How to remove the left part of a string?


I have some simple python code that searches files for a string e.g. path=c:path, where the c:path part may vary. The current code is:

def find_path(i_file):
    lines = open(i_file).readlines()
    for line in lines:
        if line.startswith("Path="):
            return # what to do here in order to get line content after "Path=" ?

What is a simple way to get the text after Path=?

Asked By: grigoryvp



The simplest way I can think of is with slicing:

def find_path(i_file): 
    lines = open(i_file).readlines() 
    for line in lines: 
        if line.startswith("Path=") : 
            return line[5:]

A quick note on slice notation, it uses two indices instead of the usual one. The first index indicates the first element of the sequence you want to include in the slice and the last index is the index immediately after the last element you wish to include in the slice.


The slice consists of all the elements between first_index and last_index, including first_index and not last_index. If the first index is omitted, it defaults to the start of the sequence. If the last index is omitted, it includes all elements up to the last element in the sequence. Negative indices are also allowed. Use Google to learn more about the topic.

Answered By: batbrat

gives you characters after the first five.

Answered By: Steven Huwig

line[5:] will give the substring you want. Search the introduction and look for ‘slice notation’

Answered By: Pete Kirkham

If the string is fixed you can simply use:

if line.startswith("Path="):
    return line[5:]

which gives you everything from position 5 on in the string (a string is also a sequence so these sequence operators work here, too).

Or you can split the line at the first =:

if "=" in line:
    param, value = line.split("=",1)

Then param is “Path” and value is the rest after the first =.

Answered By: MrTopf

For slicing (conditional or non-conditional) in general I prefer what a colleague suggested recently; Use replacement with an empty string. Easier to read the code, less code (sometimes) and less risk of specifying the wrong number of characters. Ok; I do not use Python, but in other languages I do prefer this approach:

rightmost = full_path.replace('Path=', '', 1)

or – to follow up to the first comment to this post – if this should only be done if the line starts with Path:

rightmost = re.compile('^Path=').sub('', full_path)

The main difference to some of what has been suggested above is that there is no “magic number” (5) involved, nor any need to specify both ‘5and the string ‘Path=‘, In other words I prefer this approach from a code maintenance point of view.

Answered By: fredarin
import re

p = re.compile(r'path=(.*)', re.IGNORECASE)

path = r"path=c:path"

re.match(p, path).group(1)


Answered By: riza

Remove prefix from a string

# ...
if line.startswith(prefix):
   return line[len(prefix):]

Split on the first occurrence of the separator via str.partition()

def findvar(filename, varname="Path", sep="=") :
    for line in open(filename):
        if line.startswith(varname + sep):
           head, sep_, tail = line.partition(sep) # instead of `str.split()`
           assert head == varname
           assert sep_ == sep
           return tail

Parse INI-like file with ConfigParser

from ConfigParser import SafeConfigParser
config = SafeConfigParser() # requires section headers to be present

path = config.get(section, 'path', raw=1) # case-insensitive, no interpolation

Other options

Answered By: jfs

If you know list comprehensions:

lines = [line[5:] for line in file.readlines() if line[:5] == "Path="]
Answered By: Matthew Schinckel

I prefer pop to indexing [-1]:

value = line.split("Path=", 1).pop()


value = line.split("Path=", 1)[1]
param, value = line.split("Path=", 1)
Answered By: Thomas Schreiber

Python 3.9+


Any Python version:

def remove_prefix(text, prefix):
    return text[len(prefix):] if text.startswith(prefix) else text
Answered By: David Foster

Or why not

if line.startswith(prefix):
    return line.replace(prefix, '', 1)
Answered By: John Damen

How about..

line = r'path=c:path'


('', 'path=', 'c:\path')

This triplet is the head, separator, and tail.

Answered By: Floggedhorse

I guess this what you are exactly looking for

    def findPath(i_file) :
        lines = open( i_file ).readlines()
        for line in lines :
            if line.startswith( "Path=" ):
                return output_line
Answered By: Pramod Bhat

Another simple one-liner that hasn’t been mentioned here:

value = line.split("Path=", 1)[-1]

This will also work properly for various edge cases:

>>> print("prefixfoobar".split("foo", 1)[-1])

>>> print("foofoobar".split("foo", 1)[-1])

>>> print("foobar".split("foo", 1)[-1])

>>> print("bar".split("foo", 1)[-1])

>>> print("".split("foo", 1)[-1])
Answered By: pR0Ps

without having a to write a function, this will split according to list, in this case ‘Mr.|Dr.|Mrs.’, select everything after split with [1], then split again and grab whatever element. In the case below, ‘Morris’ is returned.

re.split('Mr.|Dr.|Mrs.', 'Mr. Morgan Morris')[1].split()[1]
Answered By: xristian

Why not using regex with escape?
^ matches the initial part of a line and re.MULTILINE matches on each line. re.escape ensures that the matching is exact.

>>> print(re.sub('^' + re.escape('path='), repl='', string='path=c:pathnd:path2', flags=re.MULTILINE))
Answered By: Christoph Boeddeker

This is very similar in technique to other answers, but with no repeated string operations, ability to tell if the prefix was there or not, and still quite readable:

parts = the_string.split(prefix_to_remove, 1):
    if len(parts) == 2:
        #  do things with parts[1]
Answered By: Kiwi

Try Following code

if line.startswith("Path="): return line[5:]
Answered By: dipenparmar12

Starting in Python 3.9, you can use removeprefix:

# 'helloworld'
Answered By: Xavier Guihot

removeprefix() and removesuffix() string methods added in Python 3.9 due to issues associated with lstrip and rstrip interpretation of parameters passed to them. Read PEP 616 for more details.

# in python 3.9
>>> s = 'python_390a6'

# apply removeprefix()
>>> s.removeprefix('python_')

# apply removesuffix()
>>> s = 'python.exe'
>>> s.removesuffix('.exe')

# in python 3.8 or before
>>> s = 'python_390a6'
>>> s.lstrip('python_')

>>> s = 'python.exe'
>>> s.rstrip('.exe')

removesuffix example with a list:

plurals = ['cars', 'phones', 'stars', 'books']
suffix = 's'

for plural in plurals:



removeprefix example with a list:

places = ['New York', 'New Zealand', 'New Delhi', 'New Now']

shortened = [place.removeprefix('New ') for place in places]


['York', 'Zealand', 'Delhi', 'Now']
Answered By: Milovan Tomašević

The below method can be tried.

def remove_suffix(string1, suffix):
    length = len(suffix)

    if string1[0:length] == suffix:
        return string1[length:]
        return string1

suffix = "hello"
string1 = "hello world"

final_string = remove_suffix(string1, suffix)
print (final_string)
Answered By: SuperNova
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