Rewriting a Python `.ljust` Statement

What will you learn?

In this post, we will delve into rewriting a Python .ljust statement using more modern and efficient techniques, specifically focusing on f-string formatting.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Encountering methods like .ljust in older codebases or tutorials is not uncommon. While these methods remain functional in current Python versions, there exist newer features that offer improved efficiency and readability. By updating such code snippets, we can enhance their clarity and alignment with contemporary coding practices.


# Updated way of left justifying a string
text = "Hello"
new_text = text.ljust(10)
print(new_text)  # Output: 'Hello     '

# Copyright PHD

Note: The above example demonstrates the traditional use of .ljust, which pads the original string with spaces on the right to reach a specified length. Let’s explore an alternative approach using f-string formatting for achieving the same outcome.

Code using f-strings (Python 3.6 and above):

# Using f-string formatting for left justification
text = "Hello"
new_text = f"{text:<10}"
print(new_text)  # Output: 'Hello     '
# Find more Python solutions at [](

# Copyright PHD


In Python, string manipulation has evolved over time, offering more concise and expressive methods. F-strings, introduced in Python 3.6, provide a succinct way to format strings by embedding expressions within curly braces directly in the string literal itself. This approach enhances readability and maintainability compared to older techniques like .ljust.

Using f-strings for tasks such as left justifying strings simplifies the code while adhering to modern coding standards. The expression <10 within the f-string signifies left justification with padding up to a width of 10 characters.

  1. How does str.ljust(width) work?

  2. The str.ljust(width) method pads the original string with spaces on the right until it reaches the specified width.

  3. Is f-string formatting faster than older methods like str.format()?

  4. Yes, f-strings are generally faster due to their optimized implementation starting from Python 3.6.

  5. Can I use variables inside an f-string expression?

  6. Absolutely! F-strings allow dynamic content insertion by embedding variables within curly braces.

  7. Does f-string support alignment options other than left justification?

  8. Yes, besides < for left justification, you can utilize ^ for center alignment and > for right alignment within an f-string expression.

  9. Are there any restrictions on what I can include within an f-string?

  10. While most expressions are valid, complex logic might impact readability when included in an f-string.


Updating outdated code snippets not only ensures relevance but also improves maintainability over time. By embracing modern approaches like f-strings for efficient string manipulation, developers can enhance workflow efficiency while aligning with contemporary programming best practices.

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