BeautifulSoup webscraping find_all( ): finding exact match

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I’m using Python and BeautifulSoup for web scraping.

Lets say I have the following html code to scrape:

<body>
    <div class="product">Product 1</div>
    <div class="product">Product 2</div>
    <div class="product special">Product 3</div>
    <div class="product special">Product 4</div>
</body>

Using BeautifulSoup, I want to find ONLY the products with the attribute class=”product”
(only Product 1 and 2), not the ‘special’ products

If I do the following:

result = soup.find_all('div', {'class': 'product'})

the result includes ALL the products (1,2,3, and 4).

What should I do to find products whose class EXACTLY matches ‘product’??


The Code I ran:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
import re

text = """
<body>
    <div class="product">Product 1</div>
    <div class="product">Product 2</div>
    <div class="product special">Product 3</div>
    <div class="product special">Product 4</div>
</body>"""

soup = BeautifulSoup(text)
result = soup.findAll(attrs={'class': re.compile(r"^product$")})
print result

Output:

[<div class="product">Product 1</div>, <div class="product">Product 2</div>, <div class="product special">Product 3</div>, <div class="product special">Product 4</div>]

In BeautifulSoup 4, the class attribute (and several other attributes, such as accesskey and the headers attribute on table cell elements) is treated as a set; you match against individual elements listed in the attribute. This follows the HTML standard.

As such, you cannot limit the search to just one class.

You’ll have to use a custom function here to match against the class instead:

result = soup.find_all(lambda tag: tag.name == 'div' and 
                                   tag.get('class') == ['product'])

I used a lambda to create an anonymous function; each tag is matched on name (must be 'div'), and the class attribute must be exactly equal to the list ['product']; e.g. have just the one value.

Demo:

>>> from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
>>> text = """
... <body>
...     <div class="product">Product 1</div>
...     <div class="product">Product 2</div>
...     <div class="product special">Product 3</div>
...     <div class="product special">Product 4</div>
... </body>"""
>>> soup = BeautifulSoup(text)
>>> soup.find_all(lambda tag: tag.name == 'div' and tag.get('class') == ['product'])
[<div class="product">Product 1</div>, <div class="product">Product 2</div>]

For completeness sake, here are all such set attributes, from the BeautifulSoup source code:

# The HTML standard defines these attributes as containing a
# space-separated list of values, not a single value. That is,
# class="foo bar" means that the 'class' attribute has two values,
# 'foo' and 'bar', not the single value 'foo bar'.  When we
# encounter one of these attributes, we will parse its value into
# a list of values if possible. Upon output, the list will be
# converted back into a string.
cdata_list_attributes = {
    "*" : ['class', 'accesskey', 'dropzone'],
    "a" : ['rel', 'rev'],
    "link" :  ['rel', 'rev'],
    "td" : ["headers"],
    "th" : ["headers"],
    "td" : ["headers"],
    "form" : ["accept-charset"],
    "object" : ["archive"],

    # These are HTML5 specific, as are *.accesskey and *.dropzone above.
    "area" : ["rel"],
    "icon" : ["sizes"],
    "iframe" : ["sandbox"],
    "output" : ["for"],
    }

You can use CSS selectors like so:

result = soup.select('div.product.special')

css-selectors

soup.findAll(attrs={'class': re.compile(r"^product$")})

This code matches anything that doesn’t have the product at the end of its class.

You could solve this problem and capture just Product 1 and Product 2 with gazpacho by enforcing exact matching:

from gazpacho import Soup

html = """\
<body>
    <div class="product">Product 1</div>
    <div class="product">Product 2</div>
    <div class="product special">Product 3</div>
    <div class="product special">Product 4</div>
</body>
"""

soup = Soup(html)
divs = soup.find("div", {"class": "product"}, partial=False)
[div.text for div in divs]

Outputs exactly:

['Product 1', 'Product 2']

change your code from

result = soup.findAll(attrs={'class': re.compile(r"^product$")})

to

result = soup.find_all(attrs={'class': 'product'})

and the result is a list and access through index


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