Mastering Indexing and Slicing in Python

Mastering Indexing and Slicing in Python

A deep dive into indexing and slicing over ordered collections .In this article, we are going to explore how both indexing and slicing work, and how they can be used in order to write cleaner and more Pythonic code.

In Python, the elements of ordered sequences like strings or lists can be -individually- accessed through their indices. This can be achieved by providing the numerical index of the element we wish to extract from the sequence. Additionally, Python supports slicing that is a characteristic that lets us extract a subset of the original sequence object.

In this article, we are going to explore how both indexing and slicing work, and how they can be used in order to write cleaner and more Pythonic code.

Indexing

Like most programming languages, Python offsets start at position 0 and end at position N-1, where N is defined to be the total length of the sequence. For instance, the total length of the string Hello is equal to 5 and each individual character can be accessed through indices 0 to 4 as shown in the diagram below:

Image for post

Indices in Python

Now you can programmatically access individual characters in the string, by providing the corresponding offset you wish to fetch, enclosed in square brackets:

>>> my_string = 'Hello'
>>> print(my_string[0])
'H'
>>> print(my_string[2])
'l'
>>> print(my_string[3])
'l'

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