Python external libraries are pre-written code that can be imported and used in your own Python projects to add functionality or perform specific tasks. These libraries are created and maintained by other developers, and can be easily installed and integrated into your own code using the Python package manager (pip).
There are many external libraries available for Python, covering a wide range of functionality such as numerical computing (NumPy, SciPy), data manipulation (Pandas), machine learning (Scikit-learn, TensorFlow), web scraping (BeautifulSoup, Scrapy), and many more. By using external libraries, you can save time and effort by not having to write code for certain tasks from scratch, and can also benefit from the expertise and experience of the library’s developers.
Using external libraries in Python is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Install the library: The first step is to install the library you want to use. You can do this using the package manager pip by running the command
pip install <library_name>in your command prompt or terminal. For example, to install the NumPy library, you would run
pip install numpy.
- Import the library: Once the library is installed, you can import it into your Python script or notebook by using the
importstatement. For example, to import the NumPy library, you would use the following code:
import numpy as np.
- Use the library: After importing the library, you can now use its functions and classes in your code. For example, you can use the NumPy’s
arrayfunction to create an array:
a = np.array([1, 2, 3]).
- (Optional) Check the documentation: If you’re not sure how to use a specific function or class from the library, you can check its documentation. Most libraries have documentation available online, and you can also use the
help()function in Python to access the documentation for a specific function or class.
import numpy as np a = np.array([1, 2, 3]) print(a)
Note: Some libraries might have additional setup steps or dependencies that need to be installed. Be sure to check the library’s documentation for any additional instructions.
There are many popular libraries in Python, but some of the most widely used and well-established ones include:
- NumPy: A library for numerical computing that provides support for large, multidimensional arrays and matrices of numerical data, as well as a large collection of mathematical functions to operate on these arrays.
- Pandas: A library for data manipulation and analysis that provides powerful data structures and data analysis tools for handling and manipulating numerical tables and time series data.
- Matplotlib: A library for data visualization that provides a wide range of plotting and charting functionality, including line plots, scatter plots, histograms, and more.
- Scikit-learn: A library for machine learning that provides a wide range of algorithms for classification, regression, clustering, and model selection, as well as tools for data preprocessing and model evaluation.
- TensorFlow: A library for deep learning and machine learning that provides a powerful set of tools for building, training, and deploying complex machine learning models.
- Requests: A library for making HTTP requests, it abstracts the complexities of making requests behind a simple API so that you can focus on interacting with services and consuming data in your application.
- BeautifulSoup: A library for pulling data out of HTML and XML files, it helps to parse the data and extract useful information.
These are just a few examples of the many libraries available for Python, and there are many other libraries that may be useful for specific tasks or projects.