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The Python open() function is used to open a file and returns it as a file object. It takes two parameters - filename and mode. Please see the syntax below:

Syntax

open(filename, mode)

Parameters

filename Required. specify filename with path which need to be opened.
mode Optional. specify mode of opening the file. default is read mode for text file that is "rt".

The different modes of opening a file are mentioned below:

ModeDescription
rDefault value. Opens a file for reading only. Raise an exception if the file does not exist.
r+Opens a file for reading and writing. Raise an exception if the file does not exist.
wOpens a file for writing only. Creates the file if it does not exist.
w+Opens a file for reading and writing. Creates the file if it does not exist.
aOpens a file for appending only. Creates the file if it does not exist.
a+Opens a file for appending and reading. Creates the file if it does not exist.
xCreates the specified file. Raise an exception if the file already exists.
x+Creates the specified file and Opens the file in reading and writing mode. Raise an exception if the file already exists.

Apart from this, the file can be handled as binary or text mode

ModeDescription
tDefault value. Opens a file in the text mode.
bOpens a file in the binary mode.

Example:

In the below example, open() function is used to open the file called python_test.txt in "rt" mode which means read text mode. The "rt" mode is also the default mode hence it does not require to specify.

MyFile = open("python_test.txt", "rt")

# is equivalent to
MyFile = open("python_test.txt")

In the below example, the file called python_test.txt is opened to read its content.

MyFile = open("python_test.txt", "r")
print(MyFile.read())

The output of the above code will be:

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❮ Python Built-in Functions