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Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

By Al Sweigart. Over 285,000 copies sold. Free to read under a CC license.

Cover of Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

"The best part of programming is the triumph of seeing the machine do something useful. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python frames all of programming as these small triumphs; it makes the boring fun."
- Hilary Mason, Data Scientist and Founder of Fast Forward Labs

"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."
- Wil Wheaton, WilWheaton.net

Practical Programming for Total Beginners

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 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. Once you've mastered the basics of programming, you'll create Python programs that effortlessly perform useful and impressive 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 reminder emails and text notifications
  • Fill out online forms

Step-by-step instructions walk you through each program, and 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.

New Book: "The Big Book of Small Python Projects"

Cover image of The Big Book of Small Python Projects
You've read a beginner resource like Automate the Boring Stuff with Python or Python Crash Course, but still feel stuck when you sit down to write your own programs? The Big Book of Small Python Projects has 81 games, puzzles, art, simulations, and other programs designed to be simple enough for beginners to read through their code and get inspiration.

Online Video Course on Udemy

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This video course follows much (though not all) of the content of the book. Use this link to apply a 60% discount code. Or preview the first 15 course videos for free on YouTube.

Table of Contents

(Link to the older 1st edition.)

Additional Content

About the Author

Al Sweigart is a software developer and teaches programming to kids and adults. He has written several books for beginners and makes them freely available at InventWithPython.com. His personal website is AlSweigart.com. You can follow @AlSweigart on Twitter and Twitch.