How To Give A File Path In Python

Learning how to work with file paths in Python is crucial when dealing with data input and output operations.

In this tutorial, we will explore how to provide file paths in Python and work with various file operations such as reading and writing data to a file.

By the end of this tutorial, you should have a clear understanding of different techniques to work with file paths in Python.

Step 1: Understand Absolute and Relative File Paths

There are two types of file paths in Python: absolute and relative file paths. An absolute file path is a path that starts from the root of your file system, while a relative file path specifies the path based on the current working directory.

For instance, if we have a file named “example.txt” inside a folder named “my_project,” an absolute file path would look like this:


On the other hand, a relative file path may just specify the folder and the file, such as:


Step 2: Import the Necessary Libraries

To work with file paths in Python, you may want to use the os module, which provides functionalities for working with the operating system. You can import the os module using the following command:

Step 3: Get the Current Working Directory

Once the os module is imported, you can obtain the current working directory using the getcwd() function as follows:


Step 4: Join File Paths Using the os.path.join() Function

When working with file paths, a helpful function provided by the os module is os.path.join(). This function allows you to create file paths by combining different parts together. This is useful because it takes care of different operating systems’ file path formats.

For example, let’s create a file path for the “example.txt” file mentioned earlier:


Using the os.path.join() function ensures that your file paths will be proper for different platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS).

Step 5: Use the Created File Path for File Operations

Now that you have a correct file path in a platform-independent manner, you can use this file path for various file operations such as reading and writing data to the file.

For example, to write a string into our “example.txt” file, you can use the following code:

Similarly, to read the content of the “example.txt” file, you can use:

This is an example.

Full Code


In this tutorial, we’ve learned how to give a file path in Python. We covered the concepts of absolute and relative file paths and provided examples using the os module. The os.path.join() function allows us to create platform-independent file paths, making our file operations more efficient and easier to manage.

Now you should be able to use file paths in Python confidently!