How to Load Data From Text File in Pandas

  1. read_csv() Method to Load Data From Text File
  2. read_fwf() Method to Load Width-Formated Text File to Pandas dataframe
  3. read_table() Method to Load Text File to Pandas dataframe

We will introduce the methods to load the data from a txt file with Pandas dataframe. We will also go through the available options.

First, we will create a simple text file called sample.txt and add the following lines to the file:

45 apple orange banana mango
12 orange kiwi onion tomato

We need to save it to the same directory from where Python script will be running.

read_csv() Method to Load Data From Text File

read_csv() is the best way to convert the text file into Pandas Dataframe. We need to set header=None as we don’t have any header in the above-created file. We can also set keep_default_na=False inside the method if we wish to replace empty values with NaN.

Example Codes:

# python 3.x
import pandas as pd
df = pd.read_csv(
    'sample.txt', sep=" ",header=None)
print(df)

Output:

    0       1       2       3       4
0  45   apple  orange  banana   mango
1  12  orange    kiwi   onion  tomato

We set sep=" " because a single white space separates values. Similarly, we can set sep="," if we read data from a comma-separated file. Replace the white spaces inside sample.txt with , and then run the code after replacing sep=" " with sep=",".

Sample.txt

45,apple,orange,banana,mango
12,orange,kiwi,,tomato

Code:

# python 3.x
import pandas as pd
df = pd.read_csv(
    'sample.txt', sep=",",header=None)
print(df)

Output:

    0       1       2       3       4
0  45   apple  orange  banana   mango
1  12  orange    kiwi     NaN  tomato

read_fwf() Method to Load Width-Formated Text File to Pandas dataframe

read_fwf() is very helpful to load a width-formatted text file. We can’t use sep because different values may have different delimiters. Consider the following text file:

Sample.txt

45 apple  orange banana mango
12 orange kiwi   onion  tomato

In Sample.text, delimiter is not the same for all values. So read_fwf() will do the job here.

Code:

# python 3.x
import pandas as pd
df = pd.read_fwf(
    'sample.txt',header=None)
print(df)

Output:

    0       1       2       3       4
0  45   apple  orange  banana   mango
1  12  orange    kiwi   onion  tomato

read_table() Method to Load Text File to Pandas dataframe

read_table() is another approach to load data from text file to Pandas dataframe.

Sample.txt:

45 apple orange banana mango
12 orange kiwi onion tomato

Code:

# python 3.x
import pandas as pd
df = pd.read_table(
    'sample.txt',header=None,sep=" ")
print(df)

Output:

    0       1       2       3       4
0  45   apple  orange  banana   mango
1  12  orange    kiwi   onion  tomato