Specifying data type in Pandas csv reader

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I am just getting started with Pandas and I am reading in a csv file using the read_csv() method. The difficulty I am having is preventing pandas from converting my telephone numbers to large numbers, instead of keeping them as strings. I defined a converter which just left the numbers alone, but then they still converted to numbers. When I changed my converter to prepend a ‘z’ to the phone numbers, then they stayed strings. Is there some way to keep them strings without modifying the values of the fields?

Since Pandas 0.11.0 you can use dtype argument to explicitly specify data type for each column:

d = pandas.read_csv('foo.csv', dtype={'BAR': 'S10'})

It looks like you can’t avoid pandas from trying to convert numeric/boolean values in the CSV file. Take a look at the source code of pandas for the IO parsers, in particular functions _convert_to_ndarrays, and _convert_types.

You can always assign the type you want after you have read the file:

df.phone = df.phone.astype(str)

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