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Python String encode()

Encoding means converting Unicode into a set of bytes. As we know that in Python data is stored in Unicode but from the security point of view we need to convert them into a set of bytes. This process increases the efficiency of the storage of strings. For example, passwords are in the string so to store them in a secure manner we use Python String encode() method.

Different Encoding schemes are:

  • ASCII(American Standard Code for Information Interchange)

  • UTF-8(Unicode Transformation Format)

  • ibm039 and many more.

Python String encode(): Introduction

A General Introduction to this method is given below:

  • This is an inbuilt method in Python.

  • By default, strings in Python are stored in Unicode but we can encode the string to provided encoding standards; there are several encoding schemes.

  • This method is mainly used to convert the Unicode of a string into encoding and python should support that encoding.

  • Mainly used for efficient storage of strings.

  • It mainly encodes a string using specified encoding; if the encoding is not specified then UTF-8 will be used

  • Main Application of encode() : there is a need for secure storage of passwords(which are in the string) in the database, and hence there is to save encoded versions of strings.

Python String encode(): Syntax

Below we have a basic syntax of String encode() in Python:

string_var.encode(encoding, errors)

Python String encode(): Parameters

The description of these its Parameters are given below:

  • encoding

This is used to indicate the type of encoding into which the string will be encoded. It is also a string that mainly specifies the encoding to be used.The default value of this parameter is "UTF-8".

  • errors

This Parameter gives a response when the encoding fails, six encoding error responses are there. Basically this is a string that specifies the error method. The legal value of this parameter are given below:

  1. 'backslashreplace': This value of errors uses a backslash instead of the character that could not be encoded. It can be written as errors="backslashreplace".

  2. 'ignore': This value is used to ignore the characters that cannot be encoded. It can be written as errors="ignore".

  3. 'namereplace': This value is used to replace the character with a text explaining the character. It can be written as errors="namereplace".

  4. 'strict': This is a default value and it raises an error on failure. It can be written as errors="strict".

  5. 'replace': This value is used to replaces the character with a questionmark. It can be written as errors="replace".

  6. 'xmlcharrefreplace': This value is used to replace the character with an XML character. It can be written as errors="xmlcharrefreplace".

In case of failure of this String encode(); UnicodeDecodeError exception will be raised.

Python String encode(): Basic Example

Below we have an example to show the working of encode() function:

str1 = "Hello and welcome to the world of pythön!"
str2 = str1.encode()

The output for the same is given below and you will see the output in encoded form

b'Hello and welcome to the world of pyth\xc3\xb6n!'

Python String encode(): Example using parameters

There is a code snippet below where we will use encode() functions parameters too. Let us see:

str1 = "Hello pythön!!"
print(str1.encode("ascii", "replace"))

Output for the same is given below:

b'Hello pyth?n!!'

Python String encode(): Example using all values of errors Parameter

Below we have a code snippet where we will use different values of errors which is one of the parameter of encode() method:

string= "Ståle is my name"


Thus the output of the above code will be:

b'St\\xe5le is my name'
b'Stle is my name'
b'St?le is my name'
b'Ståle is my name'
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/tmp/sessions/353ccb2ca3d5d1fc/", line 8, in <module>
UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character '\xe5' in position 2: ordinal not in range(128)

Time For Live Example!

Let us take a look at the live example for a clear understanding of encode() method:


In this tutorial, we have learned about what is encoding? different encoding schemes, and a detailed description of encode() method with an in-depth explanation of the parameters of encode() method. After we saw different examples followed by Live Example.