Multiple lines user input in command-line Python application

2024/4/15 2:16:52

Is there any easy way to handle multiple lines user input in command-line Python application?

I was looking for an answer without any result, because I don't want to:

  • read data from a file (I know, it's the easiest way);
  • create any GUI (let's stay with just a command line, OK?);
  • load text line by line (it should pasted at once, not typed and not pasted line by line);
  • work with each of lines separately (I'd like to have whole text as a string).

What I would like to achieve is to allow user pasting whole text (containing multiple lines) and capture the input as one string in entirely command-line tool. Is it possible in Python?

It would be great, if the solution worked both in Linux and Windows environments (I've heard that e.g. some solutions may cause problems due to the way cmd.exe works).

Answer
import systext = sys.stdin.read()

After pasting, you have to tell python that there is no more input by sending an end-of-file control character (ctrl+D in Linux, ctrl+Z followed by enter in Windows).

This method also works with pipes. If the above script is called paste.py, you can do

$ echo "hello" | python paste.py

and text will be equal to "hello\n". It's the same in windows:

C:\Python27>dir | python paste.py

The above command will save the output of dir to the text variable. There is no need to manually type an end-of-file character when the input is provided using pipes -- python will be notified automatically when the program creating the input has completed.

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