In python, how to import filename starts with a number


Basically there is a file called and I want to import the file into another file (in the same folder and I cannot change the file name as the file is provided). Is there anyway to do this in Python? I tried usual way from 8puzzle import *, it gives me an error.

Error is:

>>> import 8puzzle
  File "<input>", line 1
    import 8puzzle
SyntaxError: invalid syntax
Asked By: Simon Guo



Don’t use the .py extension in your imports.

Does from 8puzzle import * work?

For what it’s worth, from x import * is not a preferred Python pattern, as it bleeds that module’s namespace into your current context.

In general, try to import things you specifically want from that module. Any global from the other module can be imported.

e.g., if you have you could do `from 8puzzle import


While my .py message is correct, it isn’t sufficient.

The other poster’s __import__('8puzzle') suggestion is correct. However, I highly recommend avoiding this pattern.

For one, it’s reserved an internal, private Python method. You are basically breaking the fundamental assumptions of what it means to be able to import a module. Simply renaming the file to something else, like puzzle8, will remedy this.

This will frustrate the hell out of experienced Python programmers who are expecting to know what your imports are at the top and are expecting code to (try to) conform to PEP8.

Answered By: mvanveen

You could do

puzzle = __import__('8puzzle')

Very interesting problem. I’ll remember not to name anything with a number.

If you’d like to import * — you should check out this question and answer.

The above answers are correct, but as for now, the recommended way is to use import_module function:

importlib.import_module(name, package=None)
Import a module. The name
argument specifies what module to import in absolute or relative terms
(e.g. either pkg.mod or ..mod). If the name is specified in relative
terms, then the package argument must be set to the name of the
package which is to act as the anchor for resolving the package name
(e.g. import_module('..mod', 'pkg.subpkg') will import pkg.mod).

The import_module() function acts as a simplifying wrapper around
importlib.__import__(). This means all semantics of the function are
derived from importlib.__import__(). The most important difference
between these two functions is that import_module() returns the
specified package or module (e.g. pkg.mod), while __import__() returns
the top-level package or module (e.g. pkg).

If you are dynamically importing a module that was created since the
interpreter began execution (e.g., created a Python source file), you
may need to call invalidate_caches() in order for the new module to be
noticed by the import system.

__import__ is not recommended now.

importlib.__import__(name, globals=None, locals=None, fromlist=(), level=0)
An implementation of the built-in __import__() function.

Note Programmatic importing of modules should use import_module() instead of this function.

Answered By: laike9m

The file directory structure is as follows:

   -- 20210504

You can import the permutations module by __import__ or importlib.import_module.

The official documentation recommends using importlib.import_module.

import(name, globals=None, locals=None, fromlist=(), level=0) -> module

Import a module. Because this function is meant for use by the Python interpreter and not for general use, it is better to
useimportlib.import_module()to programmatically import a module.

What is the difference?

If implemented using __import__.
For example:

res = __import__('daily.20210504.permutations')

The result of res is the daily module.
daily module

So, if you want to get the permutations module, you need to provide the fromlist parameter, which is written as follows.

res = __import__('daily.20210504.permutations', fromlist=('daily.20210504'))

The result of res can be seen now as
enter image description here
That’s the right result.

What if I use importlib.import_module?

res = importlib.import_module('daily.20210504.permutations')

this allows you to get the permutations module directly.

Answered By: marie
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