Invalid character in identifier

I am working on the letter distribution problem from HP code wars 2012. I keep getting an error message that says invalid character in identifier. What does this mean and how can it be fixed. here is the page with the information. here is the code

import  string

def  text_analyzer(text):
'''The text to be parsed and
the number of occurrences of the letters given back
be. Punctuation marks, and I ignore the EOF
simple. The function is thus very limited.

    result =  {}

# Processing
    for  a in  string.ascii_lowercase:
    result [a] =  text.lower (). count (a)

    return  result

def  analysis_result (results):

# I look at the data
    keys =  analysis.keys ()
    values u200bu200b=  list(analysis.values u200bu200b())
    values.sort (reverse = True )

# I turn to the dictionary and
# Must avoid that letters will be overwritten
    w2 =  {}
    list =  []

    for  key in  keys:
        item =  w2.get (results [key], 0 )
        if  item = =  0 :
            w2 [analysis results [key]] =  [key]
        else :
            item.append (key)
            w2 [analysis results [key]] =  item

# We get the keys
    keys =  list (w2.keys ())
    keys.sort (reverse = True )

    for  key in  keys:
        list =  w2 [key]
        liste.sort ()
        for  a in  list:
            print (a.upper (), "*"  *  key)        

text =  """I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true
meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men
are created equal. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day
live in a nation where they will not be Judged by the color of their skin but
by the content of their character.
# # # """

analysis result =  text_analyzer (text)
analysis_results (results)

10 Answers

The error SyntaxError: invalid character in identifier means you have some character in the middle of a variable name, function, etc. that’s not a letter, number, or underscore. The actual error message will look something like this:

  File "", line 23
    values =  list(analysis.values ())
SyntaxError: invalid character in identifier

That tells you what the actual problem is, so you don’t have to guess “where do I have an invalid character”? Well, if you look at that line, you’ve got a bunch of non-printing garbage characters in there. Take them out, and you’ll get past this.

If you want to know what the actual garbage characters are, I copied the offending line from your code and pasted it into a string in a Python interpreter:

>>> s='    values ​​=  list(analysis.values ​​())'
>>> s
'    values u200bu200b=  list(analysis.values u200bu200b())'

So, that’s u200b, or ZERO WIDTH SPACE. That explains why you can’t see it on the page. Most commonly, you get these because you’ve copied some formatted (not plain-text) code off a site like StackOverflow or a wiki, or out of a PDF file.

If your editor doesn’t give you a way to find and fix those characters, just delete and retype the line.

Of course you’ve also got at least two IndentationErrors from not indenting things, at least one more SyntaxError from stay spaces (like = = instead of ==) or underscores turned into spaces (like analysis results instead of analysis_results).

The question is, how did you get your code into this state? If you’re using something like Microsoft Word as a code editor, that’s your problem. Use a text editor. If not… well, whatever the root problem is that caused you to end up with these garbage characters, broken indentation, and extra spaces, fix that, before you try to fix your code.

If your keyboard is set to English US (International) rather than English US the double quotation marks don’t work. This is why the single quotation marks worked in your case.

Carefully see your quotation, is this correct or incorrect! Sometime double quotation doesn’t work properly, it’s depend on your keyboard layout.

I got a similar issue. My solution was to change minus character from:



I got that error, when sometimes I type in Chinese language. When it comes to punctuation marks, you do not notice that you are actually typing the Chinese version, instead of the English version.

The interpreter will give you an error message, but for human eyes, it is hard to notice the difference.

For example, “,” in Chinese; and “,” in English. So be careful with your language setting.

Not sure this is right on but when i copied some code form a paper on using pgmpy and pasted it into the editor under Spyder, i kept getting the “invalid character in identifier” error though it didn’t look bad to me. The particular line was grade_cpd = TabularCPD(variable='G',

For no good reason I replaced the ' with " throughout the code and it worked. Not sure why but it did work

A little bit late but I got the same error and I realized that it was because I copied some code from a PDF. Check the difference between these two: - The first one is from hitting the minus sign on keyboard and the second is from a latex generated PDF.

You don’t get a good error message in IDLE if you just Run the module. Try typing an import command from within IDLE shell, and you’ll get a much more informative error message. I had the same error and that made all the difference.

(And yes, I’d copied the code from an ebook and it was full of invisible “wrong” characters.)

This error occurs mainly when copy-pasting the code. Try editing/replacing minus(-), bracket({) symbols.

My solution was to switch my Mac keyboard from Unicode to U.S. English.

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