Programming Essentials Python - Basic Programming Constructs - Getting Help

This article provides a detailed guide on how to use the help() function in Python to get assistance on classes, functions, and objects. The article includes explanations, code examples, hands-on tasks, and a video tutorial to enhance the learning experience.

Explanation for the video

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Key Concepts Explanation

Key Concept 1

The help() function in Python can be used to access documentation and information on classes, functions, and objects within the Python environment. It provides a way to explore and understand the functionalities of various components.

# Example of using help() function

Key Concept 2

By passing specific objects or functions to the help() function interactively, users can delve into the details of their implementations and usage. This feature enables users to gain insights into how to effectively utilize different Python components.

# Example of getting help on a function

# Example of getting help on an object
i = 0

Hands-On Tasks

Explore the functionality of the help() function by performing the following tasks:

  1. Launch the help utility in Python.
  2. Retrieve documentation for the ‘str’ class.
  3. Access information on the ‘str.lstrip’ function.
  4. Exit from the help utility.
  5. Get help on the ‘str’ class and the ‘str.lstrip’ function directly.
  6. Create an integer object ‘i=0’ and use the help() function to obtain assistance.


In conclusion, the help() function in Python serves as a valuable tool for accessing detailed information and documentation on various components within the Python environment. By actively engaging with the help utility, users can enhance their understanding of Python classes, functions, and objects. We encourage readers to practice the tasks mentioned in the article and explore further avenues for learning within the Python community.

Getting Help

We have already seen how to get help earlier. Let’s deep dive to understand more about getting help using Python.

  • We can get help either in Python CLI or Jupyter Notebook.
  • Help can be launched by calling help()
  • It will launch CLI and we can enter a class name or function name.
  • We can hit ctrl+c to come out of help
  • We can also get help on a class or function by passing them to help function interactively.
  • We will be able to get help by passing objects as well. In cases like str it will try to get the help on the value of variable.


Here are some of the tasks we can perform to understand help better. You can use Python CLI. If you want to perform these tasks using Python CLI, then you have to lauch Python from terminal and perform these tasks.

  • Launch help
  • Get help for str
  • Get help for str.lstrip function
  • Exit from help
  • Get help on str and str.lstrip directly
  • Create an integer object i=0 and get help by passing the object.

Watch the video tutorial here