How can I strip comment tags from HTML using BeautifulSoup?

I have been playing with BeautifulSoup, which is great. My end goal is to try and just get the text from a page. I am just trying to get the text from the body, with a special case to get the title and/or alt attributes from <a> or <img> tags.


soup = BeautifulSoup(page)
comments = soup.findAll(text=lambda text:isinstance(text, Comment))
[comment.extract() for comment in comments]
page = ''.join(soup.findAll(text=True))
page = ' '.join(page.split())
print page

1) What do you suggest the best way for my special case to NOT exclude those attributes from the two tags I listed above? If it is too complex to do this, it isn’t as important as doing #2.

2) I would like to strip<!-- --> tags and everything in between them. How would I go about that?

QUESTION EDIT @jathanism: Here are some comment tags that I have tried to strip, but remain, even when I use your example

<!-- Begin function popUp(URL) { day = new Date(); id = day.getTime(); eval("page" + id + " =, '" + id + "', 'toolbar=0,scrollbars=0,location=0,statusbar=0,menubar=0,resizable=0,width=300,height=330,left = 774,top = 518');"); } // End -->
<!-- var MenuBar1 = new Spry.Widget.MenuBar("MenuBar1", {imgDown:"SpryAssets/SpryMenuBarDownHover.gif", imgRight:"SpryAssets/SpryMenuBarRightHover.gif"}); //--> <!-- var MenuBar1 = new Spry.Widget.MenuBar("MenuBar1", {imgDown:"SpryAssets/SpryMenuBarDownHover.gif", imgRight:"SpryAssets/SpryMenuBarRightHover.gif"}); //--> <!-- var whichlink=0 var whichimage=0 var blenddelay=(ie)? document.images.slide.filters[0].duration*1000 : 0 function slideit(){ if (!document.images) return if (ie) document.images.slide.filters[0].apply() document.images.slide.src=imageholder[whichimage].src if (ie) document.images.slide.filters[0].play() whichlink=whichimage whichimage=(whichimage<slideimages.length-1)? whichimage+1 : 0 setTimeout("slideit()",slidespeed+blenddelay) } slideit() //-->

Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

Straight from the documentation for BeautifulSoup, you can easily strip comments (or anything) using extract():

from BeautifulSoup import BeautifulSoup, Comment
soup = BeautifulSoup("""1<!--The loneliest number-->
                        <a>2<!--Can be as bad as one--><b>3""")
comments = soup.findAll(text=lambda text:isinstance(text, Comment))
[comment.extract() for comment in comments]
print soup
# 1
# <a>2<b>3</b></a>

Solution 2

I am still trying to figure out why it
doesn’t find and strip tags like this:
<!-- //-->. Those backslashes cause
certain tags to be overlooked.

This may be a problem with the underlying SGML parser: see You can override it by using a markupMassage regex — straight from the docs:

import re, copy

myMassage = [(re.compile('<!-([^-])'), lambda match: '<!--' +]
myNewMassage = copy.copy(BeautifulSoup.MARKUP_MASSAGE)

BeautifulSoup(badString, markupMassage=myNewMassage)
# Foo<!--This comment is malformed.-->Bar<br />Baz

Solution 3

If you are looking for solution in BeautifulSoup version 3 BS3 Docs – Comment

soup = BeautifulSoup("""Hello! <!--I've got to be nice to get what I want.-->""")
comment = soup.find(text=re.compile("if"))
for element in soup(text=lambda text: isinstance(text, Comment)):
print soup.prettify()

Solution 4

if mutation isn’t your bag, you can

[t for t in soup.find_all(text=True) if not isinstance(t, Comment)]

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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