Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition

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If you’ve ever spent hours renaming files or updating hundreds of spreadsheet cells, you know how tedious tasks like these can be. But what if you could have your computer do them for you?

In this fully revised second edition of the best-selling classic Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, you’ll learn how to use Python to write programs that do in minutes what would take you hours to do by hand—no prior programming experience required. You'll learn the basics of Python and explore Python’s rich library of modules for performing specific tasks, like scraping data off websites, reading PDF and Word documents, and automating clicking and typing tasks.

The second edition of this international fan favourite includes a brand-new chapter on input validation, as well as tutorials on automating Gmail and Google Sheets, plus tips on automatically updating CSV files. You’ll learn how to create programs that effortlessly perform useful feats of automation to:

  • Search for text in a file or across multiple files
  • Create, update, move, and rename files and folders
  • Search the Web and download online content
  • Update and format data in Excel spreadsheets of any size
  • Split, merge, watermark, and encrypt PDFs
  • Send email responses and text notifications
  • Fill out online forms

Step-by-step instructions walk you through each program and updated practice projects at the end of each chapter challenge you to improve those programs and use your newfound skills to automate similar tasks.

Don't spend your time doing work a well-trained monkey could do. Even if you've never written a line of code, you can make your computer do the grunt work. Learn how in Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition.

Author Bio

Al Sweigart is a professional software developer who teaches programming to kids and adults. Sweigart has written several bestselling programming books for beginners, including Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python, Cracking Codes with Python, and Coding with Minecraft.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction

Part I: Python Programming Basics
Chapter 1: Python Basics
Chapter 2: Flow Control
Chapter 3: Functions
Chapter 4: Lists
Chapter 5: Dictionaries and Structuring Data
Chapter 6: Manipulating Strings


Part II: Automating Tasks

Chapter 7: Pattern Matching with Regular Expressions
Chapter 8: Input Validation
Chapter 9: Reading and Writing Files
Chapter 10: Organizing Files
Chapter 11: Debugging
Chapter 12: Web Scraping
Chapter 13: Working with Excel Spreadsheets
Chapter 14: Working with Google Sheets
Chapter 15: Working with PDF and Word Documents
Chapter 16: Working with CSV Files and JSON Data
Chapter 17: Keeping Time, Scheduling Tasks, and Launching Programs
Chapter 18: Sending Email and Text Messages
Chapter 19: Manipulating Images
Chapter 20: Controlling the Keyboard and Mouse with GUI Automation

Appendix A: Installing Third-Party Modules
Appendix B: Running Programs
Appendix C: Answers to the Practice Questions

Reviews

“If you are new to Python, get this book. ... If you lie in the category of experienced Pythonistas and haven’t read this book, you should also take out some time and read it.”

- The Startup, Medium

"With lessons on how to use Python to program Excel spreadsheets, crawl websites, parse PDFs and Word documents, send emails, and other productivity-boosting task automation, it's a stellar resource for office workers, academics, and administrators."

- Mashable

Wil Wheaton on reading Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: “I’m having a lot of fun breaking things and then putting them back together, and just remembering the joy of turning a set of instructions into something useful and fun like I did when I was a kid.”

“Do you need Automate the Boring Stuff with Python? Yes, if you want to enhance your workflow by using automation, this is an excellent place to start. Highly recommended.”

- Network World

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