How to remove \xa0 from string in Python?

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I am currently using Beautiful Soup to parse an HTML file and calling get_text(), but it seems like I’m being left with a lot of \xa0 Unicode representing spaces. Is there an efficient way to remove all of them in Python 2.7, and change them into spaces? I guess the more generalized question would be, is there a way to remove Unicode formatting?

I tried using: line = line.replace(u'\xa0',' '), as suggested by another thread, but that changed the \xa0’s to u’s, so now I have “u”s everywhere instead. ):

EDIT: The problem seems to be resolved by str.replace(u'\xa0', ' ').encode('utf-8'), but just doing .encode('utf-8') without replace() seems to cause it to spit out even weirder characters, \xc2 for instance. Can anyone explain this?

\xa0 is actually non-breaking space in Latin1 (ISO 8859-1), also chr(160). You should replace it with a space.

string = string.replace(u'\xa0', u' ')

When .encode(‘utf-8’), it will encode the unicode to utf-8, that means every unicode could be represented by 1 to 4 bytes. For this case, \xa0 is represented by 2 bytes \xc2\xa0.

Read up on http://docs.python.org/howto/unicode.html.

Please note: this answer in from 2012, Python has moved on, you should be able to use unicodedata.normalize now

There’s many useful things in Python’s unicodedata library. One of them is the .normalize() function.

Try:

new_str = unicodedata.normalize("NFKD", unicode_str)

Replacing NFKD with any of the other methods listed in the link above if you don’t get the results you’re after.

After trying several methods, to summarize it, this is how I did it. Following are two ways of avoiding/removing \xa0 characters from parsed HTML string.

Assume we have our raw html as following:

raw_html="<p>Dear Parent, </p><p><span style="font-size: 1rem;">This is a test message, </span><span style="font-size: 1rem;">kindly ignore it. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1rem;">Thanks</span></p>"

So lets try to clean this HTML string:

from bs4 import BeautifulSoup
raw_html="<p>Dear Parent, </p><p><span style="font-size: 1rem;">This is a test message, </span><span style="font-size: 1rem;">kindly ignore it. </span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1rem;">Thanks</span></p>"
text_string = BeautifulSoup(raw_html, "lxml").text
print text_string
#u'Dear Parent,\xa0This is a test message,\xa0kindly ignore it.\xa0Thanks'

The above code produces these characters \xa0 in the string. To remove them properly, we can use two ways.

Method # 1 (Recommended):
The first one is BeautifulSoup’s get_text method with strip argument as True
So our code becomes:

clean_text = BeautifulSoup(raw_html, "lxml").get_text(strip=True)
print clean_text
# Dear Parent,This is a test message,kindly ignore it.Thanks

Method # 2:
The other option is to use python’s library unicodedata

import unicodedata
text_string = BeautifulSoup(raw_html, "lxml").text
clean_text = unicodedata.normalize("NFKD",text_string)
print clean_text
# u'Dear Parent,This is a test message,kindly ignore it.Thanks'

I have also detailed these methods on this blog which you may want to refer.

Try using .strip() at the end of your line
line.strip() worked well for me

try this:

string.replace('\\xa0', ' ')

I ran into this same problem pulling some data from a sqlite3 database with python. The above answers didn’t work for me (not sure why), but this did: line = line.decode('ascii', 'ignore') However, my goal was deleting the \xa0s, rather than replacing them with spaces.

I got this from this super-helpful unicode tutorial by Ned Batchelder.

Try this code

import re
re.sub(r'[^\x00-\x7F]+','','paste your string here').decode('utf-8','ignore').strip()

Python recognize it like a space character, so you can split it without args and join by a normal whitespace:

line=" ".join(line.split())

I end up here while googling for the problem with not printable character. I use MySQL UTF-8 general_ci and deal with polish language. For problematic strings I have to procced as follows:

text=text.replace('\xc2\xa0', ' ')

It is just fast workaround and you probablly should try something with right encoding setup.

0xA0 (Unicode) is 0xC2A0 in UTF-8. .encode('utf8') will just take your Unicode 0xA0 and replace with UTF-8’s 0xC2A0. Hence the apparition of 0xC2s… Encoding is not replacing, as you’ve probably realized now.

In Beautiful Soup, you can pass get_text() the strip parameter, which strips white space from the beginning and end of the text. This will remove \xa0 or any other white space if it occurs at the start or end of the string. Beautiful Soup replaced an empty string with \xa0 and this solved the problem for me.

mytext = soup.get_text(strip=True)

It’s the equivalent of a space character, so strip it

print(string.strip()) # no more xa0

Generic version with the regular expression (It will remove all the control characters):

import re
def remove_control_chart(s):
    return re.sub(r'\\x..', '', s)

You can try string.strip()
It worked for me! 🙂


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