Python – Split a string by spaces — preserving quoted substrings — in Python


I have a string which is like this:

this is "a test"

I'm trying to write something in Python to split it up by space while ignoring spaces within quotes. The result I'm looking for is:

['this','is','a test']

PS. I know you are going to ask "what happens if there are quotes within the quotes, well, in my application, that will never happen.

Best Solution

You want split, from the built-in shlex module.

>>> import shlex
>>> shlex.split('this is "a test"')
['this', 'is', 'a test']

This should do exactly what you want.