Monthly Archives: August 2016

Producing HTML links from a CSV Using Python

Recently in work I had to generate a long list of html links from two columns that I had extracted from a MySQL database to a .csv file. The example below shows what steps are needed to generate html urls from a csv file that has the text of the link in one column and the url in the other. The columns that I extracted from the database into a .csv file looked like the following:


Master of Arts in Learning
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts
Postgraduate Diploma in Computing


In the file, there were roughly 400 rows. I needed to add the name of the courses with their link to a website as a list. The list created would allow students to browse for their course and follow the correct link to their course.


I had access to the html so I needed to add roughly 400 html links. To do this manually would take hours. So I decided I would need a script to produce the html. The script I came up with looks like the below:


import csv, sys
sys.stdout = open(‘links.txt’ , ‘w’)
for row in csv.reader(open(‘courses.csv’),delimiter=”,”):
print (”'<a href =\””’+ row[1] + ”'”>”’ + row[0] + ‘ </a> </br>’)


  1. Line one in the script; Import csv, sys. imports modules that I needed. The csv module facilitates the opening of .csv files while the sys module allows the redirection of output to a file.
  2. The second line; sys.stdout = open(‘links.txt’ , ‘w’) Creates and opens a file in write mode called links.txt.
  3. Line three, is a for loop, that opens the courses.csv file and goes through it line by line.
  4. As the loop goes through the file line by line, it prints  <a href =” and then the contents of the second column (The URL). Then it prints the closing bracket for the tag. Next we print what is in column 1, the close </a> tag and finally a </br> tag which will insure that each link exists on a new line on our webpage.


When we run our script the output produced to the links.txt looks like:


<a href =”″>  Master of Arts in Learning</a></br>
<a href =”″> Post Graduate Diploma in Arts</a></br>
<a href =”″> Post Graduate Diploma in Computing</a></br>


This code can then be copied to our website which will then display a list of links that users can select.