The argsparse module can be used to parse command line arguments.
This article is written for argsparse with Python 3.

Sure you could write your own parser to get command line arguments from sys.argv, but argparse makes it easier.

By default it will add a help option, even if you don’t specify it. Let’s show the sort of thing you can do with argsparse.

Related Course: Complete Python Programming Course & Exercises


The code below is a Python program that takes opitional arguments. We create an ArgumentParser instance and create new arguments by callig nt he method add_argument().

Then when the method parse_args() is called, it uses all that information and interprets sys.argv automatically!

import argparse

parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
parser.add_argument('-o','--open-file', help='Description', required=False)
parser.add_argument('-s','--save-file', help='Description', required=False)

args = parser.parse_args()


If we save the code above as, it can be run like this:

python argparse arguments in command line

We have set the parameter required=False, they are optional.

$ python -o open.txt

If we set the last parameter to required=True, it has to be specified or it will throw an error.

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