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Counter package defines the "counter.Counter" class similar to bags or multisets in other languages.

Project description


Counter package defines the counter.Counter class similar to bags or multisets in other languages. This package is created from Raymond Hettinger recipe:


To install Foundations from the Python Package Index you can issue this command in a shell:

pip install Counter

or this alternative command:

easy_install Counter

Alternatively, if you want to directly install from Github source repository:

git clone git://
python install


For precise usage examples, please refer to the original recipe: and Python documentation:

  • Tally occurrences of words in a list:

    >>> cnt = Counter()
    >>> for word in ['red', 'blue', 'red', 'green', 'blue', 'blue']:
    ...     cnt[word] += 1
    >>> cnt
    Counter({'blue': 3, 'red': 2, 'green': 1})
  • Find the ten most common words in Hamlet:

    >>> import re
    >>> words = re.findall('\w+', open('hamlet.txt').read().lower())
    >>> Counter(hamlet_words).most_common(10)
    [('the', 1143), ('and', 966), ('to', 762), ('of', 669), ('i', 631),
     ('you', 554),  ('a', 546), ('my', 514), ('hamlet', 471), ('in', 451)]
  • Multiset examples:

    >>> c = Counter(a=3, b=1)
    >>> d = Counter(a=1, b=2)
    >>> c + d                           # add two counters together:  c[x] + d[x]
    Counter({'a': 4, 'b': 3})
    >>> c - d                           # subtract (keeping only positive counts)
    Counter({'a': 2})
    >>> c & d                           # intersection:  min(c[x], d[x])
    Counter({'a': 1, 'b': 1})
    >>> c | d                           # union:  max(c[x], d[x])
    Counter({'a': 3, 'b': 2})


Counter by Raymond Hettinger – 2009
Copyright© 2009 - Raymond Hettinger
This software is released under terms of MIT license:

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