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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Python Zip Function?
2.1.
Syntax of Python Zip function
2.2.
Parameters of Python Zip function
3.
Features of Python Zip
4.
Return values of Python Zip function
4.1.
Example 1: Passing no arguments
4.2.
Python
4.3.
Example 2: Passing one argument
4.4.
Python
4.5.
Example 3: Passing two arguments
4.6.
Python
4.7.
Example 4: Passing n arguments 
4.8.
Python
5.
Unzipping a zipped object
5.1.
Python
6.
Applications of the Python Zip Function
7.
Frequently Asked Questions
7.1.
What is zip() in Python?
7.2.
How to zip code in Python?
7.3.
How to import zip in Python?
8.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Python Zip

Author Shivani Singh
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Introduction

Python zip function combines two or more iterables into a single iterable when there are more than two. Or we can also say that the comparable index of several containers can be mapped using the Python zip function so that they can all be utilized together as a single object.

The Python zip method is one of these useful built-in functions. We'll discuss the Python zip function in more detail.

Python Zip

Let’s get started with the blog to know everything in detail. 

What is Python Zip Function?

Many resources are available to help you learn the fundamentals of Python because it is an easy-to-understand language. After mastering the fundamentals, there is a lot more to learn! One of the 69 built-in functions that Python provides you, and one that beginners aren't exposed to, is the Python zip function.

Python zip function merges all input parameters or arguments into a single iterable by taking one or more iterables as input parameters or arguments. 

The outcome of merging the components of the input iterators is a zip object, which is likewise an iterator and is made up of tuples. The first member of the output zip object is a tuple created by zipping together the first items of all the input iterators. The second items of each input iterator experience the same thing, and so on.

Syntax of Python Zip function

The standard syntax for the Python zip function is: 

zip(*iterables)

 

The * indicates that zip accepts a variety of iterables as arguments. Therefore, the expression zip(*iterables) implies zip(iterable1, iterable2, iterable3,...).

Parameters of Python Zip function

Any number of user-defined or built-in iterables (such as list, dict, and string).
 

Any Python iterable that is valid can be used as a parameter value. Additionally, the input iterable with the smallest size will determine the length of the final zipped object if the lengths of the input iterable differ.

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Features of Python Zip

Some of the crucial features of the Python zip function are the following:

Features of Python Zip
  • Any number of iterables: It accepts any quantity of iterable (list, str, etc.) as an argument and aggregates them by using the contents of each iterable.
     
  • Process termination: The process ends when the shortest iterable is finished and the elements from lengthier iterables have been removed.  
     
  • Output based on shortest iterable: Actual data isn't always accurate and comprehensive; thus, we occasionally have to deal with iterables of different lengths. The zip function, by default, bases its output on the shortest iterable.
     
  • New dict or list creation: A dict built on a few separated lists can be easily created or updated with the zip function. 

Return values of Python Zip function

Python zip function produces an iterator-zipped object that has tuples as its output. The situations based on the number of iterables you supply as input are as follows: 

  1. The zip() method will return an empty object or iterator if no input iterables are given.
     
  2. It will return a zipped iterator object of tuples with only one element per tuple if you only give one iterable.
     
  3. The zip() method will return tuples with elements drawn from all the input iterables if you supply more than one iterable as an input. The size of the returned iterator, however, will be equal to the size of the smallest input iterable if the lengths of the input iterables vary.
     

In the next section of the blog, we will see various examples of the zip function with all the return values. Let's keep going. 

Example 1: Passing no arguments

In this section of the blog, we will discuss an example of passing no arguments in the Python zip function. 

Code

  • Python

Python

key_list = [10,15,20]
dict_list = ['coding', 'ninjas', 'user']

# No iterables are passed
result = zip()

# Converting iterator to list
final_result = list(result)
print(final_result)

 

Output

[]

 

Explanation: 

In the above code, we have created two lists. In the result variable, we are storing the zip value with no arguments given. So the output comes to be an empty object. 

Example 2: Passing one argument

In this section of the blog, we will discuss an example of passing one argument in the Python zip function. 

Code  

  • Python

Python

user_names = ['Coding','Ninjas','Users']

# One iterable is passed
result = zip(user_names)

# Converting iterator to list
final_result = list(result)
print(final_result)

 

Output

[('Coding',), ('Ninjas',), ('Users',)]

 

Explanation: 

In the above code, we have made a list. In the zip method, we have passed user_names as an argument. Then converting the result into a list. 

Example 3: Passing two arguments

In this section of the blog, we will discuss an example of passing two arguments in the Python zip function. 

Code

  • Python

Python

user_input = ['Course','Language','Branch']
Requirement = ['Data structures and Algorithm', 'C++', 'CSE']

# Two iterables are passed
result = zip(user_input,Requirement)

# Converting iterator to list
final_result = list(result)
print(final_result)

 

Output

[('Course', 'Data structures and Algorithm'), ('Language', 'C++'), ('Branch', 'CSE')]

 

Explanation: 

In the above code, two arguments are passed in the zip function. As you can see, the returned zipped object included mapped tuples containing elements from both iterables when it was transformed into a list.

Example 4: Passing n arguments 

In this section of the blog, we will discuss an example of passing n arguments in the Python zip function. 

Code

  • Python

Python

user_name= ['Aditya','Amar','Arpit']
user_input = ['Course','Language','Branch']
Requirement = ['Data structures and Algorithm', 'C++', 'CSE']

# Three iterables are passed
result = zip(user_name,user_input,Requirement)

# Converting iterator to list
final_result = list(result)
print(final_result)

 

Output

[('Aditya', 'Course', 'Data structures and Algorithm'), ('Amar', 'Language', 'C++'), ('Arpit', 'Branch', 'CSE')]

 

Explanation: 

In the above code, three arguments are passed in the zip method. You can see that regardless of the types, all corresponding elements from all input iterables have been converted into tuples and combined into an object.

Unzipping a zipped object

A zipped object can be unzipped by returning it to the zip method using the unpacking operator (*). There isn't a specific unzip() method.

Code

  • Python

Python

user_input = ['Course','Language','Branch']
Requirement = ['Data structures and Algorithm', 'C++', 'CSE']

zippedObject = zip(user_input, Requirement)

zippedList = list(zippedObject)

print("Converting zipped object into a list - ", zippedList)

unzipped_user_input, unzipped_Requirement = zip(*zippedList)

print("The user_input after unzipping are - ", unzipped_user_input)

print("The Requirement after unzipping are - ", unzipped_Requirement)

 

Output

Converting zipped object into a list -  [('Course', 'Data structures and Algorithm'), ('Language', 'C++'), ('Branch', 'CSE')]
The user_input after unzipping are -  ('Course', 'Language', 'Branch')
The Requirement after unzipping are -  ('Data structures and Algorithm', 'C++', 'CSE')

 

Explanation: 

In the above code, we will receive them as tuples after passing the zipped object into the zip method using the unpacking operator.

Applications of the Python Zip Function

Some of the applications of the Python zip function are the following:

Applications of the Python Zip function
  • It can be used to compare iterables by parallel traversing across them.
     
  • It can order items according to the components in the other list's equivalent locations.
     
  • It can be used for performing operations in pairs.
     

Must Read Python List Operations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is zip() in Python?

Python zip function merges all input parameters or arguments into a single iterable by taking one or more iterables as input parameters or arguments. The result is a zip object, which is likewise an iterator and is made up of tuples.

How to zip code in Python?

To zip code in Python, you can use the zip() function. It takes an arbitrary number of iterables. It returns a zip object, which is an iterator of tuples. Each tuple has the elements from each iterable at the index accordingly.

How to import zip in Python?

Using the zipimport module, you can import zip files in Python. The other way is to add the zip file to the PYTHONPATH environment variable. Both of them are quite easy for the purpose.

Conclusion

As we have reached the end of this blog, let us see what we have discussed so far. In this blog, we have discussed the basics of the Python Zip function. Then we discussed its features, syntax, and return values. We also saw the example of all the return values. In the end, we saw how to unzip a zipped object and applications of the Python zip function. 

If you like to learn more, you can check out our articles: 

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