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Solutions for the error "ImportError: cannot import name 'force_text' from 'django.utils.encoding'" - LearnShareIT

Solutions for the error “ImportError: cannot import name ‘force_text’ from ‘django.utils.encoding'”

ImportError: cannot import name ‘force_text’ from ‘django.utils.encoding’

When you try to run a Python script and get the error “ImportError: cannot import name ‘force_text’ from ‘django.utils.encoding’, it’s most likely because you’re using a module that isn’t supported by your current version of Django. In this article, we will show you how to resolve this error and avoid it in the future. Let’s get started!

What is ‘force_text’?

In short, force_text() is a function that converts values into text. This is important because it ensures you can properly display your strings on all devices. So, if you want to be sure that a value is a string, use force_text() to convert it to text.

When does the error “ImportError: cannot import name ‘force_text’ from ‘django.utils.encoding'” occur?

force_text() is one of the deprecated functions in Django version 4.0. This function was completely removed in Django version 4.0 and can no longer be used. As a result, using force_text() in Django version 4.0 or later will result in this error. As below:

import django.utils.encoding as encoding

# Try to use force_text() in Django 4
print(encoding.force_text(False))

Error:

ImportError: cannot import name 'force_text' from 'django.utils.encoding'

How to fix this problem?

Below are a few solutions to fix this problem that we’d like to share with you.

Using force_str() function

Django’s force_str() function ensures that a given string is encoded as a UTF-8 string. In Python 4.0, this function is the replacement for force_text().

Syntax:

force_str(value)

Description:

Convert the value to a text and ensure it is encoded in UTF-8.

To fix the error, we will use force_str() instead of using force_text(). Here is an example of using force_str():

import django.utils.encoding as encoding

# Use force_str() in Django 4 instead of force_text()
data = [3, None, True, 'LearnShareIT', (1, False)]

for v in data:
    print(encoding.force_str(v), type(encoding.force_str(v)))

Output:

3 <class 'str'>
None <class 'str'>
True <class 'str'>
LearnShareIT <class 'str'>
(1, False) <class 'str'>

As you can see, regardless of data type, all values are forced to convert to string. That is exactly what the force_text() function does, right?

Using Django 3.0

If you still want to use force_text() instead of force_str(), downgrade to Django version 3.0. However, we don’t recommend doing this because using Django version 3.0 means you won’t be able to use the useful features in Django version 4.0.

Before you start, use the following line of code to determine your current Django version:

import django

# Check the current version
print(django.VERSION)

Output:

(4, 1, 3, 'final', 0)

The output above indicates that you’re using Django version 4.1.3.

Now, to downgrade the Django version, run the following command in the terminal:

pip install django~=3.0

The syntax ~=3.0 indicates that the version is 3.0 or later but not 4.0.

You can now use the force_text() function without encountering any errors.

import django.utils.encoding as encoding
import django

# Check the current Django version
print('Version:', django.VERSION)

# Use force_text() in Django 3.2.16
data = [3, None, True, 'LearnShareIT', (1, False)]

for v in data:
    print(encoding.force_text(v), type(encoding.force_text(v)))

Output:

Version: (3, 2, 16, 'final', 0)
3 <class 'str'>
None <class 'str'>
True <class 'str'>
LearnShareIT <class 'str'>
(1, False) <class 'str'>

Summary

We have just shown you two ways to fix the ImportError: cannot import name ‘force_text’ from ‘django.utils.encoding’. However, the first way is still recommended. If you run into this error again, ensure the function you’re using isn’t deprecated in the current Django version by reading the docs on the Django homepage.

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