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Table of contents
1.
Introduction 
2.
What are Escape Sequences in Python?
3.
List of Escape Sequence Available in Python with Examples
4.
1. n Escape Sequence in Python
4.1.
Code
4.2.
Python
5.
2. Python escape sequence for Space
5.1.
Code
5.2.
Python
6.
3. Backslash Escape Sequence in Python
6.1.
Python
6.2.
Code
6.3.
Python
7.
4. Backspace Escape Sequence in Python
7.1.
Code
7.2.
Python
8.
5. Python escape sequence for Hexa value
8.1.
Code
8.2.
Python
9.
6. Python escape sequence for Octal value
9.1.
Code
9.2.
Python
10.
7. Remove all escape sequences from a list
10.1.
Code
10.2.
Python
11.
8. Python escape sequence ignore
11.1.
Code
11.2.
Python
12.
9. Python escape sequence remove
12.1.
Code
12.2.
Python
13.
10. Escape Sequence Interpretation
13.1.
Code
13.2.
Python
14.
Preventing Escape Sequence Interpretation
14.1.
Code
14.2.
Python
15.
Methods of Prevention
15.1.
Raw String Literal
15.2.
Python
15.3.
Double Backslashes
15.4.
Python
16.
Frequently Asked Questions
16.1.
What is escape in string?
16.2.
Which is the escape sequence?
16.3.
How do you remove escape sequences from a string?
16.4.
What happens if an unsupported escape sequence is used?
16.5.
What is the size of an escape sequence in Python?
17.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
Easy

Escape Sequences or Characters in Python

Author Tashmit
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Introduction 

Escape Sequences or Characters in Python

In this article, we will understand what is an escape sequences and how to code escape sequences. We will also see the advantages and disadvantages of escape sequences in Python. Moving forward, let's first understand escape sequences and their types.

What are Escape Sequences in Python?

A sequence is an ordered collection of elements, where the order of the elements matters. The elements within a sequence can be integers, characters, strings, lists, or other types of sequences.

An escape sequence is a sequence of characters that, when included within a character or string, doesn't directly represent itself. Instead, it's transformed into a different character or set of characters.

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List of Escape Sequence Available in Python with Examples

Escape Character Description Example
\n Inserts a newline character print('This \n is a new line.')
\t Inserts a tab character print('This \t is a tab.')
\" Prints a double quote print('This \" is a double quote.')
\\ Prints a backslash print('This \\ is a backslash.')
\x Prints the characters using their hexadecimal value print('\x48\x65\x6c\x6c\x6f') 

Check out similar article - Program to Convert String to a List

Escape sequences are widely used in programming languages to manipulate strings and characters in various ways. The most used escape sequences are:

1. n Escape Sequence in Python

The \n escape sequence is used to insert a new line in the code. For example,

Code

  • Python

Python

print("Welcome to \nCoding Ninjas")


Output

n Escape Sequence in Python

2. Python escape sequence for Space

The \t escape sequence is used to add tab space(8 spaces) wherever required. For example,

Code

  • Python

Python

print("Name\tAge\Language")
print("Cody\t25\tC++")
print("Jack\t31\tPython")


Output

Python escape sequence for Space

3. Backslash Escape Sequence in Python

The backslash escape sequence is used to print a backslash in our code. If we want to print a backslash using a simple print statement, it will give an error message:

  • Python

Python

print("\")

 

This statement would produce an error message 

Backslash Escape Sequence in Python

Therefore, to print a backslash, we would have to use an escape sequence like:

Code

  • Python

Python

print("Coding ninjas path: C:\\Windows\\Desktop\\Coding_Ninjas")


The above code will be able to print the backslash in this code 

Output

Output for Backslash Escape Sequence in Python

4. Backspace Escape Sequence in Python

In Python, the backspace escape sequence is defined by the character combination "\b." This sequence moves the cursor from one position to the left, effectively erasing the character before it.

Code

  • Python

Python

print("Hello\bWorld")
print("Hello \bWorld")


Output

output for backspace escape sequence

5. Python escape sequence for Hexa value

In Python, the escape sequence \x, followed by the hexadecimal digit, is used to represent a character using its hexadecimal value.

Code

  • Python

Python

print('\x48\x65\x6c\x6c\x6f') 


Output

output for hexa value escape sequence

6. Python escape sequence for Octal value

In Python, the octal value of a character can be defined with the help of the escape sequence \ followed by up to three octal digits.

Code

  • Python

Python

print('\156\151\156\152\141')

 

Output

output for octal value escape sequence

7. Remove all escape sequences from a list

You can remove escape sequences from a string in Python by using the re-module (regular expressions) to match and remove them. 

Code

  • Python

Python

import re
string_with_Escape = "Hello\\n\\tNinja"
escSeq_removed = re.sub(r'\\.', '', string_with_Escape)

print(escSeq_removed)

 

Output

output for remove all escape sequence

8. Python escape sequence ignore

In Python, if you want to ignore the escape sequences in a string, you can use a raw string by prefixing it with the letter "r". This is also known as a raw string literal.

Code

  • Python

Python

string_WithEscape = "Hello\nNinja"
string_IgnoreEscape = r"Hello\nNinja"

print(string_WithEscape)
print(string_IgnoreEscape)

  

 

Output

output for ignore escape sequence

9. Python escape sequence remove

To remove escape sequences from a string in Python, we can use the encode and decode methods with the "unicode_escape" encoding and then replace the escaped backslashes with regular backslashes. 

Code

  • Python

Python

string_with_escapeSeq = "Hello\\nWorld\\t"
escape_removed = string_with_escapeSeq.encode().decode('unicode_escape').replace('\\', '')
print(escape_removed) 

 

Output

output for python escape sequence remove

10. Escape Sequence Interpretation

Escape Sequence Interpretation is understanding the escape sequences defined in a string. When an escape sequence is encountered in a string, it is interpreted and replaced by a special character or action. For example, the escape sequence \n is used to add a newline character, and \t is used to add a tab character.

With the help of string literals, programmers can use escape sequences that are rather difficult to implement in their programs. When the computer reads a string containing escape sequences, Python interprets them and transforms them accordingly.

Code

  • Python

Python

print("Hello\nWorld")

Output

Escape Sequence Interpretation

Explanation 

The string "Hello\nWorld" contains the \n escape sequence, which is interpreted as a newline character. When the string is printed, the newline character causes the text to move to the next line:

Preventing Escape Sequence Interpretation

 The double backslash (\\) can be used to represent a single backslash in your strings. This prevents escape sequence interpretation altogether in Python and treats backslashes as regular characters without any special meaning. This is known as escaping the backslash itself.

Code

  • Python

Python

string_with_escape = "This\\tis a\\nstring"
regex_with_escape = "\\n{2}-\\n{2}-\\n{4}"

print(string_with_escape) 
print(regex_with_escape)


Output

preventing escape sequence interpretation

Methods of Prevention

To prevent the interpretation of escape sequences in Python strings, the following methods can be followed:

Raw String Literal

By prefixing the string with the letter "r," we can create a raw string literal. This tells Python to treat the string as plain text without interpreting any escape sequences. 

Example:

Code

  • Python

Python

raw_string = r"Hello\nNinja"
print(raw_string)

 

Output

Hello\nNinja

Double Backslashes

We can also use double backslashes (\\) to represent a literal backslash in the string. The first backslash escapes the second backslash, resulting in a single backslash character. This way, escape sequences are not interpreted. 

Example:

Code

  • Python

Python

string = "Welcome\\nNinja"
print(string)

 

Output

Welcome\nNinja

Frequently Asked Questions

What is escape in string?

An escape character is a Python string is usually used for representing characters that can cause ambiguity during interpretation.

Which is the escape sequence?

An escape sequence includes a backslash () followed by an escape sequence character, octal number, or hexadecimal number.

How do you remove escape sequences from a string?

In Python, we can print a string as plain text without escape character interpretation by prefixing it with the letter "r".

What happens if an unsupported escape sequence is used?

If an unsupported escape sequence is used, it may result in a compiler or runtime error, or the sequence may be interpreted as regular text characters.

What is the size of an escape sequence in Python?

In Python, the size of an escape sequence is one. Regardless of the number of characters used to represent the escape sequence, it is treated as a single character. For example, the size of the escape sequence \n is 1.

Conclusion

In this article, we studied the escape sequence applied in Python, their advantages, and their disadvantages. To learn more about Python, Import, and Modules in Python, you can visit Coding Ninjas Studio by Coding Ninjas. Refer to our guided paths on Coding Ninjas Studio to learn more about DSA, Competitive Programming, JavaScript, System Design, etc. Enroll in our courses and refer to the mock test and problems available; look at the interview experiences and interview bundle for placement preparations.

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