Understanding Enums of String Type in Python

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Enumerations (Enums) in Python, specifically focusing on how to define and manipulate Enums with string values. By the end of this tutorial, you will have a solid understanding of how Enums can enhance code readability and maintainability when dealing with string constants.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

Enumerations (Enums) play a crucial role in Python programming by allowing us to create named constants. When these constants are represented by strings, it significantly improves the clarity and robustness of our codebase. In this tutorial, we will explore the process of creating an Enum class using Python’s enum module. This module has been included in the standard library since Python 3.4. We will demonstrate how Enums with string values can provide meaningful identifiers for our data.

Creating Enums with string types involves subclassing Enum from the enum module and defining class attributes where each attribute corresponds to a constant string value. This approach not only enhances code descriptiveness but also reduces errors resulting from typos or misspelled strings.


from enum import Enum

class Color(Enum):
    RED = 'red'
    GREEN = 'green'
    BLUE = 'blue'


# Copyright PHD


In the provided code snippet: – We imported Enum from the enum module. – Defined an Enum class named Color, where each member (RED, GREEN, BLUE) is associated with a specific string value. – When printing: – Accessing an enum member like Color.RED returns a canonical instance. – Using .name on an enum member (Color.GREEN.name) provides its name as a string (‘GREEN’). – Utilizing .value (Color.BLUE.value) gives us its corresponding value (‘blue’).

This example showcases both the creation of Enums holding strings and various ways they can be utilized within your programs.

    1. How do I iterate over all members of an Enum?

    2. for color in Color:
    3. # Copyright PHD
    4. Can I compare Enum members? Yes, you can directly compare them using equality operators:

    5. Color.RED == Color.BLUE # Returns False
    6. # Copyright PHD
    7. How do I access an Enum member by its value? Use the .value() method:

    8. color_value = "green"
      color_member = Color(color_value)
      print(color_member) # Output: Color.GREEN
    9. # Copyright PHD
    10. Can Enums contain methods? Absolutely! You can define methods within your Enum classes.

    11. class Planet(Enum):
          MARS = "Mars"
    12. def shout(self): return f"Hello from {self.value}!"
    13. print(Planet.MARS.shout())
    14. # Copyright PHD
    15. Are Enums iterable? Yes, as demonstrated earlier under iteration question.


Employing enumerations (enums) with strings as their underlying type offers significant advantages in terms of clarity and safety throughout your Python projects. By making your intentions explicit and safeguarding against common mistakes like typos or hardcoded strings, enums elevate the quality of your codebase. With practical examples showcased here today, you should now feel confident incorporating this pattern into your coding repertoire!

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