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# Importing modules in Python

schedule Aug 12, 2023
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A module is a collection of functions, classes, and variables contained within a `.py` file. By importing a module, we are able to use the functions, classes, and variables defined in that module, without having to define them ourselves.

# Examples

## Basic usage

To import the `numpy` module and use its `abs(~)` method:

``` import numpyprint(numpy.abs(-5)) 5 ```

Note that when we import modules in this way, we must use dot notation `module.function`.

## Import with alias

We can import using an alias to save typing:

``` import numpy as npprint(np.abs(-5)) 5 ```

## Import *

We can import all the variables of a module to remove the need for dot notation:

``` from math import *print(pi) 3.141592653589793 ```

However, this can lead to issues if multiple modules share the same variable names which have different behavior:

``` from math import *from numpy import *print(pi, log(32, 2)) TypeError: return arrays must be of ArrayType ```
NOTE

The `math` and `numpy` modules both have functions called `log`, but they behave differently. Because we imported `numpy` after `math`, the `log` functionality imported from `math` is overwritten by the behavior from `numpy`, which leads to an issue when we want to use `log` according to its definition as per the `math` module.

## Specific import

To only import specific portions of a module:

``` from matplotlib import pyplot ```

## Submodules

Modules can contain variables which can in turn refer to other modules:

``` np.random.random(6) ```

In the above example, we require two dots as we are calling the `random` function within the `random` submodule of `numpy`.

## Importing files from a different folder

By default Python will only search the folder from where the script is run when importing files. To import files located in a different folder:

``` import syssys.path.insert(1, '/path/where/file/to/import/is/located')import xxxx #insert filename in place of xxxx ```

Alternatively, if the folder the file to import is located in contains an `__init__.py` file you can use:

``` from path.where.file.located import xxxx #insert filename in place of xxxx ```
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