Numpy savetxt: A Comprehensive Guide to Saving Arrays


In this article, we will delve into the details of numpy.savetxt() and explore its various applications.

In the world of data manipulation and analysis, Python has become a popular choice among programmers and data scientists.

Also Read: Numpy ndarray Object is not Callable: Understanding the Issue

One of the fundamental libraries for numerical computing in Python is NumPy. NumPy provides a wide range of functionalities, including the ability to save arrays to files using the numpy.savetxt() function.

numpy savetxt: Understanding the Basics

What is numpy.savetxt()?

numpy.savetxt() is a function in the NumPy library that allows you to save a NumPy array to a text file. It provides a convenient way to store and share array data, making it useful in various scenarios.

Also Read: Numpy Repeat: An In-depth Guide to Repeating Elements

Whether you’re working on data preprocessing, machine learning, or scientific computing, numpy.savetxt() comes in handy for saving array data in a human-readable format.

How to use numpy.savetxt()?

To save a NumPy array using numpy.savetxt(), you need to specify the filename and the array you want to save. Here’s the basic syntax:

numpy.savetxt(fname, X, fmt='%.18e', delimiter=' ', newline='n', header='', footer='', comments='# ', encoding=None)

Let’s break down the parameters:

  • fname: The filename or file object to save the array.
  • X: The array to be saved.
  • fmt: The format of the array elements. It is an optional parameter with a default value of '%.18e'.
  • delimiter: The string used to separate the values in the saved file. The default value is a space character.
  • newline: The string character(s) used to separate lines in the saved file. By default, it uses the platform-specific newline character.
  • header: A string that will be written at the beginning of the file. It is optional and defaults to an empty string.
  • footer: A string that will be written at the end of the file. It is optional and defaults to an empty string.
  • comments: A string that will be prepended to each line of the file that is not a header or footer. By default, it is set to '#'.

Now that we have a basic understanding of numpy.savetxt(), let’s explore its features and use cases in more detail.

Advanced Usage and Features of numpy.savetxt()

Saving Arrays with Custom Formats

By default, numpy.savetxt() uses the format '%.18e' to represent array elements. However, you can customize the format according to your requirements.

Also Read: Enhance Your Python Skills with NumPy Log Functions

For example, if you want to save the array with only two decimal places, you can modify the fmt parameter as follows:

numpy.savetxt('output.txt', my_array, fmt='%.2f')

This will save the array with two decimal places in the output file.

Specifying a Custom Delimiter

The default delimiter used by numpy.savetxt() is a space character. However, you can choose a different delimiter based on your needs.

Also Read: Numpy Sum: A Comprehensive Guide to Array Summation

For instance, if you want to use a comma as the delimiter, you can modify the delimiter parameter as follows:

numpy.savetxt('output.txt', my_array, delimiter=',')

This will save the array with comma-separated values in the output file.

Adding a Header and Footer

You can include additional information at the beginning and end of the saved file using the header and footer parameters, respectively.

Also Read: Numpy linespace: Creating Equally Spaced Arrays with Ease

This can be useful for adding metadata or context to the array data. Here’s an example:

header_text = "Data obtained from Experiment XYZ"
footer_text = "End of the file"
numpy.savetxt('output.txt', my_array, header=header_text, footer=footer_text)

This will add the specified header and footer text to the output file.

Saving Multidimensional Arrays

numpy.savetxt() is not limited to one-dimensional arrays. It can also handle multidimensional arrays efficiently. When saving multidimensional arrays, the saved file will represent the array in row-major order.

Also Read: Numpy Reshape: Understanding the Power of Reshaping Arrays

Let’s consider an example:

two_d_array = np.array([[1, 2, 3], [4, 5, 6]])
numpy.savetxt('output.txt', two_d_array)

The resulting file will contain the following data:

1.000000000000000000e+00 2.000000000000000000e+00 3.000000000000000000e+00
4.000000000000000000e+00 5.000000000000000000e+00 6.000000000000000000e+00

As you can see, the rows of the array are saved in the same order as they appear in the original array.

Also Read: Numpy Where: An Essential Guide for Efficient Array Operations

FAQs about numpy.savetxt()

Q1: Can I save multiple arrays to the same file using numpy.savetxt()?

Yes, you can save multiple arrays to the same file by using numpy.savetxt() multiple times with the same filename. However, you should be careful about the delimiter and formatting to ensure the data is saved and loaded correctly.

Q2: Is it possible to load the saved data back into a NumPy array?

Absolutely! NumPy provides the numpy.loadtxt() function, which allows you to load data from a text file into a NumPy array. You can specify the delimiter and data type to ensure proper loading of the data.

Q3: Can numpy.savetxt() handle complex numbers?

Yes, numpy.savetxt() can handle complex numbers. By default, complex numbers are saved as two columns: one for the real part and one for the imaginary part. You can customize the format to suit your requirements.

Q4: Does numpy.savetxt() overwrite an existing file?

By default, numpy.savetxt() overwrites an existing file with the same name without any warning. If you want to append the data to an existing file, you can open the file in append mode and use the numpy.savetxt() function.

Q5: Can I save a NumPy array with a specific precision using numpy.savetxt()?

Yes, you can specify the precision of the saved array by customizing the fmt parameter. For example, if you want to save the array with three decimal places, you can use fmt='%.3f'.

Q6: What is the difference between numpy.savetxt() and

The main difference between numpy.savetxt() and is the file format. numpy.savetxt() saves the array in a human-readable text format, while saves the array in NumPy’s binary format. The function is more efficient for large arrays and supports saving multiple arrays in a single file.

Also Read: Data Science Jobs: Unlocking Opportunities in the Digital Age


In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the numpy.savetxt() function and its various features. We learned how to save NumPy arrays to text files, customize the format and delimiter, add headers and footers, and handle multidimensional arrays.

Also Read: Numpy Concatenate: Exploring Array Concatenation in Python

We also addressed some frequently asked questions about numpy.savetxt().

By leveraging the power of numpy.savetxt(), you can easily save and share your array data in a readable format, making it accessible to others for analysis or further processing.

Understanding this function opens up new possibilities in data manipulation and analysis using NumPy.

Also Read: Numpy Random: Generating Random Numbers in Python

So go ahead, harness the capabilities of numpy.savetxt() in your Python projects, and make your array data more portable and usable.