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Python Tips: Reading and Comparing Unicode Strings with Ease

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If you’re a Python programmer, you know that handling Unicode strings can be quite challenging. The good news is that Python provides a wide range of built-in features to ease the process, and one of the most powerful ones is the ability to read and compare Unicode strings with ease.

But how can you make sure you’re doing it right? This is where our article comes in. In this piece, we’ll show you several Python tips and tricks to handle Unicode strings like a pro. We’ll cover everything from reading Unicode files to comparing strings using the built-in methods that Python provides.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert Python programmer, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to dealing with Unicode strings. Our article will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to improve your skills and make your code more efficient and reliable. So, what are you waiting for? Read on and discover how you can take your Python game to the next level!

By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how Python handles Unicode strings, and you’ll feel confident in your ability to read and compare these types of strings with ease. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and get ready to learn some Python tips that will help you become a better programmer!

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“How To Read Unicode Input And Compare Unicode Strings In Python?” ~ bbaz


Python is known as a high-level language that interprets and executes the code directly without compiling. It is also widely used for data analysis, machine learning, scripting, and for web development. Unicode strings are one of the most important data types in Python, and they are essential to manage text data.

Reading Unicode Strings with Ease

Python supports various data types including standard strings, Unicode strings, and bytes. Unicode strings enable us to work with all types of characters, symbols, and scripts in different languages. When reading text files, Python’s open function can automatically decode the file contents into Unicode strings by specifying the encoding used in the file.

Example Code:

 with open('data.txt', 'r', encoding='utf-8') as f:   data =

Comparing Unicode Strings

Comparing Unicode strings in Python requires some additional attention because of the differences in character encodings and other language specifics. The basic built-in function used in string comparison is == that works fine with ASCII strings but not with Unicode strings. The comparison results may vary depending on the encoding used, the byte order, normalization, or other parameters.

Example Code:

 s1 = résumé s2 = resumé print(s1 == s2) # False print(s1.encode() == s2.encode()) # True print(s1.casefold() == s2.casefold()) # True

Encoding and Decoding Unicode Strings

Encoding is a process of converting Unicode strings into bytes in a specific encoding format, while decoding is the reverse process of converting bytes back into Unicode strings. Python provides several built-in encoding/decoding functions such as encode(), decode(), ascii(), chr(), ord(), and others.

Example Code:

 s = Hello, world! b = s.encode('utf-8') t = b.decode('utf-8') print(b) # b'Hello, world!' print(t) # Hello, world!

Handling Different Script and Language Specifics

Unicode strings can contain a variety of characters from different languages, scripts, and character sets. It may require additional processing to handle specific characters or symbols, as they may have different representations, case sensitivity, or sorting order. There are several built-in functions in Python to handle such cases, including normalize(), isnumeric(), isidentifier(), and others.

Example Code:

 s = Schönheit t = schonheit print(s == t) # False print(s.lower() == t.lower()) # True print(s.casefold() == t.casefold()) # True print(sorted([s, t], key=lambda x: x.lower())) # ['Schönheit', 'schonheit']

Summary Table

The following table summarizes the main differences and similarities between standard and Unicode strings in Python:

Feature Standard Strings Unicode Strings
Supported Characters ASCII characters All Unicode characters
Representation Encoded as bytes Encoded as Unicode strings
Comparison ==, !=, <, >, etc. ==, !=, <, >, etc. (with additional precautions)
Encoding and Decoding encode(), decode() encode(), decode()
Language Specifics ASCII-based Language-specific


Unicode strings are an essential data type in Python because they enable us to work with a wide range of languages, scripts, and symbols. However, handling Unicode strings requires some additional attention in terms of encoding, decoding, comparison, and other language specifics. By following the tips presented in this article, one can read and compare Unicode strings with ease and avoid common pitfalls.


The Python language is very versatile and easy to use, especially for handling text data. The Unicode string support is a crucial feature that makes Python an ideal choice for text processing tasks, including web scraping, natural language processing, and others. The tips presented in this article are helpful when working with Unicode strings, and they save a lot of time and effort in debugging and testing. Overall, Python is a powerful language for text analytics, and Unicode strings are one of its most powerful tools.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on Python Tips related to Reading and Comparing Unicode Strings with Ease. We hope that you found the information provided useful and can now work more efficiently with Unicode strings in Python.

Remember, Unicode strings are different from regular strings and require a unique approach. It is important to learn how to handle them properly in order to prevent errors and ensure your code runs smoothly. Understanding how to properly compare and read Unicode strings will also save you time and headaches when working with international languages or creating applications that require language support.

Python offers powerful tools and libraries for handling Unicode strings. By using the tips outlined in this article, you will be able to confidently navigate through Unicode strings and create reliable code. So next time you encounter Unicode strings in your Python code, remember the techniques we have discussed and apply them with ease!

Python Tips: Reading and Comparing Unicode Strings with Ease

People also ask about:

  1. What is Unicode in Python?

    Unicode is a standard for representing characters from different languages and scripts. It assigns each character a unique number, known as a code point, which can be represented in various encoding schemes.

  2. How do you read Unicode strings in Python?

    You can read Unicode strings in Python using the built-in open() function and specifying the appropriate encoding. For example, to read a file containing Unicode characters encoded in UTF-8, you can use:

    • with open(filename.txt, encoding=utf-8) as file:
  3. How do you compare Unicode strings in Python?

    You can compare Unicode strings in Python using the built-in cmp() function. However, this function has been removed in Python 3.x, so you should use the locale.strcoll() function instead. This function compares strings based on the current locale settings.

  4. What is the difference between Unicode and ASCII?

    ASCII is a character encoding scheme that represents only 128 characters, including letters, digits, and symbols. It does not support characters from other languages or scripts. Unicode, on the other hand, supports characters from all languages and scripts and assigns each character a unique code point.

  5. What is UTF-8 encoding?

    UTF-8 is a variable-length character encoding scheme that can represent any Unicode character using one to four bytes. It is widely used on the internet and in computing systems.