Scripting >> Python >> Examples >> Help >>  How to use the online dir() or help() to discover and get help

 

 

Start getting help >>> help()

Welcome to Python 2.7!  This is the online help utility.

If this is your first time using Python, you should definitely check out
the tutorial on the Internet at http://docs.python.org/2.7/tutorial/.

Enter the name of any module, keyword, or topic to get help on writing
Python programs and using Python modules.  To quit this help utility and
return to the interpreter, just type "quit".

To get a list of available modules, keywords, or topics, type "modules",
"keywords", or "topics".  Each module also comes with a one-line summary
of what it does; to list the modules whose summaries contain a given word
such as "spam", type "modules spam".

help>
get list of modules, topics, keywords

help> modules

help> topics

help> keywords

use dir() to discover more information on a module

>>> dir(os)
['F_OK', 'O_APPEND', 'O_BINARY', 'O_CREAT', 'O_EXCL', 'O_NOINHERIT', 'O_RANDOM', 'O_RDONLY', 'O_RDWR', 'O_SEQUENTIAL', 'O_SHORT_LIVED', 'O_TEMPORARY', 'O_TEXT', 'O_TRUNC', 'O_WRONLY', 'P_DETACH', 'P_NOWAIT', 'P_NOWAITO', 'P_OVERLAY', 'P_WAIT', 'R_OK', 'SEEK_CUR', 'SEEK_END', 'SEEK_SET', 'TMP_MAX', 'UserDict', 'W_OK', 'X_OK', '_Environ', '__all__', '__builtins__', '__doc__', '__file__', '__name__', '__package__', '_copy_reg', '_execvpe', '_exists', '_exit', '_get_exports_list', '_make_stat_result', '_make_statvfs_result', '_pickle_stat_result', '_pickle_statvfs_result', 'abort', 'access', 'altsep', 'chdir', 'chmod', 'close', 'closerange', 'curdir', 'defpath', 'devnull', 'dup', 'dup2', 'environ', 'errno', 'error', 'execl', 'execle', 'execlp', 'execlpe', 'execv', 'execve', 'execvp', 'execvpe', 'extsep', 'fdopen', 'fstat', 'fsync', 'getcwd', 'getcwdu', 'getenv', 'getpid', 'isatty', 'kill', 'linesep', 'listdir', 'lseek', 'lstat', 'makedirs', 'mkdir', 'name', 'open', 'pardir', 'path', 'pathsep', 'pipe', 'popen', 'popen2', 'popen3', 'popen4', 'putenv', 'read', 'remove', 'removedirs', 'rename', 'renames', 'rmdir', 'sep', 'spawnl', 'spawnle', 'spawnv', 'spawnve', 'startfile', 'stat', 'stat_float_times', 'stat_result', 'statvfs_result', 'strerror', 'sys', 'system', 'tempnam', 'times', 'tmpfile', 'tmpnam', 'umask', 'unlink', 'unsetenv', 'urandom', 'utime', 'waitpid', 'walk', 'write']

>>> dir(os.path)
['__all__', '__builtins__', '__doc__', '__file__', '__name__', '__package__', '_abspath_split', '_getfullpathname', '_unicode', 'abspath', 'altsep', 'basename', 'commonprefix', 'curdir', 'defpath', 'devnull', 'dirname', 'exists', 'expanduser', 'expandvars', 'extsep', 'genericpath', 'getatime', 'getctime', 'getmtime', 'getsize', 'isabs', 'isdir', 'isfile', 'islink', 'ismount', 'join', 'lexists', 'normcase', 'normpath', 'os', 'pardir', 'pathsep', 'realpath', 'relpath', 'sep', 'split', 'splitdrive', 'splitext', 'splitunc', 'stat', 'supports_unicode_filenames', 'sys', 'walk', 'warnings']

>>> dir(os.path.split)
['__call__', '__class__', '__closure__', '__code__', '__defaults__', '__delattr__', '__dict__', '__doc__', '__format__', '__get__', '__getattribute__', '__globals__', '__hash__', '__init__', '__module__', '__name__', '__new__', '__reduce__', '__reduce_ex__', '__repr__', '__setattr__', '__sizeof__', '__str__', '__subclasshook__', 'func_closure', 'func_code', 'func_defaults', 'func_dict', 'func_doc', 'func_globals', 'func_name']

func_doc will contain the help information on the split() method

>>> print(os.path.split.func_doc)
Split a pathname.

    Return tuple (head, tail) where tail is everything after the final slash.
    Either part may be empty.

 

>>> import os
>>> dir(os.stat)
['__call__', '__class__', '__cmp__', '__delattr__', '__doc__', '__eq__', '__format__', '__ge__', '__getattribute__', '__gt__', '__hash__', '__init__', '__le__', '__lt__', '__module__', '__name__', '__ne__', '__new__', '__reduce__', '__reduce_ex__', '__repr__', '__self__', '__setattr__', '__sizeof__', '__str__', '__subclasshook__']
>>> print(os.stat.__doc__)
stat(path) -> stat result

Perform a stat system call on the given path.