How to obtain an user input with Python raw_input function example

The Python raw_input() function is used to read a string from standard input such as keyboard. This way a programmer is able to include user inserted data into a program. Let’s start with a simple example using python script to ask for an user name.

print "What is your name?"
name = raw_input()
print "Hello %s!" % name

First, we print string What is your name? telling the user what we expect him to input. Next, using the raw_input() function the standard input is assigned to a variable name. Lastly, we print the value of variable name to standard output.

$ python 
What is your name?
Monty Python
Hello Monty Python!

Depending on your needs the above python raw_input() example program can be also abbreviated to a single line while including additional new line character \n:

print "Hello %s!" % raw_input("What is your name?\n")

It is important to point out that python function raw_input() will produce string and thus its output cannot be treated as an integer. Therefore, when using python’s raw_input() function to obtain an integer as an user input, the obtained input string must be first converted to an integer before it can be used as an integer.

print "What integer you wish to multiply by 2?"
number = int(raw_input())
print "The answer is: %s" % (number * 2)

# Alternative shortened version
print "The answer is: %s" % (int(raw_input("What integer you wish to multiply by 3?\n")) * 3)


$ python 
What integer you wish to multiply by 2?
The answer is: 66
What integer you wish to multiply by 3?
The answer is: 99

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