Unicode strings in Python

In Python, a Unicode string is a sequence of Unicode code points. Unicode is a standard for representing characters from all languages in the world. This means that a Unicode string can contain any character, from English letters to Chinese characters to emojis.

In Python 3, all strings are Unicode strings by default. This means that you don't need to do anything special to create or use a Unicode string. You can simply write a string as usual, and it will be interpreted as a Unicode string.

Creates a Unicode string

For example, the following code creates a Unicode string and prints it to the console:

>>> s = "This is a Unicode string." >>> print(s) This is a Unicode string.

The s variable contains a Unicode string with 25 characters. The first character is T, the second character is h, and so on.

You can also use the u prefix to explicitly create a Unicode string. For example, the following code is equivalent to the previous example:

>>> s = u"This is a Unicode string." >>> print(s) This is a Unicode string.

The u prefix is not necessary in Python 3, but it can be used for clarity.

Unicode strings can be manipulated in the same way as any other string in Python. You can use the len() function to get the length of a Unicode string, the + operator to concatenate strings, and the in operator to check if a character is in a string.

For example, the following code gets the length of the s variable, concatenates it with another string, and then checks if the letter a is in the resulting string:

>>> len(s) 25 >>> s + " is cool!" 'This is a Unicode string is cool!' >>> "a" in s True

Unicode strings can also be encoded and decoded to and from bytes. This is useful for working with files or network protocols that only support bytes.

encode() function

The encode() function encodes a Unicode string to bytes, and the decode() function decodes bytes to a Unicode string. The encoding parameter to these functions specifies the encoding to use. The default encoding in Python 3 is UTF-8.

For example, the following code encodes the s variable to bytes using UTF-8 and then decodes it back to a Unicode string:

>>> b = s.encode("utf-8") >>> b b'This is a Unicode string.' >>> s = b.decode("utf-8") >>> s 'This is a Unicode string.'


Unicode support in Python allows developers to work with text in a global and diverse context, enabling the creation of applications that can handle a wide range of languages and writing systems.