An integrated development environment (IDE) refers to a software application that offers computer programmers with extensive software development abilities. IDEs most often consist of a source code editor, build automation tools, and a debugger. Most modern IDEs have intelligent code completion. In this article, you will discover the best Python IDEs currently available and present in the market.
What is an IDE?
- An IDE enables programmers to combine the different aspects of writing a computer program.
- IDEs increase programmer productivity by introducing features like editing source code, building executables, and debugging.
What are IDEs and Code Editors?
IDEs and code editors are tools that software developers use to write and edit code.
- IDEs, or Integrated Development Environments, are usually more feature-rich and include tools for debugging, building, and deploying code.
- Code editors are generally more straightforward and focused on code editing. Many developers use IDEs and code editors, depending on the task.
IDE vs. Code Editor – What's the Difference?
- An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application that provides tools and resources to help developers write and debug code. An IDE typically includes
- A source code editor
- A compiler or interpreter
- An integrated debugger
- A graphical user interface (GUI)
- A code editor is a text editor program designed specifically for editing source code. It typically includes features that help in code development, such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging.
- The main difference between an IDE and a code editor is that an IDE has a graphical user interface (GUI) while a code editor does not. An IDE also has features such as code completion, syntax highlighting, and debugging, which are not found in a code editor.
- Code editors are generally simpler than IDEs, as they do not include many other IDE components. As such, code editors are typically used by experienced developers who prefer to configure their development environment manually.
Features of an IDE
Let’s look at some main features of an IDE:
1. Syntax Highlighting
An IDE that knows your language's syntax can provide visual cues and keywords that are easier to read by visually clarifying the language syntax.
Code without Syntax
Code with Syntax
IDEs are generally really good at anticipating what you're more likely to type next, making coding significantly faster and simpler.
3. Building Executables
IDE takes care of interpreting the Python code, running python scripts, building executables, and debugging the applications.
In the event that a program does not run correctly, programmers can easily detect their code eros using the debugging tools that IDEs offer.
[Related reading: Why Learn Python? Reasons and Benefits of Learning Python]
Requirements for a Good Python Coding Environment
There are a few critical requirements for a good Python coding environment:
- The environment should have a good code editor. A code editor is a unique text editor with special features for writing and editing code. Some common code editors for Python include Atom, Sublime Text, and Visual Studio Code.
- Python interpreters have an irreplaceable place in the python environment. The Python interpreter is a program that runs Python code. It can be used to run code interactively or to run code from a file.
- The environment should have a good set of libraries. Libraries are collections of code that can be used to extend the functionality of Python. Some shared libraries for Python include the standard library, NumPy, and SciPy.
- The environment should have a good set of debugging tools. Debugging tools are used to identify and fix errors in code.
- Python environment should have version control. Version control is an essential tool for managing changes to code. And popular version control systems include Git and Subversion (SVN).
Tools are programs that help with development tasks such as testing, debugging, and packaging. Some standard tools for Python include the Python debugger, the Python package manager, and the Python profiler.
Bifurcation Based on Experience Level and End Goal
There are two main types of IDEs for Python: those designed for experienced developers and those designed for beginners.
- Experienced developers often prefer IDEs that offer more features and allow them to customize the development environment to their preferences.
- On the other hand, beginners often prefer IDEs with fewer features that are easier to learn and use.
- The most popular IDEs for experienced Python developers are PyCharm and Visual Studio Code. PyCharm is a full-featured IDE that offers many features, including code completion, code navigation, refactoring, and debugging. Visual Studio Code is a more lightweight IDE that is popular for its ease of use and extensibility.
- The two most popular IDEs for beginner Python developers are IDLE and Pythonista. IDLE is a very simple IDE included with the Python standard library, and Pythonista is a more full-featured IDE that consists of a code editor, debugger, and interactive shell.
Online Compiler from Programiz
Programiz offers an online compiler that is simple to use and easy to access. The online compiler allows you to compile and run your code in seconds without downloading or installing any software. The online compiler can compile and run your code on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.
Vim is a highly configurable and special text editor used by programmers. It is a powerful tool that enhances editing files, performs search and replace operations, and much more. Vim also supports syntax highlighting, which helps to make code more readable. Vim is especially popular among experienced coders and is often considered the most powerful text editor available.
GNU Emacs is a free and open-source text editor. Richard Stallman created it in 1985. Emacs is a powerful and extensible text editor. It has a rich set of features, including a built-in Lisp interpreter, powerful editing features, and support for a wide range of programming languages and file formats.
ActivePython is a distribution of Python created by ActiveState, which is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS X. ActivePython also includes many additional packages not found in the standard Python distribution. These include packages for scientific computing, data analysis, and web development. ActivePython is free to download and use for development purposes.
Top Python IDEs
Now that you know about the integrated Development Environment, let's look at a few popular Python IDEs.
Note that we won't be ranking these IDEs just for the sake of it because we believe that different IDEs are meant for various purposes.
But, we will indeed discuss which IDE you should use according to your needs or requirements.
This will help remove any doubts that you may have and help you make a choice that best suits your purpose.
- IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment) is a default editor that accompanies Python
- This IDE is suitable for beginner level developers
- The IDLE tool can be used on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux
- Price: Free
Most notable features of IDLE include:
- Ability to search for multiple files
- Interactive interpreter with syntax highlighting, and error and i/o messages
- Smart indenting, along with basic text editor features
- A very capable debugger
Image Source: Stack overflow
- PyCharm is a widely used Python IDE created by JetBrains
- This IDE is suitable for professional developers and facilitates the development of large Python projects
- Price: Freemium
The most notable features of PyCharm include:
- Smart code navigation
- Quick and safe code refactoring
- Support features like accessing databases directly from the IDE
Stand out from the crowd with these programming skills to get an entry into Top global companies.
Upskill on Python Basics for FREE right now!
3. Visual Studio Code
- Visual Studio Code is an open-source (and free) IDE created by Microsoft. It finds great use for Python development
- VS Code is lightweight and comes with powerful features that only some of the paid IDEs offer
- Price: Free
The most notable features of Visual Studio Code include:
- One of the best smart code completion is based on various factors
- Git integration
- Code debugging within the editor
- It provides an extension to add additional features like code linting, themes, and other services
4. Sublime Text 3
- Sublime Text is a very popular code editor. It supports many languages, including Python
- It is highly customizable and also offers fast development speeds and reliability
- Price: Free
The most notable features of Sublime Text 3 include:
- Syntax highlighting
- Custom user commands for using the IDE
- Efficient project directory management
- It supports additional packages for the web and scientific Python development
- Atom is an open-source code editor by Github and supports Python development
- Atom is similar to Sublime Text and provides almost the same features emphasis on speed and usability
- Price: Free
The most notable features of Atom include:
- Support for a large number of plugins
- Smart autocompletion
- Supports custom commands for the user to interact with the editor
- Support for cross-platform development
- Jupyter is widely used in the field of data science
- It is easy to use, interactive and allows live code sharing and visualization
- Price: Free
The most notable features of Jupyter include:
- Supports for the numerical calculations and machine learning workflow
- Combine code, text, and images for greater user experience
- Intergeneration of data science libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib
- Spyder is an open-source IDE most commonly used for scientific development
- Spyder comes with Anaconda distribution, which is popular for data science and machine learning
- Price: Free
The most notable features of Spyder include:
- Support for automatic code completion and splitting
- Supports plotting different types of charts and data manipulation
- Integration of data science libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib
- PyDev is a strong python interpreter and is distributed as a third-party plugin for Eclipse IDE
- Being flexible, it is one of the preferred open-source IDE by the developers
- Price: Free
The most notable features of PyDev include:
- Django integration, auto code completion, and code coverage
- Supports type hinting, refactoring, as well as debugging and code analysis
- Good support for Python web development
- Thonny is an IDE ideal for teaching and learning Python programming
- Price: Free
The most notable features of Thonny include:
- Simple debugger
- Function evaluation
- Automatic syntax error detection
- Detailed view of variables used in a Python program or project
- The wing is also a popular IDE that provides a lot of good features to ensure a productive environment
- Wing offers a 30-day trial version for the developers to check and understand the features of this IDE
- Price: US $95 - US$179 for commercial license
The most notable features of Wing include:
- It provides immediate feedback to your Python code
- It provides support for test-driven development with unit tests, Pytest, and Django testing framework.
- It assists in remote development
- Auto code completion is present
Which IDE to Use When?
We will divide the preference into three categories:
1. Based on Your Level of Knowledge
- Beginner - IDLE, Thonny would be the perfect choice for first-time programmers who are just getting into Python.
- Intermediate - For intermediate level users PyCharm, VS Code, Atom, Sublime Text 3 are good options.
2. Based on Your End Goal
- Data Science - Spyder, Jupyter Notebook, PyCharm professional (Paid).
- Web Development - VS Code, PyCharm professional (Paid).
- Scripting - Atom, PyDev, Sublime Text 3, PyCharm Community (Free).
3. Based on the Hardware You Use
- Basic (Pentium, Celeron) - IDLE, Atom, Sublime Text 3, Online IDEs.
- Developer (Intel core series) - PyCharm, Jupyter, Spyder, VS Code, Eclipse + PyDev.
Which IDE Do We Recommend?
The preference of IDE should depend on your requirements. Here are different scenarios for you to help you decide which IDE to use.
What is the Possible Answer?
Now that you have seen the Best Python IDEs that are currently available and their features, you can always decide which IDE to pick based on your requirements.
If you are looking for the most effective way to this tech industry of web development, a great way to start would be to enroll in the comprehensive Python Training Course. With this course, you will gain all the practical and work-ready skills you’d need to be employable and grab the best opportunities for you in the field.
Do you have any more queries regarding which Python IDE is best for you? Simply shoot us your question in the comments section. And our experts will get back to you as soon as possible!
Python IDEs are a great way to get started with coding in Python. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing an IDE. Here are some frequently asked questions about Python IDEs:
1. What is the best Python IDE?
There is no one "best" Python IDE. However, a few IDEs are popular among Python developers, such as PyCharm, Atom, and Visual Studio Code.
2. What are the different IDEs of Python?
Python is a programming language with many different IDEs available. Some popular IDEs include PyCharm, Atom, and Visual Studio Code. Each IDE has its unique features and benefits.
- PyCharm, for example, is a popular IDE for Python development that offers code completion, error checking, and support for various Python frameworks.
- Atom is a popular open-source IDE that is highly customizable and offers multiple plugins.
- Visual Studio Code is a popular IDE for Python development that offers IntelliSense, which provides code completion and error checking.
3. What are the features of a good Python IDE?
A good Python IDE should have code completion, syntax highlighting, and code navigation features. It should also be easy to install and use.
4. What are the benefits of using a Python IDE?
Using a Python IDE can help you write code more efficiently and accurately and help you find and fix errors in your code.