10 useful Python string functions you should know if you’re a developer

python string functions

There are hundreds of programming languages out in the world; over 700 to be precise.  Yet, the most widely used ones currently represent less than 50 of them. A good programmer should know several of these languages and be an expert in at least one. But which one? Well, we suggest Python. Knowing it thoroughly, even the Python string functions, will help your developer career take off.

What is Python? Well, it’s a high-level programming language that is easy to write and understand since it’s much more similar to the human language rather than machine language. It’s used to develop all kinds of apps, including those that use artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example. Understanding how to write this language and how Python string functions work can help you handle textual data in Python.

What are Python strings, and what are they used for?

There are many Python string functions to be aware of since Python has numerous of them built-in. They can make life easier for the developer when doing specific tasks such as capitalizing the first character or searching for a particular character in the code.

When speaking about Python strings, we are referring to a type of data that consists of a sequence of characters. These sequences represent text, and they are str types. These are delimited by the use of quotation marks.

Let’s dive into ten Python string functions you need to know:

  1. format()

This is a core method for programming and producing a formatted output of either numeric or string data in Python. 

Syntax: {}.format(value).

  1. capitalize()

It is used to capitalize the first character of the string data.

Syntax: string.capitalize().

  1. count()

This method is used to find or count the number of times a specific value appears within a string.

It consists of three parts, with one being mandatory and the other two optional. The first one stands for the value to be searched for, while the other two correspond to the start and end position of the search.

Syntax: string.count(value, start, end) or string.count(search text [, start [, end]])

  1. find()

Use this function to search for the position of a given string in the main chain. If the string exists, find() returns to the position where it’s located. But if the function doesn’t find the value in the string, it throws an exception (-1).

Syntax: find(searchText, [starting_position, [ ending_position]])

  1. index()

It operates almost exactly the same as the find() function, with the differentiation that if it does not find a value in the string, index() returns ValueError. 

On the other hand, find() displays -1 if the value isn’t found.

Syntax: string.index(search text [, start [, end]])

  1. len() 

When you need to find the total amount of characters in a string, you have to use the len() function.

This method works by taking any value in the string as an argument to return the total number of characters within it.

Syntax: len(string)

  1. swapcase( )

The swapcase() function returns a string in which all upper and lower case letters are swapped.

Syntax: string.swapcase()

  1. strip()

This is used to remove blanks at the beginning and end of a string.

If you need to remove the spaces on the left side, the method is lstrip(). Instead, if you need to remove the spaces on the right side, the function will be rstrip().

Syntax: string.strip()

  1. casefold()

This function is similar to the lower() function, as both return a string with all lowercase characters.

The difference is that casefold() can convert more characters than lower() as it will find many more matches while comparing two strings.

Syntax: string.casefold()

  1. replace()

This method allows you to replace a specific phrase with a different one. Take into account that every time that sentence shows up in a string, it will be replaced by the other one.

To avoid that from happening, you must further specify it.

Syntax: string.replace(oldvalue, newvalue, count)

The more Python string functions you learn to use, the easier the programming will become.

Reasons why you should learn Python

Python has been around since the early 90s. From there on, it evolved and added more functions, but the goal was always the same: to be easy to write and understand programming language.

Python functions are still used and can be found everywhere today. So, if you want to be successful in the programming world, it’s vital that you know how to write code in Python. 

Some uses of Python are:

  • Data mining. This process is used to analyze large databases to predict future trends.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI). Python is capable of translating complex ideas into a few lines, which makes it the perfect companion for AI.
  • Big data. Both big data and data analytics require handling large volumes of information.

Python has a great number of data processing libraries, which makes it perfect for analyzing and managing large volumes of information.

  • 3D. Since there are so many frameworks and tools available for Python, it’s excellent for dealing with 3D graphics.

Both animations and graphics engines can be developed in Python.

For all these reasons, Python is and will continue to be one of the most demanded programming languages. 

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