Best Ide for Python Programming

Python has become one of the most used programming languages in data analytics. If you are a beginner, it is highly advisable to learn Python. But which ide should you use? We have tested several ides, identified their pros and cons and made our own list.

We are going to discuss the code editor or IDEs for Python.

  • Text/Code Editor: Code editors are the lightweight tool that allows you to write and edit the code with some features such as syntax highlighting and code formatting. It provided fewer features than IDE.
  • Integrated Development Environment (IDE): IDEs are full-fledged environment which provide all the essential tools needed for software development. It just doesn’t handle the code (for example, write, edit, syntax highlighting and auto-completion) but also provides other features such as debugging, execution, testing, and code formatting that helps programmers.

Let’s start with some overview of the best code editor based on certain terms…

What is Your Level?

  • Beginner — IDLE (or Online Python Editors) is perfect choice for the first steps in python language. PyCharm is also good but takes the help of some experienced person while using this.
  • Intermediate — PyCharm, Sublime, Atom, Vs Code.
  • Advanced — PyCharm, Vim, Emacs, Sublime, Atom, Vs Code.

What’s Your End Goal?

  • Web development — PyCharm Professional, VS Code
  • Data Science — Spyder, Jupyter Notebook, PyCharm Professional
  • Scripting — Sublime, Atom, PyCharm Community, Eclipse + PyDev
  • QA — Sublime, Atom, PyCharm Community, Jupyter Notebook

What is Your Environment/OS?

  • Linux, macOS — PyCharm, Sublime, Atom, Vim, Jupyter
  • Windows — Sublime, VS Code, Eclipse + PyDev, PyCharm
  • Multiple/mixed OS — PyCharm, Sublime, Atom

Which Hardware Do You Have?

  • Bad — IDLE, Atom, Sublime, Online Editor
  • Good — PyCharm, VS Code, Eclipse + PyDev

Note: We have considered limited terms but it also depends on budget, git integration, teamwork, previous programming knowledge.

So, Here is the list of some of the best IDE and Code Editor for Python.

1. PyCharm

Best Python IDE - PyCharm

Category: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux.
Download: PyCharm Download Link

PyCharm is one of the best Python IDE available having number of amazing and powerful features which allows you to develop variety of Python Applications.

PyCharm IDE provides you a lots of resourceful features, like Advance Debugging, Code Completion, Smart Code Navigation, Error Highlighting, Refactoring and many more.

For beginner programmer, using PyCharm can be a little challenging. However, PyCharm have a great Community Support. So, troubleshooting in PyCharm will be very easy and quick for you.

You can choose the pre-built theme or you can also customize the IDE of PyCharm based on your need or requirement.

There are 2 versions of PyCharm available for download. One is PyCharm Community, which is free and dedicated for Python Development.

Whereas other one is PyCharm Professional is paid and have a built-n support for number of other technologies.

Features: Here are some of the Top Features of PyCharm IDE.

  1. Built-in Terminal – PyCharm IDE comes with a Built-in Terminal. So, can Compile, Debug and Test your code without leaving the PyCharm Environment.
  2. Code Completion – In PyCharm, you will also get a amazing features called Code Completion which will speed up your overall Software Development Process.
  3. Support various Web Technologies – PyCharm supports various Web and Database Technologies and Python Web Framework, like – Django, Flask and many more.
  4. Create Your Own Plugin – You can also develop your own Plugin in PyCharm, which will help you in extending the functionality of the IDE and make your project development much faster.

2. Spyder

Spyder

Category: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: Spyder Download Link

Spyder is a cross platform IDE, so it is available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

It is dedicatedly designed for Data Scientists and Engineers. As it is very well integrated with the libraries like – Numpy, Pandas, Matplotlib, SciPy and many more.

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So, if you are into Data Science or Machine Learning, then Spyder is the IDE you should go with.

People often compare Spyder with PyCharm. Spyder IDE have a less features a compared to PyCharm.

However, Spyder is a light weight IDE, as a result quite fast as compared to PyCharm IDE.

For installing Spyder, you have to firstly install the Anaconda Distribution on your computer. As Spyder is an IDE which comes as a part of an Anaconda Distribution.

Features: Here are the Top Features of Spyder IDE.

  1. Autocompletion – Spyder comes with the Code Completion tool which will make the development process much easier.
  2. Scientific Development Tools – Spyder comes with a pre-installed packages, like – Numpy, Pandas, Matplotlib, SciPy and many more, which will helps in performing a Scientific Operation.
  3. Advance Debugging – It also provide a lots of tools which makes testing and debugging of a code really easy.
  4. Great Community Support – Spyder have a great community support, as it is maintained by a team of Scientific Python Developers since 2012.
  5. Syntax and Error Highlighting – Syntax and Error Highlighting is a great feature which is available in Spyder IDE.

3. PyDev

Best Python IDE - PyDev

Category: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: PyDev Download Link

If you know Eclipse, which is one of the most popular IDE among Java Developers. Now, with the help of PyDev(Eclipse Plugin), you can create the Environment for Python Development as well.

With PyDev, you will get lots of features, like – Advance Debugging, Django Integration, Auto Code Completion, Syntax and Error Highlighting and many more.

So, if you already a Eclipse user, then PyDev is the best IDE you should go with.

Features: Here are the Top Features of PyDev IDE.

  1. Syntax and Error Highlighting – It comes with the feature of Syntax as well as Error Highlighting.
  2. Auto Code Completion – Code Completion features is also available in PyDev IDE.
  3. Support most of the Languages – PyDev supports most of the popular Programming Languages.
  4. Refactoring and Code Analysis – Advance refactoring and code analysis feature is also available in PyDev.

4. Atom

Atom

Category: Code Editor
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: Atom Download Link

Atom is a cross platform Code Editor, which was developed by Github using the popular framework Electron.

Atom is really easy to use because of it’s simple User Interface and You can also customize the UI according to your need.

Atom is a Code Editor, however it has all the basic functionality of an IDE as well. It support most of the popular Programming Languages, like – PHP, Java, Python, JavaScript, C++ and many more.

Features: Here are the Top Features of Atom Code Editor.

  1. Integrated Package Manager – Atom comes with an Integrated Package Manager which makes the installation of Packages very easy.
  2. Smart Autocomplete – Autocomplete is a feature available in Atom Code Editor, which makes the development much faster and easy.
  3. Syntax Highlighting – Like other Coder Editors, it also has a feature called Syntax Highlighting for all the popular Programming Languages.
  4. Community Support – It community support is really good as it was developed and is maintained by GitHub itself.

5. IDLE

Best Python IDE - IDLE

Category: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: IDLE Download Link

IDLE is a simple and light weight Python IDE, which automatically gets installed after the installation of Python on your computer.

IDLE was developed using Python and it’s User Interface was developed using Python Toolkit named “Tkinter”.

IDLE is mostly used by beginner Programmer who are looking forward to learn Python Programming.

Therefore, it is not recommended for developing big Projects.

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Features: Here are the Top Features of IDLE IDE.

  1. Syntax Highlighting – With IDLE, you get the feature of Syntax Highlighting.
  2. Auto Completion – Auto completion is the another good feature you get in-built with IDLE.
  3. Integrated Debugger – You also get a Smart Integrated Debugger in IDLE.
  4. Smart Indentation – It also supports the Smart Indentation, which means it automatically adds Space and Tabs after the required statement.

6. Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code

Category: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: Visual Studio Code Download Link

Visual Studio Code is an amazing IDE developed by Microsoft. It have a really interactive and eye catching User Interface.

It is most popular IDE among developer for Python as well other Programming Languages.

It comes with a lots of cool features and extensions for different Programming Languages and Technologies.

I personally prefer VS Code over any other IDE because of it Interactive UI.

Features: Here are Top Features of Visual Studio Code IDE.

  1. Great User Interface – Visual Studio Code has a really good UI, which you will not find in any other IDE.
  2. Easy Git Integration – You can easily Integrate Visual Studio Code with Git and push your code on to Git without leaving the VS Code Environment.
  3. Smart Debugging – Like many other IDEs, VS Code also provide you the Smart Debugging feature.
  4. Smart Code Completion – With VS Code, you will get the Smart Code Completion feature, which will let you automatically complete your code based on the libraries you imported, variable and function.

7. Sublime Text 3

Best Python IDE - Sublime Text 3

Category: Code Editor
Price: Freemium
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: Sublime text 3 Download Link

Sublime Text 3 is the most popular Code Editor among programming Community.

It is light weight and Cross Platform Code Editor which supports number of Programming Languages.

There are many Plugin available which will helps you customizing and changing the functionality of the Code Editor.

It provide a really good experience for Python Development.

Sublime Text is free to use. However, In sometime, you will be asked to buy a premium version of the Editor.

Features: Here are the Top Features of Sublime Text 3 Code Editor.

  1. Fully Customizable – It is fully customizable with the help of various Plugins available.
  2. Simple and Fast – It is light weight, simple and quite fast as compared to other Code Editors.
  3. Great Community – It has got a really good Community Support as well.
  4. Syntax Highlighting – Like other Code Editor, it also have a Syntax Highlighting feature for most of the Programming Languages.

8. Thonny

Best Python Code Editor - Thonny

Category: IDE
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: Thonny Download Link

Thonny is a simple and cross platform IDE which was especially created for beginner Python Programmer.

So, if you are a beginner, then Thonny is the best IDE for you.

In Thonny IDE, a separate window has been created for each function call, which will help you understanding the actual working a program.

Features: Here are the Top Features of Thonny IDE.

  1. Error Highlighting – It’s auto error highlighting feature is quite helpful.
  2. Simple Debugger – It has a Simple Debugger.
  3. Code Completion – It also comes with the feature of Auto Code Completion.
  4. Beginners User Friendly – For beginner who are started with Programming will find it very useful. However, it is not a perfect choice for experienced Programmers.

9. Jupyter

Best Python IDE - Jupyter

Category: IDE
Price: Free
Browser Compatibility: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Download: Jupyter Download Link

Jupyter is a simple and dedicated IDE for Data Science.

So, if you have just started your Data Science Journey, then this is the tool you must use.

As Jupyter comes with the lots of Data Science libraries, like – Pandas, Matplotlib, Numpy and many more.

It also supports number of other Programming Languages other then Python.

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Features: Here are the Top Features of Jupyter IDE.

  1. Data Science Beginner Friendly – Jupyter is quite helpful for the one who has just started with Data Science.
  2. Supports Many Libraries – It supports most of the Data Science Libraries like – Pandas, Numpy, Matplotlib and many more.
  3. Web Application – Unlike other IDE, Jupyter is a Web Application, which basically run on your browser.

10. Vim

Best Python Code Editor - Vim

Category: Code Editor
Price: Free
Platform Compatibility: Windows, macOS, Linux
Download: Vim Download Link

Vim is a quite simple but very helpful Code Editor among the Developer Community.

If you are a command prompt or terminal lover, then you will love Vim editor. As Vim is a Editor which you can use in your terminal as well.

Vim is used for Text Editing as well as for Code Editing and supports most of the Programming Languages.

It comes pre-installed on Linux and macOS.

Vim has a lots of Shortcut Key available and you can extend the functionality by adding more Plugin as well.

Features: Here are the Top Features of Vim Code Editor.

  1. Simple and Fast – Vim has a quite simple interface and if you know it shortcut keys, then your overall Programming will becomes quite fast.
  2. Run on CLI – It has a dedicated software as well you can also run it on your Terminal or Command Prompt.
  3. Lots of Plugins – There are lots of Plugins available for Vim which will extends it functionality.
  4. Supports most of the Languages – After every succeeding version, its support for Programming Languages also increases.

What makes a good Python IDE or code editor?

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) is software that bundles all the tools you use for writing and testing their programs, all wrapped in a neat toolkit. Each IDE includes different tools, but each includes a text editor to write code, build tools for automatic compiling, and a debugger that points out potential errors.

Specialized IDEs can contain much more advanced tools as well, such as visual coding support and AI integration.

Code editors (CEs) are lightweight alternatives to IDEs. CEs contain tools to write code, like a text editor with automatic syntax highlighting and simple bug catching, but avoids the complex tools included in IDEs.

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Features you need for a Python IDE or CE

  • Syntax highlighting: Automatic highlighting for different types of syntax is essential for readability, For example, all variable names are white, all keywords are orange, etc. so you can understand what you’re looking at in just a glance.
  • Automatic code formatting: IDEs and CEs that support Python can automatically indent, add colons, and include missing end brackets all according to Python’s style rules. This means you can spend less time fiddling with formatting and more time coding.
  • Debugging: While different tools vary in how hands-on the debugging process is, it’s good to at least have the ability to step your code gradually to track changes. Ideally, you want a tool that will point out and highlight potential errors even before runtime.
  • Build automation: Your chosen tool should allow you to write and run Python code in the same window. Copy and pasting source code to external compilers to run it will cost you extra time and add unnecessary confusion.
  • Save and reload: All IDEs and CEs should include some way to save and reload code in the same state. The best tools go beyond this and include version control, which allows you to revert to previous builds if needed.

Top Python IDEs and Code Editors Comparison

Eclypse PyDev
Visual Studio Code
Sublime Text 3
Vim
PyCharm
GNU Emacs
Atom
IDLE
Spyder
Jupyter
LogoIDETypeSizePricePlatform SupportDeveloped IniPython NotebookCross-Platform
Eclipse PyDevIDE300 MBFreeGNU, Linux, Windows, macOS, SolarisJava, PythonYesYes
Sublime Text 3Text editor15.7MB$80/Developer/yearLinux, Windows, macOS,C++, PythonNo. But integration is available.Yes
Visual Studio CodeIDE60 MBFreeLinux, Windows, macOS,TypeScript, JavaScript, CSSNo. But integration is available.Yes
VimText Editor37 MBFreeLinux, Windows, macOS,CNo. But integration is available.Yes
PyCharmIDE174-270MBFree Trial & $199/developer/yearLinux, Windows, macOS,Java, PythonNo. But integration is available.Yes
GNU EmacsText Editor62 MBFreeLinux, Windows, macOS,CYesYes
AtomText Editor87-180MBFreeLinux, Windows, macOS,Electron, CoffeeScript, JavaScriptNo. But integration is available.Yes
IDLEIDE361-427MBFreeLinux, Windows, macOS,PythonYesYes
SpyderIDE361-427MBFreeLinux, Windows, macOS,PythonYesYes
JupyterIDE100-150MBFreeLinux, Windows, macOS,PythonYesYe

Conclusion

Python is a programming language that lets you work more quickly and integrate your systems more effectively. You can learn to use Python and see almost immediate gains in productivity and lower maintenance costs.

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