Python – How to print instances of a class using print()

classobjectprintingpython

I am learning the ropes in Python. When I try to print an object of class Foobar using the print() function, I get an output like this:

<__main__.Foobar instance at 0x7ff2a18c>

Is there a way I can set the printing behaviour (or the string representation) of a class and its objects? For instance, when I call print() on a class object, I would like to print its data members in a certain format. How to achieve this in Python?

If you are familiar with C++ classes, the above can be achieved for the standard ostream by adding a friend ostream& operator << (ostream&, const Foobar&) method for the class.

Best Solution

>>> class Test:
...     def __repr__(self):
...         return "Test()"
...     def __str__(self):
...         return "member of Test"
... 
>>> t = Test()
>>> t
Test()
>>> print(t)
member of Test

The __str__ method is what gets called happens when you print it, and the __repr__ method is what happens when you use the repr() function (or when you look at it with the interactive prompt).

If no __str__ method is given, Python will print the result of __repr__ instead. If you define __str__ but not __repr__, Python will use what you see above as the __repr__, but still use __str__ for printing.