How can I print literal curly-brace characters in a string and also use .format on it in Python?

You need to double the {{ and }}:

>>> x = " {{ Hello }} {0} "
>>> print(x.format(42))
' { Hello } 42 '

Here’s the relevant part of the Python documentation for format string syntax:

Format strings contain “replacement fields” surrounded by curly braces {}. Anything that is not contained in braces is considered literal text, which is copied unchanged to the output. If you need to include a brace character in the literal text, it can be escaped by doubling: {{ and }}.

How can I print literal curly-brace characters in a string and also use .format on it?

Python 3.6+ (2017)

In the recent versions of Python one would use f-strings.

With f-strings one should use double {{ or }}

n = 42  
print(f" {{Hello}} {n} ")

produces the desired

 {Hello} 42

If you need to resolve an expression in the brackets instead of using literal text you’ll need three sets of brackets:

hello = "HELLO"



Answer #3:

You escape it by doubling the braces.


x = "{{ Hello }} {0}"

Answer #4:

The OP wrote this comment:

I was trying to format a small JSON for some purposes, like this: '{"all": false, "selected": "{}"}'.format(data) to get something like {"all": false, "selected": "1,2"}

It’s pretty common that the “escaping braces” issue comes up when dealing with JSON.

I suggest doing this:

import json
data = "1,2"
mydict = {"all": "false", "selected": data}

It’s cleaner than the alternative, which is:

'{{"all": false, "selected": "{}"}}'.format(data)

Using the json library is definitely preferable when the JSON string gets more complicated than the example.

Answer #5:

You want to format a string with the character { or }

You just have to double them.

format { with f'{{' and }with f'}}'

So :

name = "bob"
print(f'Hello {name} ! I want to print }} and {{')

Output :

Hello bob ! I want to print } and {

Answer #6:

Although not any better, just for the reference, you can also do this:

>>> x = '{}Hello{} {}'
>>> print x.format('{','}',42)
{Hello} 42

It can be useful for example when someone wants to print {argument}. It is maybe more readable than '{{{}}}'.format('argument')

Note that you omit argument positions (e.g. {} instead of {0}) after Python 2.7

Answer #7:

f-strings (python 3)

You can avoid having to double the curly brackets by using f-strings ONLY for the parts of the string where you want the f-magic to apply, and using regular (dumb) strings for everything that is literal and might contain ‘unsafe’ special characters. Let python do the string joining for you simply by stacking multiple strings together.

number = 42
print(" { Hello }"  
f" {number} " 
"{ thanks for all the fish }")

{ Hello } 42 { thanks for all the fish }

NOTE: Line breaks between the strings are NOT required. I have only added them for readability. You could as well write the code above as shown below:

⚠️ WARNING: This might hurt your eyes or make you dizzy!

print("{Hello}"f"{number}""{thanks for all the fish}")

Answer #8:

If you are going to be doing this a lot, it might be good to define a utility function that will let you use arbitrary brace substitutes instead, like

def custom_format(string, brackets, *args, **kwargs):
    if len(brackets) != 2:
        raise ValueError('Expected two brackets. Got {}.'.format(len(brackets)))
    padded = string.replace('{', '{{').replace('}', '}}')
    substituted = padded.replace(brackets[0], '{').replace(brackets[1], '}')
    formatted = substituted.format(*args, **kwargs)
    return formatted

>>> custom_format('{{[cmd]} process 1}', brackets='[]', cmd='firefox.exe')
'{{firefox.exe} process 1}'

Note that this will work either with brackets being a string of length 2 or an iterable of two strings (for multi-character delimiters).

Answer #9:

I recently ran into this, because I wanted to inject strings into preformatted JSON. My solution was to create a helper method, like this:

def preformat(msg):
    """ allow {{key}} to be used for formatting in text
    that already uses curly braces.  First switch this into
    something else, replace curlies with double curlies, and then
    switch back to regular braces
    msg = msg.replace('{{', '<<<').replace('}}', '>>>')
    msg = msg.replace('{', '{{').replace('}', '}}')
    msg = msg.replace('<<<', '{').replace('>>>', '}')
    return msg

You can then do something like:

formatted = preformat("""
        "foo": "{{bar}}"

Gets the job done if performance is not an issue.

Hope you learned something from this post.

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