Fix Python – Pandas/Python: Set value of one column based on value in another column


Asked By – NLR

I need to set the value of one column based on the value of another in a Pandas dataframe. This is the logic:

if df['c1'] == 'Value':
    df['c2'] = 10
    df['c2'] = df['c3']

I am unable to get this to do what I want, which is to simply create a column with new values (or change the value of an existing column: either one works for me).

If I try to run the code above or if I write it as a function and use the apply method, I get the following:

ValueError: The truth value of a Series is ambiguous. Use a.empty, a.bool(), a.item(), a.any() or a.all().

Now we will see solution for issue: Pandas/Python: Set value of one column based on value in another column


one way to do this would be to use indexing with .loc.


In the absence of an example dataframe, I’ll make one up here:

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd

df = pd.DataFrame({'c1': list('abcdefg')})
df.loc[5, 'c1'] = 'Value'

>>> df
0      a
1      b
2      c
3      d
4      e
5  Value
6      g

Assuming you wanted to create a new column c2, equivalent to c1 except where c1 is Value, in which case, you would like to assign it to 10:

First, you could create a new column c2, and set it to equivalent as c1, using one of the following two lines (they essentially do the same thing):

df = df.assign(c2 = df['c1'])
# OR:
df['c2'] = df['c1']

Then, find all the indices where c1 is equal to 'Value' using .loc, and assign your desired value in c2 at those indices:

df.loc[df['c1'] == 'Value', 'c2'] = 10

And you end up with this:

>>> df
      c1  c2
0      a   a
1      b   b
2      c   c
3      d   d
4      e   e
5  Value  10
6      g   g

If, as you suggested in your question, you would perhaps sometimes just want to replace the values in the column you already have, rather than create a new column, then just skip the column creation, and do the following:

df['c1'].loc[df['c1'] == 'Value'] = 10
# or:
df.loc[df['c1'] == 'Value', 'c1'] = 10

Giving you:

>>> df
0      a
1      b
2      c
3      d
4      e
5     10
6      g

This question is answered By – sacuL

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0