simon simon - 6 months ago 27
Python Question

Writing Unicode text to a text file?

I'm pulling data out of a Google doc, processing it, and writing it to a file (that eventually I will paste into a Wordpress page).

It has some non-ASCII symbols. How can I convert these safely to symbols that can be used in HTML source?

Currently I'm converting everything to Unicode on the way in, joining it all together in a Python string, then doing:

import codecs
f = codecs.open('out.txt', mode="w", encoding="iso-8859-1")
f.write(all_html.encode("iso-8859-1", "replace"))


There is an encoding error on the last line:


UnicodeDecodeError: 'ascii' codec can't decode byte 0xa0 in position
12286: ordinal not in range(128)


Partial solution:

This Python runs without an error:

row = [unicode(x.strip()) if x is not None else u'' for x in row]
all_html = row[0] + "<br/>" + row[1]
f = open('out.txt', 'w')
f.write(all_html.encode("utf-8")


But then if I open the actual text file, I see lots of symbols like:

Qur’an


Maybe I need to write to something other than a text file?

Answer

Deal exclusively with unicode objects as much as possible by decoding things to unicode objects when you first get them and encoding them as necessary on the way out.

If your string is actually a unicode object, you'll need to convert it to a unicode-encoded string object before writing it to a file:

foo = u'Δ, Й, ק, ‎ م, ๗, あ, 叶, 葉, and 말.'
f = open('test', 'w')
f.write(foo.encode('utf8'))
f.close()

When you read that file again, you'll get a unicode-encoded string that you can decode to a unicode object:

f = file('test', 'r')
print f.read().decode('utf8')
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