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Finding elements that contain a specific text in Beautiful Soup

Programming
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Python
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Beautiful Soup
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Finding elements Cookbook
schedule Mar 10, 2022
Last updated
local_offer PythonBeautiful Soup
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To find elements that contain a specific text in Beautiful Soup, we can use find_all(~) method together with a lambda function.

Consider the following HTML document:

my_html = """
   <p>Alex Bob Cathy</p>
   <p>Chris</p>
"""
soup = BeautifulSoup(my_html)

To find all tags that contain the substring "Bob":

matched_tags = soup.find_all(lambda tag: len(tag.find_all()) == 0 and "Bob" in tag.text)

for matched_tag in matched_tags:
   print("Matched:", matched_tag)
Matched: <p>Alex Bob Cathy</p>

Explanation

Let's break down what we're doing here. Here's the first line:

matched_tags = soup.find_all(lambda tag: len(tag.find_all()) == 0 and "Bob" in tag.text)

We're passing in an anonymous function as the sole argument. Explicitly, this is equivalent to the following:

# The function name here is irrelevant
def foo(tag):
   return len(tag.find_all()) == 0 and "Bob" in tag.text

matched_tags = soup.find_all(foo)

Our foo function is called for every tag in the HTML document, and only those that return a True is included in the result.

Here's the first criteria we set:

len(tag.find_all()) == 0

This ensure that the tag does not contain any child elements. Without this criteria, the top-level tag would also be returned as it obviously includes the text "Bob".

robocat
Published by Isshin Inada
Edited by 0 others
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