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How to Implement a Python Stack

Whether you want to reverse a string or create a language processing application, stacks are very useful. It can be used to solve a wide variety of problems. In fact most of the programming languages including the operating systems are dependent on stack to function.The name Stack data structure totally resembles a pile of objects, stack of papers, or a tower of blocks, where adding and removing of items occur only at the top of the pile. It is similar to removing a quarter in the middle of a stack of coins without destroying the entire thing. In this article we will understand stack operations and look into the various ways to implement stack in Python. You may also get certified and learn more about Python Programming and apply those skills and knowledge in the real world.What is a Stack?A Stack is an abstract linear data type that serves as a collection of objects. Unlike queues, they use the Last In First Out or LIFO  technique to insert and delete elements. The insert and delete operations are referred to as push and pop in stack.Stacks and Queues are both linear collections of items. However, in a queue, the least recently added item is removed first, following the First In First Out or FIFO  manner. On the other hand, in a stack, the most recently added item is removed in the beginning following the LIFO. Stack stores the data elements in a similar fashion as a bunch of plates that are kept one above the other in a kitchen. It allows operations (push or pop) only from one end, often called as top. You can add or remove elements only from the top of the stack.A real-life example of a stack is a pile of heavy and precious plates, all kept on top of the other. If you wish to add a plate or remove one, you can do that only from the top. However, if you want to remove a lower plate from the stack, you have to remove the topmost plates one by one, in order to remove the desired one. Other examples are a deck of cards or a pile of books etc.What are the basic operations performed in Stack?Basic Operations performed in Stack - Push, POP, PeekThe basic operations which are performed in the stack are mentioned below:Push: Adds an item in the stack. Once the stack is full, it is said to be in an Overflow condition.Pop: Removes an item from the stack. It follows a reversed order to pop items similar to the way when items are pushed. It is said to be an Underflow condition.Peek or Top: Returns top element of stack.isEmpty: Returns true if stack is empty, else false.Applications of StackStacks are considered as the backbone of Data Structures. Most of the algorithms and applications are implemented using stacks.Some of the key applications of stacks are—They are used to reverse a string. Each of the characters are pushed in and then popped off, which results in a reversed string.It is used in Expression Evaluation and Expression Conversion (infix to postfix, infix to prefix, postfix to infix, prefix to infix).It is used for forward and backward features in web browsers.It is used for recursive parsing in Natural Language Processing.It is used in syntax parsing and parenthesis checking.It is used for Backtracking like finding paths to a maze or exhaustive searching.It is used in Algorithms like Tower of Hanoi, tree traversals, histogram problem and also in graph algorithms like Topological Sorting.Understanding Stack OperationsThere are mainly two types of primitive stack operations:Push: It is performed to insert and store an element in the stack. However, when you try to insert an element in a stack which is full, the Overflow condition occurs.Pop: It is used to remove an element from the stack. However, when the stack is empty, the Underflow condition occurs.PushLet’s consider editing a Python file using the undo feature in your editor so you can have a clear understanding of the stack operations. At first, a new function called Insert is added. The push operation adds the Insert function into the stack:Now, a word Delete is removed from any of the comments. This word also gets added to the stack:The Delete is added to the top of the stack. Finally, let us indent a Comment to align things appropriately which is also inserted into the stack:Note that the commands entered are all stored in the stack just like a pile with each command on top of the other. This operation of adding new elements into the stack is called push.PopNow to perform the pop operations, let us make use of the undo feature. When we first hit the undo, it removes the top-most element of the stack (here, which is Comment):The editor removes the indented Comment and the stack is now left with two commands. When the next undo is hit again, the next command is removed from the stack:Now Delete is also removed and the stack is left with only one operation. When the undo is hit again, the last element remaining in the stack is also popped off and the stack becomes empty as it was in the first place:Since the stack is now empty, if we again hit undo, it will result into an Underflow condition causing no effect.Implementing Stack in PythonPython gives you a lot of options for implementing a Python stack. You can do so by using lists, tuples or by using third-party modules or packages. However, there are some basic implementations of Python stack that will fulfil most of your needs.Some of those implementations are as follows:listcollections.dequequeue.LifoQueueUsing ListList is a built-in structure that can be used as stack in Python. We use lists often to write Python programs. They are implemented as internal dynamic arrays in Python which means whenever elements are added or removed, the storage area is resized every time accordingly.You can use .append() to add elements and .pop() to remove them:>>> my_first_stack = [] >>> my_first_stack.append('Alex') >>> my_first_stack.append('Bob') >>> my_first_stack.append('Charlie') >>> my_first_stack ['Alex', 'Bob', 'Charlie'] >>> my_first_stack.pop() 'Charlie' >>> my_first_stack.pop() 'Bob' >>> my_first_stack.pop() 'Alex' >>> my_first_stack.pop() Traceback (most recent call last):   File "<#pyshell>", line 1, in <module> IndexError: pop from empty listNotice that an IndexError is raised. This is because .pop() is called on an empty stack.Though lists work very efficiently in implementing stacks, yet it comes with some drawbacks. There might be situations where your stack might grow bigger than the current block of memory  it holds. Since lists are used for faster access to random elements, in such situations, speed issues occur. Python starts allocating memory implicitly which leads to longer .append() calls.Speed issues also occur when you use .insert() to add elements in your stack.Using ArrayIt is quite easy to implement stack using Python Lists. However, you can implement stack using arrays as well if you assume that lists are like arrays. You can follow the algorithm mentioned below to understand how it works.Algorithm:Declare a list and an integer MaxSize, and denote the maximum size of the StackInitially set the Top to 0.Push operation:Check if the MaxSize of the Stack is greater than TopIf yes, append data to stack and increase top by 1If no, print stack full messagePop operation:Check if Top is greater than 0:If yes, pop the last element from the list and decrement top by 1If no, print stack empty messageSize operation: The size of the Stack is the value of the Top pointer.class Stack:     #Constructor     def __init__(self):         self.stack = list()         self.maxSize = 8         self.top = 0     #Adds element to the Stack     def push(self,data):         if self.top>=self.maxSize:             return ("Stack Full!")         self.stack.append(data)         self.top += 1         return True     #Removes element from the stack     def pop(self):         if self.top<=0:             return ("Stack Empty!")         item = self.stack.pop()         self.top -= 1         return item             #Size of the stack     def size(self):         return self.top s = Stack() print(s.push(1))#prints True print(s.push(2))#prints True print(s.push(3))#prints True print(s.push(4))#prints True print(s.push(5))#prints True print(s.push(6))#prints True print(s.push(7))#prints True print(s.push(8))#prints True print(s.push(9))#prints Stack Full! print(s.size())#prints 8       print(s.pop())#prints 8 print(s.pop())#prints 7 print(s.pop())#prints 6 print(s.pop())#prints 5 print(s.pop())#prints 4 print(s.pop())#prints 3 print(s.pop())#prints 2 print(s.pop())#prints 1 print(s.pop())#prints Stack Empty!Note: Element 9 was not added and hence size remains 8.Using collections.dequePython contains a module named collections. This comprises of the deque class which is a double-ended queue that supports inserting and removing elements from either ends.The method of deque is similar to the lists:>>> from collections import deque >>> my_first_stack = deque() >>> my_first_stack.append('Alex') >>> my_first_stack.append('Bob') >>> my_first_stack.append('Charlie') >>> my_first_stack deque(['Alex', 'Bob', 'Charlie']) >>> my_first_stack.pop() 'Charlie' >>> my_first_stack.pop() 'Bob' >>> my_first_stack.pop() 'Alex' >>> myStack.pop() Traceback (most recent call last):   File "<#pyshell>", line 1, in <module> IndexError: pop from an empty dequeThe objects of the deque class has a consistent performance because they are implemented in the form of doubly linked lists.Using queue.LifoQueueThe Python Standard Library comprises of another class called queue.LifoQueue class to implement stack. It supports multiple simultaneous producers and consumers.Python Threading is used for executing multiple tasks and function calls at the same time and independently of other codes. If your program involves threads, it is recommended not to use list and deque because they behave very differently in such cases.list is not thread-safe. On the other hand, though, .append() and .pop() are atomic in nature, it is nearly impossible to build a Python stack using deque that is fully thread-safe. This is because of the reason that in a threaded environment, there are other deque class methods that are neither atomic nor they are thread-safe and might lead to race conditions.So the last option we’re left with is the queue.LifoQueue class that is specially designed to be fully thread-free.Adding and removing elements are performed in this class are using .put() and .get():>>> from queue import LifoQueue >>> my_first_stack = LifoQueue() >>>my_first_stack.put('Alex') >>>my_first_stack.put('Bob') >>>my_first_stack.put('Charlie') >>> my_first_stack <queue.LifoQueue object at 0x0000026E4C69DFD0> >>> my_first_stack.get() 'Charlie' >>> my_first_stack.get() 'Bob' >>> my_first_stack.get() 'Alex' >>> my_first_stack.get_nowait() Traceback (most recent call last):   File "<pyshell#8>", line 1, in <module>     my.get_nowait() _queue.Empty >>> my_first_stack.get()  # Waits foreverThe queue module might be helpful when you are working with multiple threads or with parallel computing. However, for general purpose stack implementation, it is recommended to use lists or deque.deque: An excellent choice for implementing a Python StackIf you’re not interested in handling explicit locking and unlocking and also not looking for parallel processing support, then your choice for choosing the right Python stack implementation narrows down to list and deque. However, they both have different implementations of data structures in their working.Operations like indexing and slicing work very well with lists because it is built upon contiguous blocks of memory. The elements in the list are stored in a dynamic array system making it easier for Python to find any element in the memory.However, this type of layout system raises speed issues in situations like when the contiguous block is full, it needs to get another block which in turn increases the execution time.On the other hand, deque is a doubly linked list in which each entry is linked to both the previous and next entry in the list. This allows adding elements to both the ends of the list. In this type of linked list, each memory has its own memory block. Thus, combining all these reasons, deque is a much better choice than list when implementing stacks in Python.ConclusionLet us sum up what we’ve learnt in this article so far:What is a Stack and what are its applications.What do Stack operations look like.When should a data structure like Stack be used.Different ways of implementing Stack in Python.How to select the right implementation depending upon your problem.Stacks are simple data structures that allows us to store and retrieve data in a sequential fashion. They are very useful in real world cases. Having a clear understanding of stacks would help us in solving data storage problems in an efficient manner.If you wish to know more about data structures and other aspects of Python, you can go through the Python tutorial. You may also join the certification course on Python.
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How to Implement a Python Stack

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How to Implement a Python Stack

Whether you want to reverse a string or create a language processing application, stacks are very useful. It can be used to solve a wide variety of problems. In fact most of the programming languages including the operating systems are dependent on stack to function.

The name Stack data structure totally resembles a pile of objects, stack of papers, or a tower of blocks, where adding and removing of items occur only at the top of the pile. It is similar to removing a quarter in the middle of a stack of coins without destroying the entire thing. In this article we will understand stack operations and look into the various ways to implement stack in Python. You may also get certified and learn more about Python Programming and apply those skills and knowledge in the real world.

What is a Stack?

A Stack is an abstract linear data type that serves as a collection of objects. Unlike queues, they use the Last In First Out or LIFO  technique to insert and delete elements. The insert and delete operations are referred to as push and pop in stack.

Stacks and Queues are both linear collections of items. However, in a queue, the least recently added item is removed first, following the First In First Out or FIFO  manner. On the other hand, in a stack, the most recently added item is removed in the beginning following the LIFO

Stack stores the data elements in a similar fashion as a bunch of plates that are kept one above the other in a kitchen. It allows operations (push or pop) only from one end, often called as top. You can add or remove elements only from the top of the stack.

A real-life example of a stack is a pile of heavy and precious plates, all kept on top of the other. If you wish to add a plate or remove one, you can do that only from the top. However, if you want to remove a lower plate from the stack, you have to remove the topmost plates one by one, in order to remove the desired one. Other examples are a deck of cards or a pile of books etc.

What are the basic operations performed in Stack?

The basic operations performed in Stack are Push, POP and PeekBasic Operations performed in Stack - Push, POP, Peek

The basic operations which are performed in the stack are mentioned below:

  • Push: Adds an item in the stack. Once the stack is full, it is said to be in an Overflow condition.
  • Pop: Removes an item from the stack. It follows a reversed order to pop items similar to the way when items are pushed. It is said to be an Underflow condition.
  • Peek or Top: Returns top element of stack.
  • isEmpty: Returns true if stack is empty, else false.

Applications of Stack

Stacks are considered as the backbone of Data Structures. Most of the algorithms and applications are implemented using stacks.

Some of the key applications of stacks are—

  • They are used to reverse a string. Each of the characters are pushed in and then popped off, which results in a reversed string.
  • It is used in Expression Evaluation and Expression Conversion (infix to postfix, infix to prefix, postfix to infix, prefix to infix).
  • It is used for forward and backward features in web browsers.
  • It is used for recursive parsing in Natural Language Processing.
  • It is used in syntax parsing and parenthesis checking.
  • It is used for Backtracking like finding paths to a maze or exhaustive searching.
  • It is used in Algorithms like Tower of Hanoi, tree traversals, histogram problem and also in graph algorithms like Topological Sorting.

Understanding Stack Operations

There are mainly two types of primitive stack operations:

  • Push: It is performed to insert and store an element in the stack. However, when you try to insert an element in a stack which is full, the Overflow condition occurs.
  • Pop: It is used to remove an element from the stack. However, when the stack is empty, the Underflow condition occurs.

Push

Let’s consider editing a Python file using the undo feature in your editor so you can have a clear understanding of the stack operations. At first, a new function called Insert is added. The push operation adds the Insert function into the stack:

Insert function into the stack using push operation

Now, a word Delete is removed from any of the comments. This word also gets added to the stack:

adding delete word to the stack by push operation

The Delete is added to the top of the stack. Finally, let us indent a Comment to align things appropriately which is also inserted into the stack:

Indenting "comment" to the stack using Push operation

Note that the commands entered are all stored in the stack just like a pile with each command on top of the other. This operation of adding new elements into the stack is called push.

Pop

Now to perform the pop operations, let us make use of the undo feature. When we first hit the undo, it removes the top-most element of the stack (here, which is Comment):

First undo removes the top-most element of the stack

The editor removes the indented Comment and the stack is now left with two commands. When the next undo is hit again, the next command is removed from the stack:

The next undo will remove the next command from the stack, which is called POP operation

Now Delete is also removed and the stack is left with only one operation. When the undo is hit again, the last element remaining in the stack is also popped off and the stack becomes empty as it was in the first place:

The last undo will remove the last element of the stack and the stack becomes empty. This removal of elements from a stack is called POP operation

Since the stack is now empty, if we again hit undo, it will result into an Underflow condition causing no effect.

Implementing Stack in Python

Python gives you a lot of options for implementing a Python stack. You can do so by using lists, tuples or by using third-party modules or packages. However, there are some basic implementations of Python stack that will fulfil most of your needs.

Some of those implementations are as follows:

  • list
  • collections.deque
  • queue.LifoQueue

Using List

List is a built-in structure that can be used as stack in Python. We use lists often to write Python programs. They are implemented as internal dynamic arrays in Python which means whenever elements are added or removed, the storage area is resized every time accordingly.

You can use .append() to add elements and .pop() to remove them:

>>> my_first_stack = []
>>> my_first_stack.append('Alex')
>>> my_first_stack.append('Bob')
>>> my_first_stack.append('Charlie')
>>> my_first_stack
['Alex', 'Bob', 'Charlie']
>>> my_first_stack.pop()
'Charlie'
>>> my_first_stack.pop()
'Bob'
>>> my_first_stack.pop()
'Alex'
>>> my_first_stack.pop()
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<#pyshell>", line 1, in <module>
IndexError: pop from empty list

Notice that an IndexError is raised. This is because .pop() is called on an empty stack.

Though lists work very efficiently in implementing stacks, yet it comes with some drawbacks. There might be situations where your stack might grow bigger than the current block of memory  it holds. Since lists are used for faster access to random elements, in such situations, speed issues occur. Python starts allocating memory implicitly which leads to longer .append() calls.

Speed issues also occur when you use .insert() to add elements in your stack.

Using Array

It is quite easy to implement stack using Python Lists. However, you can implement stack using arrays as well if you assume that lists are like arrays. You can follow the algorithm mentioned below to understand how it works.

Algorithm:

  1. Declare a list and an integer MaxSize, and denote the maximum size of the Stack
  2. Initially set the Top to 0.
  3. Push operation:
    • Check if the MaxSize of the Stack is greater than Top
      • If yes, append data to stack and increase top by 1
      • If no, print stack full message
  4. Pop operation:
    • Check if Top is greater than 0:
      • If yes, pop the last element from the list and decrement top by 1
      • If no, print stack empty message
  5. Size operation: The size of the Stack is the value of the Top pointer.
class Stack:
    #Constructor
    def __init__(self):
        self.stack = list()
        self.maxSize = 8
        self.top = 0
    #Adds element to the Stack
    def push(self,data):
        if self.top>=self.maxSize:
            return ("Stack Full!")
        self.stack.append(data)
        self.top += 1
        return True
    #Removes element from the stack
    def pop(self):
        if self.top<=0:
            return ("Stack Empty!")
        item = self.stack.pop()
        self.top -= 1
        return item
       
    #Size of the stack
    def size(self):
        return self.top

s = Stack()
print(s.push(1))#prints True
print(s.push(2))#prints True
print(s.push(3))#prints True
print(s.push(4))#prints True
print(s.push(5))#prints True
print(s.push(6))#prints True
print(s.push(7))#prints True
print(s.push(8))#prints True
print(s.push(9))#prints Stack Full!
print(s.size())#prints 8      
print(s.pop())#prints 8
print(s.pop())#prints 7
print(s.pop())#prints 6
print(s.pop())#prints 5
print(s.pop())#prints 4
print(s.pop())#prints 3
print(s.pop())#prints 2
print(s.pop())#prints 1
print(s.pop())#prints Stack Empty!

Note: Element 9 was not added and hence size remains 8.

Using collections.deque

Python contains a module named collections. This comprises of the deque class which is a double-ended queue that supports inserting and removing elements from either ends.

The method of deque is similar to the lists:

>>> from collections import deque
>>> my_first_stack = deque()
>>> my_first_stack.append('Alex')
>>> my_first_stack.append('Bob')
>>> my_first_stack.append('Charlie')
>>> my_first_stack
deque(['Alex', 'Bob', 'Charlie'])
>>> my_first_stack.pop()
'Charlie'
>>> my_first_stack.pop()
'Bob'
>>> my_first_stack.pop()
'Alex'
>>> myStack.pop()
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<#pyshell>", line 1, in <module>
IndexError: pop from an empty deque

The objects of the deque class has a consistent performance because they are implemented in the form of doubly linked lists.

Using queue.LifoQueue

The Python Standard Library comprises of another class called queue.LifoQueue class to implement stack. It supports multiple simultaneous producers and consumers.

Python Threading is used for executing multiple tasks and function calls at the same time and independently of other codes. If your program involves threads, it is recommended not to use list and deque because they behave very differently in such cases.

list is not thread-safe. On the other hand, though, .append() and .pop() are atomic in nature, it is nearly impossible to build a Python stack using deque that is fully thread-safe. This is because of the reason that in a threaded environment, there are other deque class methods that are neither atomic nor they are thread-safe and might lead to race conditions.

So the last option we’re left with is the queue.LifoQueue class that is specially designed to be fully thread-free.

Adding and removing elements are performed in this class are using .put() and .get():

>>> from queue import LifoQueue
>>> my_first_stack = LifoQueue()
>>>my_first_stack.put('Alex')
>>>my_first_stack.put('Bob')
>>>my_first_stack.put('Charlie')
>>> my_first_stack
<queue.LifoQueue object at 0x0000026E4C69DFD0>
>>> my_first_stack.get()
'Charlie'
>>> my_first_stack.get()
'Bob'
>>> my_first_stack.get()
'Alex'
>>> my_first_stack.get_nowait()
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#8>", line 1, in <module>
    my.get_nowait()
_queue.Empty
>>> my_first_stack.get()  # Waits forever

The queue module might be helpful when you are working with multiple threads or with parallel computing. However, for general purpose stack implementation, it is recommended to use lists or deque.

deque: An excellent choice for implementing a Python Stack

If you’re not interested in handling explicit locking and unlocking and also not looking for parallel processing support, then your choice for choosing the right Python stack implementation narrows down to list and deque. However, they both have different implementations of data structures in their working.

Operations like indexing and slicing work very well with lists because it is built upon contiguous blocks of memory. The elements in the list are stored in a dynamic array system making it easier for Python to find any element in the memory.

However, this type of layout system raises speed issues in situations like when the contiguous block is full, it needs to get another block which in turn increases the execution time.

On the other hand, deque is a doubly linked list in which each entry is linked to both the previous and next entry in the list. This allows adding elements to both the ends of the list. In this type of linked list, each memory has its own memory block. Thus, combining all these reasons, deque is a much better choice than list when implementing stacks in Python.

Conclusion

Let us sum up what we’ve learnt in this article so far:

  • What is a Stack and what are its applications.
  • What do Stack operations look like.
  • When should a data structure like Stack be used.
  • Different ways of implementing Stack in Python.
  • How to select the right implementation depending upon your problem.

Stacks are simple data structures that allows us to store and retrieve data in a sequential fashion. They are very useful in real world cases. Having a clear understanding of stacks would help us in solving data storage problems in an efficient manner.

If you wish to know more about data structures and other aspects of Python, you can go through the Python tutorial. You may also join the certification course on Python.

Priyankur

Priyankur Sarkar

Data Science Enthusiast

Priyankur Sarkar loves to play with data and get insightful results out of it, then turn those data insights and results in business growth. He is an electronics engineer with a versatile experience as an individual contributor and leading teams, and has actively worked towards building Machine Learning capabilities for organizations.

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1 comments

Nilesh 16 Aug 2019

Excellent article on how to implement a python stack thanks for the useful information.

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Let us look into some examples.ValueTruncated ToResult19.345Tens place1019.345Ones place1919.345Tenths place19.319.345Hundredths place19.34The truncate() function can be used for positive as well as negative numbers:>>> truncate(19.5) 19.0 >>> truncate(-2.852, 1) -2.8 >>> truncate(2.825, 2) 2.82The truncate() function can also be used to truncate digits towards the left of the decimal point by passing a negative number.>>> truncate(235.7, -1) 230.0 >>> truncate(-1936.37, -3) -1000.0When a positive number is truncated, we are basically rounding it down. Similarly, when we truncate a negative number, the number is rounded up. Let us look at the various rounding methods.Rounding UpThere is another strategy called “rounding up” where a number is rounded up to a specified number of digits. For example:ValueRound Up ToResult12.345Tens place2018.345Ones place1918.345Tenths place18.418.345Hundredths place18.35The term ceiling is used in mathematics to explain the nearest integer which is greater than or equal to a particular given number. In Python, for “rounding up” we use two functions namely,ceil() function, andmath() functionA non-integer number lies between two consecutive integers. For example, considering a number 5.2, this will lie between 4 and 5. Here, ceiling is the higher endpoint of the interval, whereas floor is the lower one. Therefore, ceiling of 5.2 is 5, and floor of 5.2 is 4. However, the ceiling of 5 is 5.In Python, the function to implement the ceiling function is the math.ceil() function. It always returns the closest integer which is greater than or equal to its input.>>> import math >>> math.ceil(5.2) 6 >>> math.ceil(5) 5 >>> math.ceil(-0.5) 0If you notice you will see that the ceiling of -0.5 is 0, and not -1.Let us look into a short code to implement the “rounding up” strategy using round_up() function:def round_up(n, decimals=0):     multiplier = 10 ** decimals     return math.ceil(n * multiplier) / multiplierLet’s look at how round_up() function works with various inputs:>>> round_up(3.1) 4.0 >>> round_up(3.23, 1) 3.3 >>> round_up(3.543, 2) 3.55You can pass negative values  to decimals, just like we did in truncation.>>> round_up(32.45, -1) 40.0 >>> round_up(3352, -2) 3400You can follow the diagram below to understand round up and round down. Round up to the right and down to the left.Rounding up always rounds a number to the right on the number line, and rounding down always rounds a number to the left on the number line.Rounding DownSimilar to rounding up we have another strategy called rounding down whereValueRounded Down ToResult19.345Tens place1019.345Ones place1919.345Tenths place19.319.345Hundredths place19.34In Python, rounding down can be implemented using a similar algorithm as we truncate or round up. Firstly you will have to shift the decimal point and then round an integer. Lastly shift the decimal point back.math.ceil() is used to round up to the ceiling of the number once the decimal point is shifted. For “rounding down” we first need to round the floor of the number once the decimal point is shifted.>>> math.floor(1.2) 1 >>> math.floor(-0.5) -1Here’s the definition of round_down():def round_down(n, decimals=0):     multiplier = 10 ** decimals return math.floor(n * multiplier) / multiplierThis is quite similar to round_up() function. Here we are using math.floor() instead of math.ceil().>>> round_down(1.5) 1 >>> round_down(1.48, 1) 1.4 >>> round_down(-0.5) -1Rounding a number up or down has extreme effects in a large dataset. After rounding up or down, you can actually remove a lot of precision as well as alter computations.Rounding Half UpThe “rounding half up” strategy rounds every number to the nearest number with the specified precision, and breaks ties by rounding up. Here are some examples:ValueRound Half Up ToResult19.825Tens place1019.825Ones place2019.825Tenths place19.819.825Hundredths place19.83In Python, rounding half up strategy can be implemented by shifting the decimal point to the right by the desired number of places. In this case you will have to determine whether the digit after the shifted decimal point is less than or greater than equal to 5.You can add 0.5 to the value which is shifted and then round it down with the math.floor() function.def round_half_up(n, decimals=0):     multiplier = 10 ** decimals return math.floor(n*multiplier + 0.5) / multiplierIf you notice you might see that round_half_up() looks similar to round_down. The only difference is to add 0.5 after shifting the decimal point so that the result of rounding down matches with the expected value.>>> round_half_up(19.23, 1) 19.2 >>> round_half_up(19.28, 1) 19.3 >>> round_half_up(19.25, 1) 19.3Rounding Half DownIn this method of rounding, it rounds to the nearest number similarly like “rounding half up” method, the difference is that it breaks ties by rounding to the lesser of the two numbers. Here are some examples:ValueRound Half Down ToResult16.825Tens place1716.825Ones place1716.825Tenths place16.816.825Hundredths place16.82In Python, “rounding half down” strategy can be implemented by replacing math.floor() in the round_half_up() function with math.ceil() and then by subtracting 0.5 instead of adding:def round_half_down(n, decimals=0):     multiplier = 10 ** decimals return math.ceil(n*multiplier - 0.5) / multiplierLet us look into some test cases.>>> round_half_down(1.5) 1.0 >>> round_half_down(-1.5) -2.0 >>> round_half_down(2.25, 1) 2.2In general there are no bias for both round_half_up() and round_half_down(). However, rounding of data with more number of ties results in bias. Let us consider an example to understand better.>>> data = [-2.15, 1.45, 4.35, -12.75]Let us compute the mean of these numbers:>>> statistics.mean(data) -2.275Now let us compute the mean on the data after rounding to one decimal place with round_half_up() and round_half_down():>>> rhu_data = [round_half_up(n, 1) for n in data] >>> statistics.mean(rhu_data) -2.2249999999999996 >>> rhd_data = [round_half_down(n, 1) for n in data] >>> statistics.mean(rhd_data) -2.325The round_half_up() function results in a round towards positive infinity bias, and round_half_down() results in a round towards negative infinity bias.Rounding Half Away From ZeroIf you have noticed carefully while going through round_half_up() and round_half_down(), neither of the two is symmetric around zero:>>> round_half_up(1.5) 2.0 >>> round_half_up(-1.5) -1.0 >>> round_half_down(1.5) 1.0 >>> round_half_down(-1.5) -2.0In order to introduce symmetry, you can always round a tie away from zero. The table mentioned below illustrates it clearly:ValueRound Half Away From Zero ToResult16.25Tens place2016.25Ones place1616.25Tenths place16.3-16.25Tens place-20-16.25Ones place-16-16.25Tenths place-16.3The implementation of “rounding half away from zero” strategy on a number n is very simple. All you need to do is start as usual by shifting the decimal point to the right a given number of places and then notice the digit d immediately to the right of the decimal place in this new number. Here, there are four cases to consider:If n is positive and d >= 5, round upIf n is positive and d < 5, round downIf n is negative and d >= 5, round downIf n is negative and d < 5, round upAfter rounding as per the rules mentioned above, you can shift the decimal place back to the left.There is a question which might come to your mind - How do you handle situations where the number of positive and negative ties are drastically different? The answer to this question brings us full circle to the function that deceived us at the beginning of this article: Python’s built-in  round() function.Rounding Half To EvenThere is a way to mitigate rounding bias while you are rounding values in a dataset. You can simply round ties to the nearest even number at the desired precision. Let us look at some examples:ValueRound Half To Even ToResult16.255Tens place2016.255Ones place1616.255Tenths place16.216.255Hundredths place16.26To prove that round() really does round to even, let us try on a few different values:>>> round(4.5) 4 >>> round(3.5) 4 >>> round(1.75, 1) 1.8 >>> round(1.65, 1) 1.6The Decimal ClassThe  decimal module in Python is one of those features of the language which you might not be aware of if you have just started learning Python. Decimal “is based on a floating-point model which was designed with people in mind, and necessarily has a paramount guiding principle – computers must provide an arithmetic that works in the same way as the arithmetic that people learn at school.” – except from the decimal arithmetic specification. Some of the benefits of the decimal module are mentioned below -Exact decimal representation: 0.1 is actually 0.1, and 0.1 + 0.1 + 0.1 - 0.3 returns 0, as expected.Preservation of significant digits: When you add 1.50 and 2.30, the result is 3.80 with the trailing zero maintained to indicate significance.User-alterable precision: The default precision of the decimal module is twenty-eight digits, but this value can be altered by the user to match the problem at hand.Let us see how rounding works in the decimal module.>>> import decimal >>> decimal.getcontext() Context(     prec=28,     rounding=ROUND_HALF_EVEN,     Emin=-999999,     Emax=999999,     capitals=1,     clamp=0,     flags=[],     traps=[         InvalidOperation,         DivisionByZero,         Overflow     ] )The function decimal.getcontext() returns a context object which represents the default context of the decimal module. It also includes the default precision and the default rounding strategy.In the above example, you will see that the default rounding strategy for the decimal module is ROUND_HALF_EVEN. It allows to align with the built-in round() functionLet us create a new Decimal instance by passing a string containing the desired value and declare a number using the decimal module’s Decimal class.>>> from decimal import Decimal >>> Decimal("0.1") Decimal('0.1')You may create a Decimal instance from a floating-point number but in that case, a floating-point representation error will be introduced. For example, this is what happens when you create a Decimal instance from the floating-point number 0.1>>> Decimal(0.1) Decimal('0.1000000000000000055511151231257827021181583404541015625')You may create Decimal instances from strings containing the decimal numbers you need in order to maintain exact precision.Rounding a Decimal using the .quantize() method:>>> Decimal("1.85").quantize(Decimal("1.0")) Decimal('1.8')The Decimal("1.0") argument in .quantize() allows to determine the number of decimal places in order to round the number. As 1.0 has one decimal place, the number 1.85 rounds to a single decimal place. Rounding half to even is the default strategy, hence the result is 1.8.Decimal class:>>> Decimal("2.775").quantize(Decimal("1.00")) Decimal('2.78')Decimal module provides another benefit. After performing arithmetic the rounding is taken care of automatically and also the significant digits are preserved.>>> decimal.getcontext().prec = 2 >>> Decimal("2.23") + Decimal("1.12") Decimal('3.4')To change the default rounding strategy, you can set the decimal.getcontect().rounding property to any one of several  flags. The following table summarizes these flags and which rounding strategy they implement:FlagRounding Strategydecimal.ROUND_CEILINGRounding updecimal.ROUND_FLOORRounding downdecimal.ROUND_DOWNTruncationdecimal.ROUND_UPRounding away from zerodecimal.ROUND_HALF_UPRounding half away from zerodecimal.ROUND_HALF_DOWNRounding half towards zerodecimal.ROUND_HALF_EVENRounding half to evendecimal.ROUND_05UPRounding up and rounding towards zeroRounding NumPy ArraysIn Data Science and scientific computation, most of the times we store data as a  NumPy array. One of the most powerful features of NumPy is the use of  vectorization and broadcasting to apply operations to an entire array at once instead of one element at a time.Let’s generate some data by creating a 3×4 NumPy array of pseudo-random numbers:>>> import numpy as np >>> np.random.seed(444) >>> data = np.random.randn(3, 4) >>> data array([[ 0.35743992,  0.3775384 ,  1.38233789,  1.17554883],        [-0.9392757 , -1.14315015, -0.54243951, -0.54870808], [ 0.20851975, 0.21268956, 1.26802054, -0.80730293]])Here, first we seed the np.random module to reproduce the output easily. Then a 3×4 NumPy array of floating-point numbers is created with np.random.randn().Do not forget to install pip3 before executing the code mentioned above. If you are using  Anaconda you are good to go.To round all of the values in the data array, pass data as the argument to the  np.around() function. The desired number of decimal places is set with the decimals keyword argument. In this case, round half to even strategy is used similar to Python’s built-in round() function.To round the data in your array to integers, NumPy offers several options which are mentioned below:numpy.ceil()numpy.floor()numpy.trunc()numpy.rint()The np.ceil() function rounds every value in the array to the nearest integer greater than or equal to the original value:>>> np.ceil(data) array([[ 1.,  1.,  2.,  2.],        [-0., -1., -0., -0.], [ 1., 1., 2., -0.]])Look at the code carefully, we have a new number! Negative zero! Let us now take a look at Pandas library, widely used in Data Science with Python.Rounding Pandas Series and DataFramePandas has been a game-changer for data analytics and data science. The two main data structures in Pandas are Dataframe and Series. Dataframe works like an Excel spreadsheet whereas you can consider Series to be columns in a spreadsheet. Series.round() and DataFrame.round() methods. Let us look at an example.Do not forget to install pip3 before executing the code mentioned above. If you are using  Anaconda you are good to go.>>> import pandas as pd >>> # Re-seed np.random if you closed your REPL since the last example >>> np.random.seed(444) >>> series = pd.Series(np.random.randn(4)) >>> series 0    0.357440 1    0.377538 2    1.382338 3    1.175549 dtype: float64 >>> series.round(2) 0    0.36 1    0.38 2    1.38 3    1.18 dtype: float64 >>> df = pd.DataFrame(np.random.randn(3, 3), columns=["A", "B", "C"]) >>> df           A         B         C 0 -0.939276 -1.143150 -0.542440 1 -0.548708  0.208520  0.212690 2  1.268021 -0.807303 -3.303072 >>> df.round(3)        A      B      C 0 -0.939 -1.143 -0.542 1 -0.549  0.209  0.213 2  1.268 -0.807 -3.303 The DataFrame.round() method can also accept a dictionary or a Series, to specify a different precision for each column. For instance, the following examples show how to round the first column of df to one decimal place, the second to two, and the third to three decimal places: >>> # Specify column-by-column precision with a dictionary >>> df.round({"A": 1, "B": 2, "C": 3})      A     B      C 0 -0.9 -1.14 -0.542 1 -0.5  0.21  0.213 2  1.3 -0.81 -3.303 >>> # Specify column-by-column precision with a Series >>> decimals = pd.Series([1, 2, 3], index=["A", "B", "C"]) >>> df.round(decimals)      A     B      C 0 -0.9 -1.14 -0.542 1 -0.5  0.21  0.213 2  1.3 -0.81 -3.303 If you need more rounding flexibility, you can apply NumPy's floor(), ceil(), and print() functions to Pandas Series and DataFrame objects: >>> np.floor(df)      A    B    C 0 -1.0 -2.0 -1.0 1 -1.0  0.0  0.0 2  1.0 -1.0 -4.0 >>> np.ceil(df)      A    B    C 0 -0.0 -1.0 -0.0 1 -0.0  1.0  1.0 2  2.0 -0.0 -3.0 >>> np.rint(df)      A    B    C 0 -1.0 -1.0 -1.0 1 -1.0  0.0  0.0 2  1.0 -1.0 -3.0 The modified round_half_up() function from the previous section will also work here: >>> round_half_up(df, decimals=2)       A     B     C 0 -0.94 -1.14 -0.54 1 -0.55  0.21  0.21 2 1.27 -0.81 -3.30Best Practices and ApplicationsNow that you have come across most of the rounding techniques, let us learn some of the best practices to make sure we round numbers in the correct way.Generate More Data and Round LaterSuppose you are dealing with a large set of data, storage can be a problem at times. For example, in an industrial oven you would want to measure the temperature every ten seconds accurate to eight decimal places, using a temperature sensor. These readings will help to avoid large fluctuations which may lead to failure of any heating element or components. We can write a Python script to compare the readings and check for large fluctuations.There will be a large number of readings as they are being recorded each and everyday. You may consider to maintain three decimal places of precision. But again, removing too much precision may result in a change in the calculation. However, if you have enough space, you can easily store the entire data at full precision. With less storage, it is always better to store at least two or three decimal places of precision which are required for calculation.In the end, once you are done computing the daily average of the temperature, you may calculate it to the maximum precision available and finally round the result.Currency Exchange and RegulationsWhenever we purchase an item from a particular place, the tax amount paid against the amount of the item depends largely on geographical factors. An item which costs you $2 may cost you less (say $1.8)  if you buy the same item from a different state. It is due to regulations set forth by the local government.In another case, when the minimum unit of currency at the accounting level in a country is smaller than the lowest unit of physical currency, Swedish rounding is done. You can find a list of such rounding methods used by various countries if you look up on the internet.If you want to design any such software for calculating currencies, keep in mind to check the local laws and regulations applicable in your present location.Reduce errorAs you are rounding numbers in a large datasets used in complex computations, your primary concern should be to limit the growth of the error due to rounding.SummaryIn this article we have seen a few methods to round numbers, out of those “rounding half to even” strategy minimizes rounding bias the best. We are lucky to have Python, NumPy, and Pandas already have built-in rounding functions to use this strategy. Here, we have learned about -Several rounding strategies, and how to implement in pure Python.Every rounding strategy inherently introduces a rounding bias, and the “rounding half to even” strategy mitigates this bias well, most of the time.You can round NumPy arrays and Pandas Series and DataFrame objects.If you enjoyed reading this article and found it to be interesting, leave a comment. To learn more about rounding numbers and other features of Python, join our Python certification course.
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How to Round Numbers in Python

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What are Python KeyError Exceptions and How to Handle Them

There are times when you have written your code but while you execute, it might not run. These types of situations occur when the input is inappropriate or you try to open a file with a wrong path or try to divide a number by zero. Due to some errors or incorrect command the output will not be displayed. This is because of errors and exceptions which are a part of the Python programming language. Learn about such concepts and gain further knowledge by joining Python Programming Course.What is Exception Handling?Python raises exceptions when it encounters errors during execution. A Python Exception is basically a construct that signals any important event, such as a run-time error.Exception Handling is the process of responding to executions during computations, which often interrupts the usual flow of executing a program. It can be performed both at the software level as part of the program and also at hardware level using built-in CPU mechanisms.Why is Exception Handling Important?Although exceptions might be irritating when they occur, they play an essential role in high level languages by acting as a friend to the user.An error at the time of execution might lead to two things— either your program will die or will display a blue screen of death. On the other hand, exceptions act as communication tools. It allows the program to answer the questions — what, why and how something goes wrong and then terminates the program in a delicate manner.In simple words, exception handling protects against uncontrollable program failures and increases the potency and efficiency of your code. If you want to master yourself in programming, the knowledge of exceptions and how to handle them is very crucial, especially in Python.What are the Errors and Exceptions in Python?Python doesn’t like errors and exceptions and displays its dissatisfaction by terminating the program abruptly.There are basically two types of errors in the Python language-Syntax Error.Errors occuring at run-time or Exceptions.Syntax ErrorsSyntax Errors, also known as parsing errors, occur when the parser identifies an incorrect statement. In simple words, syntax error occurs when the proper structure or syntax of the programming language is not followed.An example of a syntax error:>>> print( 1 / 0 )) File "", line 1 print( 1 / 0 ))   ^SyntaxError: invalid syntaxExceptionsExceptions occur during run-time. Python raises an exception when your code has a correct syntax but it encounters a run-time issue which it is not able to handle.There are a number of defined built-in exceptions in Python which are used in specific situations. Some of the built-in exceptions are:ExceptionCause Of ErrorArithmeticErrorRaised when numerical computation fails.FloatingPointErrorRaised when floating point calculation fails.AssertionErrorRaised in case of failure of the Assert statement.ZeroDivisionErrorRaised when division or modulo by zero takes place for all numerical values.OverflowErrorRaised when result of an arithmetic operation is very large to be represented.IndexErrorRaised when an index is not found in a sequence.ImportErrorRaised when the imported module is not found.IndentationErrorRaised when indentation is not specified properly.KeyboardInterruptRaised when the user hits interrupt key.RuntimeErrorRaised when a generated error does not fall into any category.SyntaxErrorRaised when there is an error in Python syntax.IOErrorRaised when Python cannot access a file correctly on disk.KeyErrorRaised when a key is not found in a dictionary.ValueErrorRaised when an argument to a function is the right type but not in the right domain.NameErrorRaised when an identifier is not found in the local or global namespace.TypeErrorRaised when an argument to a function is not in the right type.There are another type of built-in exceptions called warnings. They are usually issued in situations where the user is alerted of some conditions. The condition does not raise an exception; rather it  terminates the program.What is a Python KeyError?Before getting into KeyError, you must know the meaning of dictionary and mapping in Python. Dictionary (dict) is an unordered collection of objects which deals with data type key. They are Python’s implementation of data structures and are also known as associative arrays. They comprise key-value pairs, in which each pair maps the key to its associated value.Dictionary is basically a data structure that maps one set of values into another and is the most common mapping in Python.Exception hierarchy of KeyError:->BaseException              ->Exception                         ->LookupError                                       ->KeyErrorA Python KeyError is raised when you try to access an invalid key in a dictionary. In simple terms, when you see a KeyError, it denotes that the key you were looking for could not be found.An example of KeyError:>>> prices = { 'Pen' : 10, 'Pencil' : 5, 'Notebook' : 25} >>> prices['Eraser'] Traceback (most recent call last): File "", line 1, in prices['Eraser'] KeyError: 'Eraser'Here, dictionary prices is declared with the prices of three items. The KeyError is raised when the item ‘Eraser’ is being accessed which is not present in prices.Whenever an exception is raised in Python, it is done using traceback, as you can see in the example code above. It tells why an exception is raised and what caused it.Let’s execute the same Python code from a file. This time, you will be asked to give the name of the item whose price you want to know:# prices.py prices = { 'Pen' : 10, 'Pencil' : 5, 'Notebook' : 25} item = input('Get price of: ') print(f'The price of {item} is {prices[item]}')You will get a traceback again but you’ll also get the information about the line from which the KeyError is raised:Get price of: Eraser Traceback (most recent call last): File "prices.py", line 5, in print(f'The price of {item} is {prices[item]}') KeyError: 'Eraser'The traceback in the example above provides the following information:A KeyError was raised.The key ‘Eraser’ was not found.The line number which raised the exception along with that line.Where else will you find a Python KeyError?Although most of the time, a KeyError is raised because of an invalid key in a Python dictionary or a dictionary subclass, you may also find it in other places in the Python Standard Library, such as in a zipfile. However, it denotes the same semantic meaning of the Python KeyError, which is not finding the requested key.An example of such:>>> from zipfile import ZipFile >>> my_zip_file = ZipFile('Avengers.zip') >>> my_zip_file.getinfo('Batman')Traceback (most recent call last): File "", line 1, in File "myzip.py", line 1119, in getinfo 'There is no item named %r in the archive' % name) KeyError: "There is no item named 'Batman' in the archive"In this example, the zipfile.ZipFile class is used to derive information about a ZIP archive ‘Batman’ using the getinfo() function. Here, the traceback indicates that the problem is not in your code but in the zipfile code, by showing the line which caused the problem. The exception raised here is not because of a LookUpError but rather due to the zipfile.ZipFile.getinfo()function call.When do you need to raise a Python KeyError?In Python Programming, it might be sensible at times to forcefully raise exceptions in your own code. You can usually raise an exception using the raise keyword and by calling the KeyError exception:>>> raise KeyError('Batman')Here, ‘Batman’ acts as the missing key. However, in most cases, you should provide more information about the missing key so that your next developer has a clear understanding of the problem.Conditions to raise a Python KeyError in your code:It should match the generic meaning behind the exception.A message should be displayed about the missing key along with the missing key which needs to be accessed.How to Handle a Python KeyError?The main motive of handling a Python KeyError is to stop unexpected KeyError exceptions to be raised. There are a number of number of ways of handling a KeyError exception.Using get()The get()is useful in cases where the exception is raised due to a failed dictionary LookupError. It returns either the specified key value or a default value.# prices.py prices = { 'Pen' : 10, 'Pencil' : 5, 'Notebook' : 25} item = input('Get price of: ') price = prices.get(item) if price:   print(f'The price of {item} is {prices[item]}')   else:   print(f'The price of {item} is not known')This time, you’ll not get a KeyError because the get() uses a better and safer method to retrieve the price and if not found, the default value is displayed:Get price of: EraserThe price of Eraser is not knownIn this example, the variable price will either have the price of the item in the dictionary or the default value ( which is None by default ).In the example above, when the key ‘Eraser’ is not found in the dictionary, the get() returns  None by default rather than raising a KeyError. You can also give another default value as a second argument by calling get():price = prices.get(item,0)If the key is not found, it will return 0 instead of None.Checking for KeysIn some situations, the get() might not provide the correct information. If it returns None, it will mean that the key was not found or the value of the key in Python Dictionary is actually None, which might not be true in some cases. In such situations, you need to determine the existence of a key in the dictionary. You can use the if and in operator to handle such cases. It checks whether a key is present in the mapping or not by returning a boolean (True or False) value:dict = dictionary() for i in range(50):   key = i % 10     if key in dict: dict[key] += 1 else: dict[key] = 1In this case, we do not check what the value of the missing key is but rather we check whether the key is in the dictionary or not. This is a special way of handling an exception which is used rarely.This technique of handling exceptions is known as Look Before You Leap(LBYL).Using try-exceptThe try-except block is one of the best possible ways to handle the KeyError exceptions. It is also useful where the get() and the if and in operators are not supported.Let’s apply the try-except block on our earlier retrieval of prices code:# prices.py prices = { 'Pen' : 10, 'Pencil' : 5, 'Notebook' : 25} item = input('Get price of: ') try: print(f'The price of {item} is {prices[item]}') except KeyError: print(f'The price of {item} is not known')Here, in this example there are two cases— normal case and a backup case. try block corresponds to the normal case and except block to the backup case. If the normal case doesn’t print the name of the item and the price and raises a KeyError, the backup case prints a different statement or a message.Using try-except-elseThis is another way of handling exceptions. The try-except-else  has three blocks— try block, except block and else block.The else condition in a try-except statement is useful when the try condition doesn’t raise an exception. However, it must follow all the except conditions.Let us take our previous price retrieval code to illustrate try-except-else:# prices.py prices = { 'Pen' : 10, 'Pencil' : 5, 'Notebook' : 25} item = input('Get price of:') try: print(f'The price of {item} is {prices[item]}') except KeyError: print(f'The price of {item} is not known') else: print(f'There is no error in the statement')First, we access an existing key in the try-except block. If the Keyerror is not raised, there are no errors. Then the else condition is executed and the statement is displayed on the screen.Using finallyThe try statement in Python can have an optional finally condition. It is used to define clean-up actions and is always executed irrespective of anything. It is generally used to release external sources.An example to show finally:# prices.py prices = { 'Pen' : 10, 'Pencil' : 5, 'Notebook' : 25} item = input('Get price of: ') try: print(f'The price of {item} is {prices[item]}') except KeyError: print(f'The price of {item} is not known') finally: print(f'The finally statement is executed')Remember, the finally statement will always be executed whether an exception has occurred or not.How to raise Custom Exceptions in Python?Python comprises of a number of built-in exceptions which you can use in your program. However, when you’re developing your own packages, you might need to create your own custom exceptions to increase the flexibility of your program.You can create a custom Python exception using the pre-defined class Exception:def square(x): if x
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How to Work With a PDF in Python

Whether it is an ebook, digitally signed agreements, password protected documents, or scanned documents such as passports, the most preferred file format is PDF or Portable Document Format. It was originally developed by Adobe and is a file format used to present and transfer documents easily and reliably. It uses the file extension .pdf. In fact, PDF being the most widely used digital media, is now considered as an open standard which is maintained by the International Standards Organization (ISO). Python has relatively easy syntax which makes it even easier for the ones who are in their initial stage of learning the language. The popular Python libraries are well suited and integrated which allows to easily extract documents from a PDF, rotate pages if required, split pdf to make separate documents, or add watermarks in them.Now an important question rises, why do we need Python to process PDFs? Well, processing a PDF falls under the category of text analytics. There are several libraries and frameworks available which are designed in Python exclusively for text analytics. This makes it easier to play with a PDF in Python. You can also extract information from PDF and use into Natural Language Processing or any other Machine Learning models. Get certified and learn more about Python Programming and apply those skills and knowledge in the real world.History of  pyPDF, PyPDF2, pyPDF4The first PyPDF package was released in 2005 and the last official release in 2010. After a year or so, a  company named Phasit sponsored a branch of the PyPDF called PyPDF2 which was consistent with the original package and worked pretty well for several years.A series of packages were released later on with the name of PyPDF3 and later renamed as PyPDF4. The biggest difference between PyPDF and the other versions was that the later versions supported Python3. PyPDF2 has been discarded recently. But since PyPDF4 is not fully backward compatible with the PyPDf2, it is suggested to use PyPDF2. You can also use a substitute package - pdfrw. Pdfrw was created by Patrick Maupin and allows you to perform all functions which PyPDF2 is capable of except a few such as encryption, decryption, and types of decompression.Some common libraries in PythonLet us look into some of the libraries Python offers to handle PDFs:PdfMiner It is a tool used to extract information from PDF documents. PDFMiner allows the user to analyze text data and obtain the definite location of a text. It provides information such as fonts and lines. We can also use it as a PDF transformer and a PDF parser.PyPDF2PyPDF2 is purely a Python library which allows users to split, merge, crop, encrypt, and transform PDFs. You can also add customized data, view options, and passwords to the documents. Tabula-pyIt is a Python wrapper of tabula-java which can read tables from PDF files and convert into Pandas Dataframe or into CSV/TSV/JSON file formats.SlateIt is a Python package which facilitates the extraction of information and is dependent on the PdfMiner package.PDFQueryA light Python wrapper which uses minimum code to extract data from PDFs.xPDFIt is an open source viewer of PDF which also includes an extractor, converter and other utilities. Out of all the libraries mentioned above, PyPDF2 is the most used to perform operations like extraction, merging, splitting and so on.Installing PyPDF2If you're using Anaconda, you can install PyPDF2 using pip or conda. To install PyPDF2 using pip, run the following command in the command line:pip install PyPDF2The module is case-sensitive. So you need to make sure that proper syntax is followed. The installation is really quick since PyPDF2 is free of dependencies.Extracting Document Information from a PDF in PythonPyPDF2 can be used to extract metadata and all sorts of texts from PDF when you are performing operations on preexisting PDF files. The types of data you can extract are:AuthorCreatorProducerSubjectTitleNumber of PagesTo understand it better, let us use an existing PDF in your system or you can go to Leanpub and download a book sample.The code for extracting the document information from the PDF—# get_doc_info.py from PyPDF2 import PdfFileReader def getinfo(path):     with open(path, 'rb') as f:         PDF = PdfFileReader(f)         information = PDF.getDocumentInfo()         numberofpages = PDF.getNumPages()     print(information)     author = information.author     creator = information.creator     producer =information .producer     subject = information.subject     title = information.title if __name__ == '__main__':     path = 'reportlab-sample.pdf'     getinfo(path)The output of the program above will look like—Here, we have firstly imported PdfFileReader from the PyPDF2 package. The class PdfFileReader is used to interact with PDF files like reading and extracting information using accessor methods. Then, we have created our own function getinfo with a PDF file as an argument and then called the getdocumentinfo(). This returned an instance of DocumentInformation. And finally we got extract information like the author, creator, subject or title, etc.getNumPages() is used to count the number of pages in the document. PdfMiner can be used when you want to extract text from a PDF file. It is potent and particularly designed for extracting text from PDF.We have learned to extract information from PDF. Now let’s learn how to rotate a PDF. Rotating pages in PDFA lot of times we receive PDFs which contain pages in landscape orientation instead of portrait. You may also find certain documents to be upside down, which happens while scanning a document or mailing. However, we can rotate the pages clockwise or counterclockwise according to our choice using Python with PyPDF2.The code for rotating the article is as follows—# rotate_pages.py from PyPDF2 import PdfFileReader, PdfFileWriter def rotate(pdf_path):     pdf_write = PdfFileWriter()     pdf_read = PdfFileReader(path)     # Rotate page 90 degrees to the right     page1 = pdf_read.getPage(0).rotateClockwise(90)     pdf_write.addPage(page1)     # Rotate page 90 degrees to the left     page2 = pdf_read.getPage(1).rotateCounterClockwise(90)     pdf_write.addPage(page2)     # Add a page in normal orientation     pdf_write.addPage(pdf_read.getPage(2))     with open('rotate_pages.pdf', 'wb') as fh:         pdf_write.write(fh) if __name__ == '__main__':     path = 'mldocument.pdf'     rotate(path)The output of the code will be as follows—Here firstly we imported the PdfFileReader and the PdfFileWriter so that we can write out a new PDF file. Then we declared a function rotate with a path to the PDF that is to be modified. Within the function, we created a read object pdf_read and write object pdf_write.Then, we used the getPage() to grab the pages. Two pages page1 and page2 are taken and rotated to 90 degrees clockwise and 90 degrees counterclockwise respectively using rotateClockwise() and rotateCounterClockwise().We used addPage() function after each rotation method calls. This adds the rotated page to the write object. The last page we add is page3 without any rotation.Lastly, we have used write() with a file-like parameter to write out the new PDF. The final PDF contains three pages, the first two will be in the landscape mode and rotated in reversed direction and the third page will be in normal orientation.Now we will learn to merge different PDFs into one.Merging PDFsIn many cases, we need to merge two PDFs into a single one. For example, suppose you are working on a project report and you need to print it and bind it into a book. It contains a cover page followed by the project report. So you have two different PDFs and you want to merge them into one PDF. You can simply use Python to do so. Let us see how can we merge PDFs into one.The code for merging two PDF documents using PyPDF in mentioned below:# pdf_merging.py from PyPDF2 import PdfFileReader, PdfFileWriter def pdfmerger(paths, output):     pdfwrite = PdfFileWriter()     for path in paths:         pdfread = PdfFileReader(path)         for page in range(pdfread.getNumPages()):             # Add each page to the writer object             pdfwrite.addPage(pdfread.getPage(page))     # Write out the merged PDF     with open(output, 'wb') as out:         pdfwrite.write(out) if __name__ == '__main__':     paths = ['document-1.pdf', 'document-2.pdf']     pdfmerger(paths, output='merged.pdf')Here we have created a function pdfmerger() which takes a number of inputs and a single output. Then we created a PdfFileReader() object for each PDF path and looped over the pages, added each page to the write object. Finally, using the write() function the object’s contents are written to the disk.PyPDF2 makes the process of merging simpler by creating the PdfFileMerger class.Code for merging two documents using PyPDF2—# pdf_merger2.py import glob from PyPDF2 import PdfFileMerger def merger(output_path, input_paths):     pdfmerge = PdfFileMerger()     file_handles = []     for path in input_paths:         pdfmerge.append(path)     with open(output_path, 'wb') as fileobj:         pdfmerge.write(fileobj) if __name__ == '__main__':     paths = glob.glob('d-1.pdf')     paths.sort()     merger('d-2.pdf', paths)The PyPDF2 makes it simpler in the way that we don’t need to loop the pages of each document ourselves.  Here, we created the object pdfmerge and looped through the PDF paths. The PyPDF2 automatically appends the whole document. Finally, we write it out.Let’s perform the opposite of merging now!Splitting PDFsThe PyPDF2 package has the ability to split up a single PDF into multiple PDFs. It allows us to split pages into different PDFs. Suppose we have a set of scanned documents in a single PDF and we need to separate the pages into different PDFs as per requirement, we can simply use Python to select pages we want to split and get the work done.Code for splitting a single PDF into multiple PDFs—# pdf_splitter.py import os from PyPDF2 import PdfFileReader, PdfFileWriter def splitpdf(path):     fname = os.path.splitext(os.path.basename(path))[0]     pdf = PdfFileReader(path)     for page in range(pdf.getNumPages()):         pdfwrite = PdfFileWriter()         pdfwrite.addPage(pdf.getPage(page))         outputfilename = '{}_page_{}.pdf'.format(             fname, page+1)         with open(outputfilename, 'wb') as out:             pdfwrite.write(out)         print('Created: {}'.format(outputfilename)) if __name__ == '__main__':     path = 'document-1.pdf'     splitpdf(path)Here we have imported the PdfFileReader and PdfFileWriter from PyPDF2. Then we created a function called splitpdf() which accepts the path of PDF we want to split. The first line of the function takes the name of the input file. Then we open the PDF and create a read object. Using the read object’s getNumPages(), we loop over all the pages.In the next step, we created an instance of PdfFileWriter inside the for loop. Then, we created a PDF write instance and added each page to it for each of the pages in the PDF input. We also created a unique filename using the original filename + the word ‘page’ + the page number + 1.Once we are done with running the script, we will have each of the pages of the input PDF split into multiple PDFs. Now let us learn how to add a watermark to a PDF and keep it secured.Adding Overlays/WatermarksAn image or superimposed text on selected pages in a PDF document is referred to as a Watermark. The Watermark adds security features and protects our rational property like images and PDFs. Watermarks are also called overlays.The PyPDF2 allows us to watermark documents. We just need to have a PDF which will consist of our watermark text, image or signature.Code for adding a watermark in a PDF—# watermarker.py from PyPDF2 import PdfFileWriter, PdfFileReader def watermark(inputpdf, outputpdf, watermarkpdf):     watermark = PdfFileReader(watermarkpdf)     watermarkpage = watermark.getPage(0)     pdf = PdfFileReader(inputpdf)     pdfwrite = PdfFileWriter()     for page in range(pdf.getNumPages()):         pdfpage = pdf.getPage(page)         pdfpage.mergePage(watermarkpage)         pdfwrite.addPage(pdfpage)     with open(outputpdf, 'wb') as fh:         pdfwrite.write(fh) if __name__ == '__main__':     watermark(inputpdf='document-1.pdf',               outputpdf='watermarked_w9.pdf',               watermarkpdf='watermark.pdf')The output of the code will look like— There are three arguments of the function watermark(): inputpdf: The path of the PDF that is to be watermarked. outputpdf: The path where the watermarked PDF will be saved. watermarkpdf: The PDF which contains the watermark.Firstly, we extract the PDF page which contains the watermark image or text and then open that PDF page where we want to give the desired watermark.Using the inputpdf, we create a read object and using the pdfwrite, we create a write object to write out the watermarked PDF and then iterate over the pages.Next, we call the page object’s mergePage and apply the watermark and add that to the write object pdfwrite.When the loop terminates, the watermarked PDF is written out to the disk and it’s done!Encrypting a PDFIn the PDF world, the PyPDF2 package allows an owner password which gives the user the advantage to work as an administrator. The package also provides the user password which allows us to open the document upon entering the password.The PyPDF2 basically doesn’t permit any allowances on any PDF file yet it allows the user to set the owner password and user password.Code to add a password and add encryption to a PDF—# pdf_encrypt.py from PyPDF2 import PdfFileWriter, PdfFileReader def encryption(inputpdf, outputpdf, password):     pdfwrite = PdfFileWriter()     pdfread = PdfFileReader(inputpdf)     for page in range(pdfread.getNumPages()):         pdfwrite.addPage(pdfread.getPage(page))     pdfwrite.encrypt(user_pwd=password, owner_pwd=None,                       use_128bit=True)     with open(outputpdf, 'wb') as fh:         pdfwrite.write(fh) if __name__ == '__main__':     encryption(inputpdf='document-1.pdf',                   outputpdf='document-1-encrypted.pdf',                   password='twofish')We declare a  function named encryption() with three arguments—the input PDF path, the output PDF path and the password that we want to keep. Then we create one read object pdfread and one write object pdfwrite. Now we loop over all the pages and add them to the write object since we need to encrypt the entire document.Finally, we call the encrypt() function which accepts three parameters—the user password, the owner password and the whether or not to use 128-bit encryption. The PDF  will be encrypted to 40-bit encryption if the argument use128bit is set to false. Also if the owner password is set to none, then it will be set to user password automatically.Reading the Table data from PDFSuppose you want to work with the Table data in Pdf, you can use tabula-py to read tables in a PDF. To install tabula-py, run:pip install tabula-pyCode to extract simple Text from pdf using PyPDF2:import tabula # readinf the PDF file that contain Table Data # you can find the pdf file with complete code in below # read_pdf will save the pdf table into Pandas Dataframe df = tabula.read_pdf("document.pdf") # in order to print first 5 lines of Table df.head()If you PDF file contains Multiple Tabledf = tabula.read_pdf("document.pdf",multiple_tables=True)If you want to extract Information from the specific part of any specific page of PDFtabula.read_pdf("document.pdf", area=(126,149,212,462), pages=1)If you want the output into JSON Formattabula.read_pdf("offense.pdf", output_format="json")Exporting PDF into ExcelSuppose you want to export a PDF into Excel, you can do so by writing the following code and convert the PDF Data into Excel or CSV.tabula.convert_into("document.pdf", "document_testing.xlsx", output_format="xlsx")Let us sum up what we have learned in the article:Extraction of data from a PDFRotate pages in a PDFMerge PDFs into one PDFSplit a PDF into many PDFsAdd watermarks or overlays in a PDFAdd password or encryption to a PDFReading table from PDFExporting PDF into Excel or CSVAs you have seen, PyPDF2 is one of the most useful tools available in Python. The features of PyPDF2 makes life easier whether you are working on a large project or even when you quickly want to make some changes to your PDF documents. Learn more about such libraries and frameworks as KnowledgeHut offers Python Certification Course for Programmers, Developers, Jr./Sr Software Engineers/Developers and anybody who wants to learn Python.
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How to Work With a PDF in Python

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