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Often times it is useful to be able to read or write various common data file formats from within Python.
- 2010-Oct-23: The PyMOTW looks at the re regular expressions module.  
- 2010-May-31: Displaysing EXIF information using wxPython. 
- 2009-Jul-17: How to use the Python zipfile module. Another article showing how to use zipfile.   
- 2008-Nov-20: xlutils is a package for working with Excel files.  
- 2008-Sep-17: This article about Creating Excel spread sheets from Python programs discusses the simple approach of just writing a CSV formatted ASCII file as well as a more sophisticated approach using the pyExcelerator module to create a full XLS file. One could also use the win32com package to create XLS files by Office Automation techniques, but this requires that Excel is installed on the machine you run the Python script on. There is some more information on using pyExcelerator here. The xlwt module (a fork of the pyExcelerator project) can be user to create XLS spreadsheet files without requiring Excel being present.  
- 2008-Sep-04: pexif is a
Python library for parsing and editing EXIF data in JPEG files. This is also available here.
- 2008-Jul-31: PyFFI (also here and on SourceForge)
is a library for reading, writing and processing binary files - the
file format is described with XML. The API docs start with a straight forward example that illustrates the power of this module. There is also a file editor called QSkope to simplify editing file formats that are supported by PyFFI.
- 2008-Feb-28: OOoPy is a module for modifying OpenOffice documents from with Python. 
- 2007-Nov-28: A simple illustration of how to use Python's zipfile module to unpack a zip file. Note the sizes of files this can extract is limited by available memory. 
- 2007-Nov-02: PyMedia, a Python module
for the manipulation of wav, mp3, ogg, avi, divx, dvd, cdda... files. Here is a guide on how to install pymedia on Ubuntu's Gutsy Gibbon release.
- 2007-Sep-26: PalmDB, a pure Python library to read/write/modify Palm PDB and PRC format files. 
- 2007-Sep-04: The csv module, introduced in Python 2.3, is useful for working with various types of data table text files, such as the comma separated variable (csv) format.  
The Big Picture
is a Python library for reading and writing EXIF and IPTC metadata in
JPEG and TIFF files
a Python module for reading and writing DBF files (as used by bBase,
cleans up and reformats Python script files.
os.walk() to traverse a directory tree to perform operations on
particular types of files.
(PickFile home page)
a module for managing files that contain pickled object
on reading EXIF data from Python. There is also some support for this
in the Python Imaging Library (PIL).
jpeg.py, a module to
parse, read and write JPEG EXIF and COM metadata
a module for unpacking RAR archives
allows you to extract and modify the IPTC metadata area in images
Stani's DXF Library, is a
Python library that you can use to computer generate DXF format CAD files.
a module to extract data from files of any type
Extracting data from Garmin GPS devices using Python, via the PyGarmin toolkit.
a module for reading vCard and vCalendar files
Manipulation of ID3 tags in MP3 files from within Python, the ID3.py module. eyeD3 is another module. pytagger is another which
might be the only one that is not under the GPL license. id3reader
is no longer maintained. mutagen
is another, this is a pure Python library.
- 2007-Aug-24: How to turn
a .pyc file into a code object for exec()
pyExcelerator: is a module for generating
Excel97 files directly from Python