beginning
# prints current position
When you have to explain it, it’s bad.


Example 2: Seek() function with negative offset only works when file is opened in binary mode. Let’s suppose the binary file contains the following text.

b'Code is like humor. When you have to explain it, its bad.'



# Python code to demonstrate
# use of seek() function
# Opening "GfG.txt" text file
# in binary mode
f = open("data.txt", "rb")
# sets Reference point to tenth
# position to the left from end, 2)
# prints current position
# Converting binary to string and
# printing
, its bad.


My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Recommended Articles
Page :