Remove the first and last lines from a String in Python

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Aug 14, 2022

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Remove the first and last lines from a String in Python #

To remove the first and last lines from a string:

  1. Use the str.find() method to get the index of the first newline character.
  2. Use the str.rfind() method to get the index of the last newline character.
  3. Get a slice of the string from the second line up to the last line.
main.py
my_str = """\ first line second line third line fourth line""" result = my_str[my_str.find('\n') + 1: my_str.rfind('\n')] # second line # third line print(result)

We used the str.find() method to get the index of the first newline character in the string.

main.py
my_str = """\ first line second line third line fourth line""" print(my_str.find('\n')) # 👉️ 10

The str.find method returns the index of the first occurrence of the provided substring in the string.

The method returns -1 if the substring is not found in the string.

Notice that we added 1 to the result because we want to exclude the newline character.
main.py
my_str = """\ first line second line third line fourth line""" result = my_str[my_str.find('\n') + 1: my_str.rfind('\n')] # second line # third line print(result)

We used the str.rfind() method to get the index of the last newline character in the string.

main.py
my_str = """\ first line second line third line fourth line""" print(my_str.rfind('\n')) # 👉️ 33

The str.rfind method returns the highest index in the string where the provided substring is found.

The method returns -1 if the substring is not contained in the string.

The last step is to get a slice of the string from the second line up to, but not including the last line.

main.py
my_str = """\ first line second line third line fourth line""" result = my_str[my_str.find('\n') + 1: my_str.rfind('\n')] # second line # third line print(result)
The syntax for string slicing is my_str[start:stop:step], where the start index is inclusive and the stop index is exclusive (up to, but not including).

The start index is inclusive, so we added 1 to start after the newline character.

The stop index is exclusive so we can directly specify it to get a slice of the string from the second line up to the last line.

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