15+ Popular Python IDEs in 2023: Choosing The Best One

Table of Contents

Reviewed and fact-checked by Sayantoni Das

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.

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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.

1. IDLE

  • 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

The 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
  • Its a great Python IDE for Windows

/idle-best-python-IDEs

Image Source: Stack overflow

2. PyCharm

  • 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:

  • Support for JavaScript, CSS, and TypeScript
  • Smart code navigation
  • Quick and safe code refactoring
  • Support features like accessing databases directly from the IDE
  • Its a great Python IDE for Windows

pycharm.

3. Visual Studio Code

  • Visual Studio Code is an open-source (and free) IDE created by Microsoft. It finds great use in 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

visual-studio-code

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
  • Its a great Python IDE for Windows

sublime-text

5. Atom

  • 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

atom-best-python

6. Jupyter

  • 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

jupyter.

7. Spyder

  • 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
  • Its a great Python IDE for Windows

Sypder

8. PyDev

  • 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

pydev

9. Thonny

  • 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

thonny

10. Wing

  • 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

11. Vim:

It is a flexible, open-source terminal-based text editor. Vi Improved, which means it is a revamped version of the Vi text editor. 

12. GNU/Emacs:

finding the right code editor for python development can be tricky. Emacs is a set of macro extensions for different code editors. Richard Stallman adopted it into the GNU project in the early 1980s. 

13. Dreamweaver:

it is one of the popular web development IDE tools. It helps you to create, publish and manage websites. It can be uploaded to any web server. 

14. Eric:

It is a full-featured python editor and IDE, built on the cross-platform Qt GUI development framework. It has excellent plug-in management support. 

15. Visual Studio:

It is an integrated development environment from Microsoft. It is used to develop computer programs such as web services, web apps, and mobile applications.

16. Pyscripter:

It has all the features expected in a modern Python IDE in a lightweight package. It is also natively compiled for windows to combine minimal memory consumption with maximum performance. 

17. Rodeo:

It is one of the best IDEs for Python. It was developed for data science-related tasks like taking data and information from different resources and also plotting for issues. It supports cross-platform functionality. It can also be used as an IDE for experimenting interactively.

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

without-syntax

Code with Syntax

with-syntax

2. Autocomplete

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.

4. Debugging 

In the event that a program does not run correctly, programmers can easily detect their code eros using the debugging tools that IDEs offer.

What is Python Programming?

Python programming is an object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Python combines high-level built-in data structures and dynamic typing and binding, making it very attractive for application development. In addition, Python is used as a scripting language to connect the existing components, it is easier to learn the syntax, and hence it reduces the cost of program maintenance. 

Python encourages program modularity and code reuse. In addition, the interpreter and the extensive standard library are available in binary form or source and can be freely distributed. 

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Why Choose Python?

The programmers love to work with Python because of the increased productivity. As there is no compilation step, the edit-test-debug cycle is faster. Most importantly, Debugging Python programs is an easy task. A lousy input or a bug will never cause a segmentation fault. Instead, the interpreter discovers an error, raises an exception, and the interpreter prints a stack trace. 

The source-level debugger allows for inspecting the local and global variables, setting breakpoints, evaluating arbitrary expressions, and much more. 

The debugger is written in Python only, testifying to Python’s introspective power. 

Furthermore, the fastest method to debug a program is to add a few print statements to the source code. The fastest edit test debug cycle makes it simple and more effective. 

How to Get Python?

Here are the following steps to install Python on your PC.

  • Select the version of Python to download the full installer and install.
  • Download Python Executable Installer and install it.
  • Please wait for it to complete the installation process.
  • Verification of installation of Python in windows.
  • Run Python
  • Verify the Pip has been installed.

Python Shell

Python provides a Python shell, and it is applied to execute a single Python command and display the result. Python Shell or REPL means Read, Evaluate, Print, and Loop. Python shell reads the complete commands, evaluates the command, prints the result, and loops it back to reread. Python Shell can be installed easily by google extension.

What are the Basics of Python?

Let us understand the basics of Python. After understanding the basic terminologies, you can create a simple python program. 

1. Fundamentals: 

  • Syntax: It is the basic Python programming syntax
  • Variables: It explains how to create concise and meaningful variables.
  • Strings: You learn about string data and some bais string operations.
  • Booleans: The Boolean data type, falsy and truthy values in Python.
  • Constants: It shows you how to define constants in Python.
  • Comments: You can learn how to make notes in your code.
  • Type conversion: You will learn how to convert a value of one type to another. I.e., converting a string to a number. 

2. Operators:

  • Comparison operators: You will understand the operators and how to use them to compare two variables.
  • Logical operators: Show you how to imbibe the logical operators to combine multiple conditions.

3. Control Flow: 

  • If.else statement: learn to execute a code block based on a condition.
  • Ternary operator: You will understand the Python ternary operator that makes your code more concise.
  • Break: You will learn how to exit a loop prematurely.
  • Pass: It shows you how to use the pass statement as a placeholder. 

4. Functions: 

  • Python functions: You will know the function in Python and how to define and reuse functions in the program.
  • Keyword arguments: how to use the keyword arguments to make the function call more obvious.
  • Recursive functions: You will learn how to define recursive functions in Python.
  • Docstrings: show how you can use the docstrings to document a function.

5. List: 

  • Tuple: you must know the tuple, a list that doesn’t change throughout the program.
  • Sort a list in place: Use the sort method to sort a list in place.
  • Unpack a list: Using the list unpacking method, it guides you on allot list elements to multiple variables.
  • List comprehensions: It shows you how to create a new list based on an old list.
  • Filter list elements with filter: You can use the filter function to filter the list of elements.
  • Iterables: You must understand the Difference between an iterable and an iterator. 

6. Dictionaries: 

  • Dictionary introduces you to the dictionary type.
  • Dictionary comprehension tells you how to use dictionary comprehension to create a new dictionary from an existing one.

7. Sets:

  • Sets: it explains the set type and shows you how to manipulate set elements effectively.
  • Union Sets: Using the union method, it shows you how to union two or more sets.
  • The intersection of sets shows you how to intersect two or more sets using the intersection method or set intersection operator.
  • Symmetric Difference of sets: It guides you in identifying the symmetric Difference of sets using the symmetric difference method. 
  • Subset: it checks if a set is a subset of another set.

8. Exception Handling: 

  • Try except: it shows you how to handle exceptions gracefully using the try-except statement.
  • Try-except-else: it explains how to use the try-except else statement to manage the follow of the program if in case of exceptions. 

9. More on Python Loop:

  • For else: you must understand the for else statement.
  • While else: you need to understand the whole else statement.

10. More on Python functions:

  • Unpacking tuples: it shows you how to unpack a tuple that allows the individual elements of a tuple to be multiple variables.
  • Partial functions: You will learn how to define partial functions.
  • Type hints: It shows you how to add type hints to the parameters of functions. 

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Essentials Python Learning Strategies

The essential Python fastest Learning strategies are given below:

  • You need to cover the fundamentals of Python.
  • Establish a goal for your study.
  • Select the best resources to learn Python, such as interactive and non-interactive websites and video resources.
  • Consider learning Python Library.
  • Speed up the Python installation: a process with Anaconda.
  • Select and Install an IDE
  • Use Google to troubleshoot the code.

What are the Different Ways of Coding in Python?

  • The Shell: Python is an interpreter language. It executes the code line by line. Python provides a Python Shell, which executes a single python command and displays the result. To run the Python Shell, open the command prompt on windows and the terminal window on mac. Write Python and press enter. Python prompt consists of three greater than symbols. 
  • IDLE: After installation of Python comes with an integrated development and Learning Environment, which you will see shortened to IDLE or even IDE. These are a class of applications that help you write code more efficiently. While there are many IDEs for you to choose from, Python IDLE is bare-bones, making it the perfect tool for beginners. 
  • Code Editor: it is as easy as a text editor with syntax highlighting and even code formatting capabilities. The code editors can execute code and control a debugger.

[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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The environment should have a good set of debugging tools. Debugging tools are used to identify and fix errors in code.
  5. 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

Vim is a highly configurable and special text editor used by programmers. It is a powerful tool that enhances editing files, performs search and replaces 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

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

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. 

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, and 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.

Choose The Right Software Development Program

This table compares various courses offered by Simplilearn, based on several key features and details. The table provides an overview of the courses’ duration, skills you will learn, additional benefits, among other important factors, to help learners make an informed decision about which course best suits their needs.

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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. 

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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!

FAQs

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.