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Pandas – Remove Spaces From Column Names

In this tutorial, we will look at how to remove spaces from the column names of a pandas dataframe with the help of some examples.

How to remove spaces from pandas column names?

remove spaces from pandas column names

You can apply the string replace() function to remove spaces from column names of a pandas dataframe. The idea is the replace the space character, ' ' with an empty string, ''.

You can use the .str accessor to apply string functions to all the column names in a pandas dataframe. Use the following syntax to remove spaces from column names –

# remove spaces from column names
df.columns = df.columns.str.replace(" ", "")

Here, we are essentially removing the spaces from column names by replacing them with an empty string. You can similarly replace spaces with any other character, for example, an underscore, '_'.

Examples

Let’s now look at some examples of using the above syntax.

First, we will create a pandas dataframe that we will be using throughout this tutorial.

import pandas as pd

# employee data
data = {
    "First Name": ["Jim", "Dwight", "Angela", "Tobi"],
    "Last Name": ["Halpert", "Schrute", "Martin", "Flenderson"],
    "Age": [26, 28, 27, 32]
}

# create pandas dataframe
df = pd.DataFrame(data)

# display the dataframe
df

Output:

employee dataframe with spaces in some column names

Here, we created a dataframe with information about some employees in an office. The dataframe has the columns – “First Name”, “Last Name”, and “Age”. You can see that two of the column names have spaces in them.

Example 1 – Remove spaces from all the column names

Let’s remove the spaces from all the column names by replacing them with an empty string character.

# remove spaces from column names
df.columns = df.columns.str.replace(" ", "")
# display the dataframe
df

Output:

employee dataframe with spaces from column names removed

You can see that the column names now do not have any spaces in them.

Example 2 – Replace spaces in column names with underscore

Instead of replacing spaces with an empty string, we can replace them with a specific string, for example, an underscore '_' character.

# reset column names to original names
df.columns = ["First Name", "Last Name", "Age"]
# replace spaces with underscores in column names
df.columns = df.columns.str.replace(" ", "_")
# display the dataframe
df

Output:

employee dataframe with spaces in column names replaced by underscores

The column names now have underscores in place of spaces.

Summary

In this tutorial, we looked at how to remove spaces from the column names of a dataframe. The following are the key takeaways –

  • Use the string replace() function (applied using the .str accessor on df.columns) to remove spaces from column names by replacing them with an empty string.
  • You can also replace spaces with custom strings, for example, an underscore character, '_' using the replace() function.

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Author

  • Piyush

    Piyush is a data scientist passionate about using data to understand things better and make informed decisions. In the past, he's worked as a Data Scientist for ZS and holds an engineering degree from IIT Roorkee. His hobbies include watching cricket, reading, and working on side projects.