Python IDEs

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The leading IDE is Pycharm which has a free version along with commercial version. 

Other (often lower quality) alternatives:


IDLE is free, portable, and a standard part of Python, it might be OK first development tool to become familiar with if you want to use an IDE

Eclipse and PyDev
Eclipse is an advanced open source IDE GUI. Originally developed as a Java IDE, Eclipse also supports Python development when you install the PyDev (or a similar) plug-in. Eclipse is a popular and powerful option for Python development, and it goes well beyond IDLE’s feature set. It includes support for code completion, syntax highlighting, syntax analysis, refactoring, debugging, and more. Its downsides are that it is a large system to install and may require shareware extensions for some features (this may vary over time). Still, when you are ready to graduate from IDLE, the Eclipse/PyDev combination is worth your attention.
Komodo Edit is free and supports Python, but it is mostly editor, not so much IDE (althouth some elements are present). Komodo IDE is a commercial full-featured development environment GUI for Python (and other languages), Komodo includes standard syntax coloring, text editing, debugging, and other features. In addition, Komodo offers many advanced features that IDLE does not, including project files, source-control integration, and regular-expression debugging.
NetBeans IDE for Python
NetBeans is a powerful open source development environment GUI with support for many advanced features for Python developers: code completion, automatic indentation and code colorization, editor hints, code folding, refactoring, debugging, code coverage and testing, projects, and more. It may be used to develop both CPython and Jython code. Like Eclipse, NetBeans requires installation steps beyond those of the included IDLE GUI, but it is seen by many as more than worth the effort. Search the Web for the latest information and links.
PythonWin is a free Windows-only IDE for Python that ships as part of ActiveState’s ActivePython distribution (and may also be fetched separately from resources). It is roughly like IDLE, with a handful of useful Windows-specific extensions added; for example, PythonWin has support for COM objects. Today, IDLE is probably more advanced than PythonWin (for instance, IDLE’s dual-process architecture often prevents it from hanging). However, PythonWin still offers tools for Windows developers that IDLE does not. See for more information.
Visual Studio,
Microsoft Visual Studio via a plug-in,


You can also look at mostly commercial Wing IDEPyScripter, Pyshield, and Spyder

For more information, see the resources available at or search the Web for “Python IDE” or similar. Another useful serach would be “Python editors”  as the editor is the core of any IDE and its qualityif of paramount imortance.

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[Mar 19, 2018] PyCharm - Python IDE Full Review

An increasingly popular installation method: "snap install pycharm-community --classic".
Mar 19, 2018 |

​Pycharm is a powerful Integrated Development Environment that can be used to develop Python applications, web apps, and even data analysis tools. Pycharm has everything a python developer needs to develop. The IDE is full of surprises and keyboard shortcuts that will leave you impressed and at the same time satisfied that your projects are completed on time. Good work from JetBrains. Couldn't have done any better.

[Nov 07, 2017] Is PyCharm good - Quora

Nov 07, 2017 |

Cody Jackson , Python book author ( ) Answered Sep 11

I stumbled upon PyCharm a few years ago when my editor of choice (Stani's Python Editor) was no longer maintained. I haven't looked back.

I used the community edition for many years then decided to purchase a copy. While I don't necessarily need all the functionality of the paid version, I want to support the company in their work.

The PEP 8 notifications are nice to have. While PEP 8 is more of a guideline, it certainly helps ensure code looks nice and is easy to work with.

What's better, IMO, is the ability to load anything you want without having to explicitly download it. Import a module that isn't already on your system? PyCharm will let you know and offer to download it for you. Very handy.

I used to use GitKraken for GitHub work but the built-in VCS tools in PyCharm are just as easy to use, so I haven't bothered to download GitKraken for several months now. PyCharm highlights your modified files using color codes, so you know what you have updated, what's new, etc. so you know exactly what is going to be added in your next push. It also shows you what has changed between the different files using diff, which is handy.

PyCharm has built-in support for many different frameworks, the paid version obviously having more support. However, the free version includes Django, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which is sufficient for most people.

While the paid version has changed from a perpetual licenses to a subscription model, the monthly cost is only $8 per month for an individual, with certain discounts available.

Overall, PyCharm is the best proprietary Python editor and, unless you prefer completely FOSS software, there is no reason not to use it.

Yosef Dishinger , I dream in Python Answered Sep 28

The other answers have already said most of it, but I would just add that the search and code discovery features of PyCharm are superior to anything else I've used.

I work on a pretty large codebase, and with PyCharm you can search throughout the entire project, or even multiple projects, for a given string. Now it's true that other editors also have this feature, but PyCharm adds something here that other editors don't.

It lets you edit the code where the reference was found, in a panel within the search results window, and simply go through each search result one by one and see and modify the code in each section as you go, without needing to open the different files on their own.

At times when I've needed to do major refactoring this has been a lifesaver. It increased my productivity dramatically.

There are a lot of really nice editors out there, but I haven't come across anything like PyCharm for taming large codebases.

Edward Moseley , Python for programming, R for stats, C/C++ for microcontrollers Answered Aug 27 2016

I'm very much in agreement with User-9321510923064044481

If you begin to use a library that you don't have installed, PyCharm will let you know and makes the installation process really seamless. RStudio could actually probably take a page out of PyCharm's playbook, there.

I use the integrated python console very frequently for prototyping.

There's also this "Tip of the day" popup that I always mean to shut off but well sometimes they are good tips.

This may be nit-picky, but I especially agree that I don't use the integrated VCS , and until they find a more elegant way to integrate it I will stick to git on my command line.

[Nov 07, 2017] How to use Python interactively in PyCharm

Nov 07, 2017 |

Tony Flury , Freelance s/w developer Answered Apr 2

PyCharn when it starts will also start a python terminal as part of the project window. Look along the bottom where you will have tabs such as console and terminal.

PyCharn also offers integration with Jupiter notebook, but I haven't tried to use that feature yet.

Zdenko Hrcek , enjoying programming in Python Answered Apr 2

In main menu under Tools there is "Python console" option

Related Questions More Answers Below

[Nov 07, 2017] Should I use PyCharm for programming Python

Nov 07, 2017 |

AP Rajshekhar , Knows Java, Python, Ruby, Go; dabbled in Qt and GTK# Answered Sep 24, 2016

As with any other language, one does not need an IDE, which PyCharm is. However, it has been my experience that having an IDE improves productivity. Same is true with PyCharm.

If you are developing small applications that does not need git integration or PEP8 standards conformation, then you don't need PyCharm However, if you need any of the above, and do not want to use multiple tools (flake8, git-cli/git-cola) manually, then PyCharm is a good choice as it provides the following, apart from autocomplete, from within the IDE:

So, Pycharm improves your productivity quite a bit. Dominic Christoph , Met cofounders at a local meetup Updated Apr 5

It's obviously not necessary, and there are other free editors and IDEs. But in my experience, it is the best option.

I've used both Vim and Emacs and played with Sublime and Atom a bit. Those four editors allow you to highly customize your programming environment. Which some feel is a necessity.

They're all great, but you will miss out on some features that no one (that I know of; if you do, please share) has been able to properly recreate in a regular editor. Mainly, intelligent code navigation and completion. These are the most useful features that I've used, and PyCharm does them **almost** perfectly.

You'll spend much more time navigating code than you will typing code, so it's very helpful to be able to hit a keyboard shortcut and jump to a variable or method's definition/declaration. When you are typing, the intelligent autocomplete will be a big help as well. It's much more useable than the completion engines in editors because it only provides completions which are in scope. There're also Ctags and Gtags available for text editors but they are harder to use, must be customized for every language, and with any medium to large sized project work poorly. Though YMMV.

When it comes down to it, I prefer having features that work really well than the ability to customize. Download the community edition and see for yourself if it works for you. Especially for a beginner, it will save you the time of learning tools, which isn't as important as learning the language, because the UI is self-explanatory.


I would find it unusable without the IdeaVim plugin. The keybindings of Vim are just too good to give up.

I should also mention that Jetbrains IDEs are very customizable themselves. The IdeaVim plugin even has a dotfile.

You'll also find videos on YouTube where programmers try to discourage others from using them because of the distracting number of panes. Though it has a distraction free mode and even without that, if you use it sensibly, you can have it only display the editor and tabs. Pandu Poluan , programmed in Python for nearly a year, to replace complex bash scripts. Answered Mar 24

You don't *have* to use PyCharm, but its features are so good *I* find it essential for Python development.

Things I can't live without:

There are many more PyCharm features, but all the above make PyCharm for me a must-have for Python development.

Editing Python Source Code

Whether you want to quickly edit Python source code, write or debug whole Python programs, or use Python in an integrated development environment, you have a pleasantly wide range of choices. The table is divided into five sections: Unix and Multiplatform editors, Windows editors, Macintosh editors, IDEs, and miscellaneous add-on packages that support Python.

ActiveState - Corporate - News - Komodo IDE ~ the Killer Mozilla Application

ActiveState, the leader in open source programming tools, announces the release of Komodo 1.0, the first Mozilla application by a third party. Komodo is a Perl and Python integrated development environment for programming using the Mozilla application framework. A full-featured, multi-language IDE, its timesaving features include integrated online help and an interactive remote debugger. Komodo also includes the only one of its kind, regular expression toolkit, for one of the most difficult technologies used in scripting languages.

"Komodo is the first commercial grade IDE for Perl and Python, and it's cross-platform as well", said Dick Hardt, Founder & CEO, ActiveState. "Mozilla's component oriented framework will allow us to easily add support for additional languages and features throughout the coming months."

"Mozilla is ideally suited for cross-platform Web-based development. This makes it a natural fit for ActiveState's powerful new IDE, Komodo," said Mitchell Baker, chief lizard wrangler at "Perl, Python and JavaScript developers will find Komodo a wonderful tool for using Mozilla for Web services development."

Komodo features:

  • Regular Expression toolkit
  • Auto completion and call tips
  • Integrated online help
  • Rich language–aware code editor
  • Interactive remote debugging
  • Code folding
  • Visible source code that is customizable and extensible

    "The combination of Perl, Python and Mozilla allowed us to build a great IDE for rapid application development," said Dr. David Ascher, Komodo Project Lead. "I'm quite pleased with the feedback from beta-testers, who said that Komodo is saving them time, which is our primary goal."

    "ActiveState's release of the first application built on Mozilla is a watershed event for the open source movement," said Tim O'Reilly, Founder & CEO of O'Reilly & Associates. "It demonstrates that there's more to Mozilla than the next generation Netscape browser. More importantly, it provides the web-enabled IDE that makes cross-platform development with open source languages like Perl and Python accessible to more than the hacker elite."

    Komodo is available with ASPN Komodo at $295. ASPN Komodo delivers the Komodo IDE and all updates, plus online, searchable access to cookbooks, technical references, sample code, and more. An educational license is free for those learning to program through ASPN Open. The 1.0 release supports Windows. Linux support and Komodo XSLT are available as pre-release software.

  • Wing IDE for Python Python IDS that includes source browser and editor. The editor supports folding

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