If you are a Python developer, you may have encountered the error message “NameError: name ‘itertools’ is not defined” while working with the itertools library in Python. In this tutorial, we will explore the possible causes of this error and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix it.

We will cover common causes of the error and provide solutions to help you get your code up and running quickly. So, let’s get started!

## Why does the `NameError: name 'itertools' is not defined`

error occur?

This error occurs when you try to use the itertools library in your Python code, but Python cannot find this module in its namespace. The following are some of the scenarios in which this error usually occurs.

- You have not imported the itertools module.
- You have imported the itertools module using a different name.

## How to fix the `NameError: name 'itertools' is not defined`

?

The `itertools`

module is a built-in Python module that provides a collection of tools for working with iterators. It includes functions that operate on iterators to produce complex iterators, as well as functions that operate on sequences, such as lists and tuples. Some of the commonly used functions in the `itertools`

module include:

`count`

: Generates an infinite sequence of numbers starting from a given number.`cycle`

: Repeats an iterator infinitely or a given number of times.`repeat`

: Repeats an object infinitely or a given number of times.`chain`

: Combines multiple iterators into a single iterator.`zip_longest`

: Zips multiple iterators together, filling in missing values with a specified fill value.`islice`

: Slices an iterator by specifying start, stop, and step values.`combinations`

and`permutations`

: Generate all possible combinations and permutations of a given iterable.

These functions can be used to simplify complex iteration tasks and improve the performance of your code.

Since this library is part of the Python Standard Library, you don’t need to install it separately. You can simply import it and start using it.

Let’s now look at the above scenarios in detail.

### The `itertools`

module is not imported

It can happen that you are trying to use the `itertools`

module without even importing it. This is because Python does not recognize the itertools library and its functions until it is imported into the code.

For example, let’s try to use the `itertools`

module without importing it and see what we get.

# note that itertools is not imported # create permutations of values in a list my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] permutations = list(itertools.permutations(my_list)) print(permutations)

Output:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- NameError Traceback (most recent call last) Cell In[1], line 5 1 # note that itertools is not imported 2 3 # create permutations of values in a list 4 my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] ----> 5 permutations = list(itertools.permutations(my_list)) 7 print(permutations) NameError: name 'itertools' is not defined

We get a `NameError`

stating that the name `itertools`

is not defined. To use the `itertools`

library, you need to import it first.

import itertools # create permutations of values in a list my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] permutations = list(itertools.permutations(my_list)) print(permutations)

Output:

[('a', 'b', 'c'), ('a', 'c', 'b'), ('b', 'a', 'c'), ('b', 'c', 'a'), ('c', 'a', 'b'), ('c', 'b', 'a')]

Here, we are importing the `itertools`

module first and then using it to calculate the different permutations possible with values present in a list. You can see that we did not get any errors here.

You can also get a `NameError`

if you are importing only specific parts of the library and then trying to access the entire `itertools`

library. For example –

from itertools import permutations # create permutations of values in a list my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] permutations = list(itertools.permutations(my_list)) print(permutations)

Output:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- NameError Traceback (most recent call last) Cell In[1], line 5 3 # create permutations of values in a list 4 my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] ----> 5 permutations = list(itertools.permutations(my_list)) 7 print(permutations) NameError: name 'itertools' is not defined

We get a `NameError`

here because we are importing only the `permutations()`

function from the `itertools`

library but we are trying to access the entire library. To resolve the above error, either only use the specific method imported or import the `itertools`

library altogether.

### The `itertools`

module is imported using a different name

If you import the random module using a different name, for example `import itertools as itools`

, and then try to use the name “itertools” to use it, you will get a `NameError`

because the name “itertools” is not defined in your current namespace.

Let’s look at an example.

import itertools as itools # create permutations of values in a list my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] permutations = list(itertools.permutations(my_list)) print(permutations)

Output:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- NameError Traceback (most recent call last) Cell In[1], line 5 3 # create permutations of values in a list 4 my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] ----> 5 permutations = list(itertools.permutations(my_list)) 7 print(permutations) NameError: name 'itertools' is not defined

We get a `NameError: name 'itertools' is not defined`

. This is because we have imported the `itertools`

module with the name `itools`

but we’re trying to use it using the name `itertools`

.

To fix this error, you can either access itertools using the name that you have used in the import statement or import itertools without an alias. Note that generally, the `itertools`

module is imported as `import itertools`

.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, encountering a `NameError: name 'itertools' is not defined`

error can be frustrating, but it is a common issue that can be easily fixed. By ensuring that the `itertools`

module is imported correctly and that the correct syntax is used when calling its functions, you can avoid this error and successfully execute your code.

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