BeautifulSoup Find_All: Ultimate Guide to Using Findall to Parse Data

Looking for how to effectively and correctly use the BeautifulSoup find_all method? Then come in now and discover the different methods and ways to use it for parsing out the data you need.

BeautifulSoup Find All

BeautifulSoup is quite popular among web scraper developers in Python. This is used together with Python requests or other modules for scraping data from web pages. Contrary to what you might think, BeautifulSoup is not a parser on its own. It wraps your parser of choice (html.parser is its default). To help extract data from web pages. The advantage BeautifulSoup has is its ease of use, as you are able to traverse HTML documents to extract the needed data using jQuery-like APIs.

One of the popular methods provided by BeautifulSoup is the find_all() method. It is one of the methods for accessing an element and its content on a page. Others include find and select methods.

What is Find_all in BeautifulSoup?

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The find_all() method in BeautifulSoup is one of the powerful extraction methods you can use to find all elements in an HTML or XML document that match your queries which are defined as parameters in the find_all method. The find takes your query, which can either be the ID, class name, or attributes of an element or even a Regular Expression (REGEX) statement and returns an array containing the elements that match your queries.

All that is returned is the elements in an array. You have to loop through the array to get to the specific elements and extract the specific data you are interested in. While you could use the ID as a parameter for the find_all method(), I recommended using the find() method instead if all you need is to find just an element — find_all is for finding multiple elements and is not suitable for finding by ID since IDs are meant to be just one and unique.

How to Use the Find_all Method in Beautifulsoup

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In this section of the guide, I will show you how to use the find_all method to find the elements you want on a page. First, for you to specifically land on this page, I assume you already have the BeautifulSoup library installed and also know how to load content into it to create a soup. So, I will skip all of that part. What you will learn here includes using the find_all method to find elements by tag, class name, ID, by text string, by multiple criteria, and by Regular Expression statements.

  • Finding Elements by Tag Name

The simplest way to use the find_all() is by using it to find an element on a page using the element tag name. Let's say you want to find all of the links on a page, all you need to do is provide the anchor element as an argument as written below.

# Find all URLs on a page

URL_list = soup.find_all(“a”)

for URL in URL_list:


One thing you will come to like about the find_all method is that you can provide a limit to the number of elements you want it to collect. You can use the limit argument to get it to return only a specific number of items, as shown below.

soup.find(‘a’, limit=10)

  • Finding Elements by Class Name or ID

If elements have a class name or ID assigned to them, you can quickly use the find_all method to collect all of them. However, the first argument you enter should be the tag name of the elements. Below is how to find elements by class name and IDs in a document using BeautifulSoup’s find_all method.

# Find all tr elements with the class name as country

soup.find_all(‘tr’, class_=‘country’)

#find p element with ID actual_price

soup.find_all(‘p’, id=‘actual_price’)

Note: Notice class what is written with a trailing _ (class_). This is because class is a reverse keyword in Python. Also, remember I said even though you could use the find_all method to find elements by IDs, you are better off using the find() method as it is more suitable.

  • Finding Elements by Attributes

One other way you can make use of the find_all method is to find elements that have a specific attribute that you know.  Let's say the anchor elements (a) have the visibility element set to hidden. Below is how to find them all. This is especially useful for avoiding honeypot traps.

soup.find_all(‘a’, attrs={‘visibility’: ‘hidden’})

  • Finding Elements by Text and Regular Expression

Sometimes, all you want is for the method to return a list of strings that matches a particular text string. If you know the text, you could use it outrightly or use a REGEX statement to return it. Below is how to get them done.

import re

#find exact string of texts

soup.find_all(string=“call me”)

#find strings that contain ‘call me”

soup.find_all(string=re.compile(‘call me’))

FAQs About BeautifulSoup Find_All

Q. What is the Difference Between Find and Find_all in BeautifulSoup Python?

Both methods are used for finding elements on a page. However, the find() method is used for returning just the first element it encounters that matches the query, and other elements are ignored. On the other hand, the find_all() method is used to find all of the elements that match your criteria. You should use find element only when you expect one element and find_all for multiple items.

Q. What is the Difference Between Select and Find_all in BeautifulSoup?

The select method in BeautifulSoup can also be used to find elements in an HTML or XML document and also returns a list. However, it accepts only CSS selectors as criteria, making it easier for those with a web background. Find_all, on the other hand, is more advanced and does accept filters and many more arguments.


From the above, you can see how to use the find_all() method in BeautifulSoup to find all of the elements that match your query in a document. The method is quite easy to use if you understand it well. But as a way of concluding this guide, I need to tell you to watch out for how soon a page content loads as only page content downloaded can help you see the beauty of the find_all method in BeautifulSoup.

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