How do I write a “tab” in Python?

0 votes
asked Dec 20, 2010 by timex

Let's say I have a file. How do I write "hello" TAB "alex"?

4 Answers

0 votes
answered Dec 20, 2010 by knio

You can use \t in a string literal:

"hello\talex"

0 votes
answered Dec 20, 2010 by darbio

It's usually \t in command-line interfaces, which will convert the char \t into the whitespace tab character.

For example, hello\talex -> hello--->alex.

0 votes
answered Dec 20, 2010 by simone

This is the code:

f = open(filename, 'w')
f.write("hello\talex")

The \t inside the string is the escape sequence for the horizontal tabulation.

0 votes
answered Sep 15, 2017 by churchwalk

The Python reference manual includes several string literals that can be used in a string. These special sequences of characters are replaced by the intended meaning of the escape sequence.

Here is a table of some of the more useful escape sequences and a description of the output from them.

Escape Sequence       Meaning
\t                    Tab
\\                    Inserts a back slash (\)
\'                    Inserts a single quote (')
\"                    Inserts a double quote (")
\n                    Inserts a ASCII Linefeed (a new line)

Basic Example

If i wanted to print some data points separated by a tab space I could print this string.

DataString = "0\t12\t24"
print (DataString)

Returns

0    12    24

Example for Lists

Here is another example where we are printing the items of list and we want to sperate the items by a TAB.

DataPoints = [0,12,24]
print (str(DataPoints[0]) + "\t" + str(DataPoints[1]) + "\t" + str(DataPoints[2]))

Returns

0    12    24

Raw Strings

Note that raw strings (a string which include a prefix "r"), string literals will be ignored. This allows these special sequences of characters to be included in strings without being changed.

DataString = r"0\t12\t24"
print (DataString)

Returns

0\t12\t24

Which maybe an undesired output

String Lengths

It should also be noted that string literals are only one character in length.

DataString = "0\t12\t24"
print (len(DataString))

Returns

7

The raw string has a length of 9.

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