Python program to count the words and characters in a string

Introduction :

In this python programming tutorial, we will learn how to count the total words and characters in a string. The program will take the string as input from the user, count the words and characters, and then it will print out the result.

Algorithm :

Following algorithm we will use in this program:

  1. Ask the user to enter a string.
  2. Split the string into words and save it in a variable.
  3. Calculate the total number of words, i.e. the total count of words in the string.
  4. Iterate over the words one by one. For each word, count the number of characters and add that value to a final variable.
  5. Print out the total count of words and characters to the user.

Program to count the words and characters in a string:

# 1
word_count = 0
char_count = 0

# 2
usr_input = input("Enter a string : ")

# 3
split_string = usr_input.split()

# 4
word_count = len(split_string)

# 5
for word in split_string:
    # 6
    char_count += len(word)

# 7
print("Total words : {}".format(word_count))
print("Total characters : {}".format(char_count))

python count words and characters in string

Explanation :

The commented numbers in the above program denote the step numbers below:

  1. Create two variables to store the final word count and character count: word_count and char_count. Initialize these variables as 0.
  2. Ask the user to enter a string. Read and store the string in a usr_input variable.
  3. Split the user-provided string using the split() method. It will break the string at all white space and return one list holding these sub-strings.
  4. Count the number of words in the list. Store it in the variable word_count.
  5. By using a for loop, iterate over the words in the split words list.
  6. While iterating, add the length of each word to the variable char_count.
  7. The word count is stored in the word_count variable, and the character count is stored in the char_count variable. Print out their values to the user.

Sample Output :

Enter a string : Hello world
Total words : 2
Total characters : 10

Enter a string : The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Total words : 9
Total characters : 35

Enter a string : abc def gh ij k l mno pqr stu vwx yz
Total words : 11
Total characters : 26

Enter a string : a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Total words : 26
Total characters : 26

python count words and characters in string

This program is also available on Github. Send us a pull request if you have a better solution.

Conclusion :

In this tutorial, we have learned how to split a string into words and how to calculate the total words and characters in a string in Python. Counting words in a string is one of the most commonly used programs in Python development. You can use the same program to count the total number of words in a file. Try to go through the code shown above and drop one comment below if you have any queries.

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