Reading a file using a relative path in a Python project

Relative paths are relative to current working directory.
If you do not want your path to be relative, it must be absolute.

But there is an often used trick to build an absolute path from current script: use its __file__ special attribute:

from pathlib import Path

path = Path(__file__).parent / "../data/test.csv"
with as f:
    test = list(csv.reader(f))

This requires python 3.4+ (for the pathlib module).

If you still need to support older versions, you can get the same result with:

import csv
import os.path

my_path = os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(__file__))
path = os.path.join(my_path, "../data/test.csv")
with open(path) as f:
    test = list(csv.reader(f))

[2020 edit: python3.4+ should now be the norm, so I moved the pathlib version inspired by jpyams’ comment first]

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