Python – How to use the ellipsis slicing syntax in Python


This came up in Hidden features of Python, but I can't see good documentation or examples that explain how the feature works.

Best Solution

The ellipsis is used in numpy to slice higher-dimensional data structures.

It's designed to mean at this point, insert as many full slices (:) to extend the multi-dimensional slice to all dimensions.


>>> from numpy import arange
>>> a = arange(16).reshape(2,2,2,2)

Now, you have a 4-dimensional matrix of order 2x2x2x2. To select all first elements in the 4th dimension, you can use the ellipsis notation

>>> a[..., 0].flatten()
array([ 0,  2,  4,  6,  8, 10, 12, 14])

which is equivalent to

>>> a[:,:,:,0].flatten()
array([ 0,  2,  4,  6,  8, 10, 12, 14])

In your own implementations, you're free to ignore the contract mentioned above and use it for whatever you see fit.