In the previous exercise, we explored how to create a context manager using the contextlib module. However, we did not go over how to deal with errors just as we did with the class-based approach. Like any other pattern, you may run into errors when invoking your context manager using the @contextmanager decorator.

For the class-based context manager, the __exit__ method dealt with exceptions. For the decorator method, errors are most commonly dealt with within an except block. We will build on top of our try/finally block by incorporating an except. There are two main ways to deal with errors:

  • To throw an error and stop the execution of our entire program, we can:

    • Simply do nothing by excluding an except block
  • To catch errors and continue the execution of our program, we can:

    • Handle the exception via an except block.

Let’s look at an example of what a decorator based context manager that catches errors can look like:

from contextlib import contextmanager @contextmanager def open_file_contextlib(file, mode): open_file = open(file, mode) try: yield open_file # Exception Handling except Exception as exception: print('We hit an error: ' + str(exception)) finally: open_file.close() with open_file_contextlib('file.txt', 'w') as opened_file: opened_file.sign('We just made a context manager using contexlib')


  • The inclusion of the except clause
  • The except attempts to catch a generic Exception and, if it is hit, saves it to a variable exception.
    • Note: we can use any exception object, not just a generic one, if we know the specific exception we are trying to catch.
  • The handler then prints out the error

When this context manager is called in the with statement above, it will hit the exception block because .sign() is not a file method. The output would look like this:

We hit an error: '_io.TextIOWrapper' object has no attribute 'sign'

This tells us what our error is, so we know what to fix. Now, let’s practice upgrading our poem_files context manager to catch exceptions.



Let’s add an except clause to the poem_files context manager so that it catches an AttributeError exception, saves it as a variable called e.

Print e inside of the except block.


Let’s see our exception handling in action! Uncomment the with statement block and run code.

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