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Expanding strings vertically in a DataFrame in Pandas

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Data Manipulation Cookbook
schedule Jul 1, 2022
Last updated
local_offer PythonPandas
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tocTable of Contents
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To expand strings vertically in Pandas, use the DataFrame's explode(~) method.

As an example, consider the following DataFrame:

df = pd.DataFrame({"A":["a,b","b,c"],"B":[4,5]})
df
A B
0 a,b 4
1 b,c 5

Solution

To split the strings of column A by ,, and then vertically expand the rows:

df["A"] = df["A"].str.split(",")
df = df.explode("A")
df
A B
0 a 4
0 b 4
1 b 5
1 c 5

Explanation

Here, we are first splitting the strings of column A by , using str.split(","):

df["A"] = df["A"].str.split(",")
df
A B
0 [a, b] 4
1 [b, c] 5

Next, we used the explode(~) method to let each element of the lists have its own row:

df.explode("A")
A B
0 a 4
0 b 4
1 b 5
1 c 5

Supplement - resetting the index

Notice how the resulting DataFrame has duplicate indices [0,0,1,1], which is bad practise in Pandas. To reset the index to the default integer index, call reset_index(drop=True) like so:

df.reset_index(drop=True)
A B
0 a 4
1 b 4
2 b 5
3 c 5

Here, the parameter drop=True is needed - otherwise the current index will become included as a column.

robocat
Published by Isshin Inada
Edited by 0 others
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