Remove all whitespace in a string


I want to eliminate all the whitespace from a string, on both ends, and in between words.

I have this Python code:

def my_handle(self):
    sentence = ' hello  apple  '

But that only eliminates the whitespace on both sides of the string. How do I remove all whitespace?

3/13/2020 6:25:33 PM

Accepted Answer

If you want to remove leading and ending spaces, use str.strip():

sentence = ' hello  apple'
>>> 'hello  apple'

If you want to remove all space characters, use str.replace():

(NB this only removes the “normal” ASCII space character ' ' U+0020 but not any other whitespace)

sentence = ' hello  apple'
sentence.replace(" ", "")
>>> 'helloapple'

If you want to remove duplicated spaces, use str.split():

sentence = ' hello  apple'
" ".join(sentence.split())
>>> 'hello apple'
12/9/2019 10:55:30 AM

To remove only spaces use str.replace:

sentence = sentence.replace(' ', '')

To remove all whitespace characters (space, tab, newline, and so on) you can use split then join:

sentence = ''.join(sentence.split())

or a regular expression:

import re
pattern = re.compile(r'\s+')
sentence = re.sub(pattern, '', sentence)

If you want to only remove whitespace from the beginning and end you can use strip:

sentence = sentence.strip()

You can also use lstrip to remove whitespace only from the beginning of the string, and rstrip to remove whitespace from the end of the string.


An alternative is to use regular expressions and match these strange white-space characters too. Here are some examples:

Remove ALL spaces in a string, even between words:

import re
sentence = re.sub(r"\s+", "", sentence, flags=re.UNICODE)

Remove spaces in the BEGINNING of a string:

import re
sentence = re.sub(r"^\s+", "", sentence, flags=re.UNICODE)

Remove spaces in the END of a string:

import re
sentence = re.sub(r"\s+$", "", sentence, flags=re.UNICODE)

Remove spaces both in the BEGINNING and in the END of a string:

import re
sentence = re.sub("^\s+|\s+$", "", sentence, flags=re.UNICODE)

Remove ONLY DUPLICATE spaces:

import re
sentence = " ".join(re.split("\s+", sentence, flags=re.UNICODE))

(All examples work in both Python 2 and Python 3)


Whitespace includes space, tabs, and CRLF. So an elegant and one-liner string function we can use is str.translate:

Python 3

' hello  apple'..translate(str.maketrans('', '', ' \n\t\r'))

OR if you want to be thorough:

import string
' hello  apple'..translate(str.maketrans('', '', string.whitespace))

Python 2

' hello  apple'.translate(None, ' \n\t\r')

OR if you want to be thorough:

import string
' hello  apple'.translate(None, string.whitespace)

For removing whitespace from beginning and end, use strip.

>> "  foo bar   ".strip()
"foo bar"

' hello  \n\tapple'.translate({ord(c):None for c in ' \n\t\r'})

MaK already pointed out the "translate" method above. And this variation works with Python 3 (see this Q&A).


Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow
Email: [email protected]