Python Language String Methods Stripping unwanted leading/trailing characters from a string


Three methods are provided that offer the ability to strip leading and trailing characters from a string: str.strip, str.rstrip and str.lstrip. All three methods have the same signature and all three return a new string object with unwanted characters removed.


str.strip acts on a given string and removes (strips) any leading or trailing characters contained in the argument chars; if chars is not supplied or is None, all white space characters are removed by default. For example:

>>> "    a line with leading and trailing space     ".strip() 
'a line with leading and trailing space'

If chars is supplied, all characters contained in it are removed from the string, which is returned. For example:

>>> ">>> a Python prompt".strip('> ')  # strips '>' character and space character 
'a Python prompt'

str.rstrip([chars]) and str.lstrip([chars])

These methods have similar semantics and arguments with str.strip(), their difference lies in the direction from which they start. str.rstrip() starts from the end of the string while str.lstrip() splits from the start of the string.

For example, using str.rstrip:

>>> "     spacious string      ".rstrip()
'     spacious string'

While, using str.lstrip:

>>> "     spacious string      ".rstrip()
'spacious string      '