This article lists out 10 of the best Python IDE used by beginner and advanced python programmers all over the world.

Introduction

It is said that if there is any place where the language Python is not used is Antarctica. That means Python is used in almost every nook and corner of the world. The industry cannot think of sustaining without using python. Industries that uses python includes I.T. , Insurance, Banking, Aerospace, Finance, Healthcare and many more. It is also one of the most used language for data analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning etc.

For building such enterprise grade applications, many Python frameworks are also available. For web application we have frameworks like Django, Flask, CherryPy, TurboGears etc. For machine learning and data science there are frameworks such as TensorFlow. So, such applications or frameworks cannot be implemented or worked on in just any code editor. We definitely need good IDE for such industry grade development.

The best thing is that most of the IDEs for Python development are free. While selecting a framework for development, apart from support for frameworks, we also need certain very useful features that makes out development efficient, easy and gives a feel good factor. Those features include syntax highlighter, auto completion of code, multi window editor, intelligent editor, debugger, test runner, refactoring, code inspections etc etc.

So, keeping the above requirements in mind, we have listed out 10 of the most widely used Python IDE. The list covers IDEs for developers from beginner to advanced level.

You can choose the best that feeds your development requirements.

1. Eric

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Eric is a full featured editor and IDE for Python programming. It is completely free to use and can be used by all levels of developer starting from beginner to advanced. It comes with many advanced tools integrated to it. And as such, it can be used for writing small python scripts to professional python project. Eric comes with a plug and play system for extensions. And there are various extensions available in the internet for downloading which can be easily integrated to the IDE.

There are numerous features that comes with Eric. Such as source code autocompletion, error highlighting, integrated browser, documentation system, debugger, project management facilities, version control and many more. Moreover, there are options for customising the layout that will help you in adapting to the IDE. It provides options for high level integration such as CORBA, Google protobuf, Python Package Management(pip), PyLint etc. to name a few. It also provides environment for unit testing of python code.

KEY POINTS

  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

2. IDLE

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Idle is Python’s default IDE and it comes bundled with python installation. The IDE itself has been coded in Python and is considered one of the best IDE for beginner python programmer. IDLE is completely free to use. It provides a simple GUI environment that helps beginner developers in creating, running and debugging python scripts. It is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. Though it is called a beginner level IDE, it is not like just any text editor. It also comes with lots of features that helps in creating great python scripts.

Features of IDLE includes syntax highlighter, auto completion of code, multi window editor, smart indentation, powerful searching, error display and debugging to name a few. I

KEY POINTS

  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

3. PyCharm

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PyCharm is one of the best professional python IDE available in the market. It is used by many big organisations for their enterprise grade app development. The IDE is loaded with hundreds of numerous features. Some of them are even specific to this IDE and not found in any other in the industry. PyCharm gives you option for either using their Professional Edition or the Community one. The Professional Edition is a paid version with much more added features than the community one. On the other hand the Community version also comes with great features but not as much compare to the professional one. But, it is backed by a great community with frequent updates.

Features included in the community edition include intelligent editor, debugger, test runner, refactoring, code inspections, VCS support etc.

The Professional edition apart from those included in the community one also comes with various scientific tools, web development, support for frameworks such as Django, Database and SQL support and many more.

If you are a professional python developer, PyCharm will definitely work charm.

KEY POINTS

  • Free Community edition comes with limited features.
  • Paid Professional edition comes with much more facilities than the community one.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

4. Visual Studio Code

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VS Code is currently the IDE which is most in demand for various programming language. And, Python is also one of them. It is a very powerful source code editor and due to its vast library of extensions, it perfectly works as a complete IDE for Python. VS Code is fully customisable with various languages, themes, debuggers etc. It is completely free to use and its preference over other IDEs is growing very rapidly. As a result, its community is also growing and getting powerful.

The VS Code extension for python development is named Python itself and comes with almost all features necessary for professional grade application development. Features included in the Python extension includes code navigation, auto python code completion, linting, debugging, refactoring, text explorer and many more. This extension also installs the Pylance and Jupiter extension for working with Python files and Jupiter notebooks.

KEY POINTS

  • Great library of extensions
  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

5. PyDev

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PyDev is not itself an IDE, but is a plug in for python development in Eclipse. As we all know Eclipse is one of the most widely used IDE and powerful enough to handle enterprise grade application development. So,the combo of PyDev and Eclipse creates similar powerful package for python programming. It’s an open source project created in 2003 and since then it has been in the industry. Thanks to the huge community that backs it financially and keeps updating to the latest industry requirement.

PyDev is also one of the most demanded plug in for Jython and IronPython development.

Features that comes with PyDev includes code auto completion, refactoring, running and debugging, unit testing, PyLint integration and many more. Django integration in the plug opens the way for current trending microservice and web api developments in python.

So, for people comfortable with Eclipse, PyDev is a great choice to start creating industry grade applications.

KEY POINTS

  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

6. Thonny

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Thonny is an integrated development environment that is basically for the beginner python developers. It comes with very limited but helpful features that takes a learner in a smooth track. It reduces the complexity that a beginner get carried away in the complex and commercially used IDEs.

The IDE is very easy to get started as it comes bundled with python and just installation of a single file makes it ready to start development. It gives a very simple yet meaningful visualisation of all the steps, variables, expression evaluation, function calls in a program. A simple debugger helps the developer in tracking bugs step by step without the need of breakpoints. It also includes very basic but helpful features such as syntax error highlighting, code completion etc.

For a person starting with python development, Thonny is a great choice.

KEY POINTS

  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

7. Wing

Wing is a production grade python IDE for professional developers. It is itself built in Python and comes with loads of features integrated to it. This IDE can be used by all levels of developers starting from beginner to intermediate to advanced. The company have provided 3 different versions for 3 different level of development.

First one is the Wing 101 which is a very simplified and free Python IDE for beginners. Features in the Wing 101 include minimalistic debugger, basic editor and simple search.

Second version is the Wing Personal. It is also free but targeted for students and hobbyists. This version comes with a simplified debugger, limited editor, basic project management and code inspection and navigation to a certain level.

The third and the most advanced version of Wing IDE is the Wing Pro. All the minimalist features in the free versions are converted into powerful and intelligent features. This is a professional grade IDE version and comes with various industry grade features such as version control, remote development, unit testing, refactoring, Django and other framework support etc. and many more.

As it provides various versions, Wing can be a great choice for all levels of python development.

KEY POINTS

  • Wing 101 and Wing Personal are free and comes with limited features.
  • Wing pro is a paid version and comes with much more advanced and powerful features than the free versions.
  • OS : Windows, Linux

8. PyScripter

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PyScripter is a free and open source python Integrated Development Environment. Though it was started as a lightweight IDE for Delphi applications, but as of today it is considered a full fledged and feature-rich Python IDE. Compared to other IDEs, PyScripter is relatively lightweight. Currently it is available only for Windows operating system.

Features of PyScripter include syntax highlighting, integrated python interpreter, debugger, various viewing options, project manager, integrated Unit testing and many more. It also has option for external tool integration such as PyLint, TabNanny etc.

KEY POINTS

  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows only

9. PythonAnywhere

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PythonAnywhere in an IDE which is somewhat different from other IDEs discussed. It is an online IDE i.e. you can code, run, debug and do whatever an IDE does but using a browser. It also provides a hosting service so that the applications developed can be directly hosted for the world to use. It provides various plans and pricing options with one free option for beginner developers. If you like the services in the free plan, then you can upgrade your subscription for better features and support.

The IDE provides most of the features provided by any other python IDE. But what created difference are the facilities we get as it is web based. Some of them are on the go development environment, instant hosting service, amazing support etc.

So, if you are ready to pay a certain amount, then PythonAnywhere can provide you certain services that no other IDE can offer. 

KEY POINTS

  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

10. Spyder

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Spyder is not just any python IDE. It is primarily built for scientific programming. It is a free and open source Python IDE and designed specifically for scientists, engineers and data analysts. It is a complete scientific package including code editing, debugging, analysis, visualisation etc etc.

It is a community driven product mostly consisting of scientists, engineers and analysts from all around the globe. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating system. Spyder’s functionality can be further extended with the awesome plugins such as Spyder Notebook, Spyder Terminal, Spyder Unittest etc.

KEY POINTS

  • Completely free to use.
  • OS : Windows, Linux, Mac

Conclusion

So, it can be seen that there are various IDE available for programming in Python. Most of them are free while some are paid. There are options for every level of development. Choose the best that fits your coding style and meets your requirement of features and create great applications.

Happy coding.

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