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17+ Best Python IDEs: Top Picks for Students & Professionals



Introduction

Python continues to be one of the most popular programming languages in the world, with a 30% increase in popularity over the past year alone. As of 2023, Python is the second most loved programming language by developers, and its popularity is only expected to grow further. With such high demand, choosing the best Python IDE or text editor is crucial to ensure you're working efficiently and developing high-quality code.

In this article, we'll explore:

  • The different types of Python IDE
  • Considerations for choosing
  • Comparison of the best Python IDEs
  • Tips for optimizing your Python IDE.

17 Best Python IDEs For Developers in 2023

A Python developer's job involves writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining Python code. The choice of IDE or text editor is crucial for a Python developer's productivity and workflow. According to recent surveys, PyCharm is the most widely used IDE for Python development, with around 31% of developers using it as their primary IDE. Visual Studio Code follows closely behind with 21%, and Jupyter Notebook is the third most popular with 14%.

However, the choice of the best Python IDE or best text editor for Python largely depends on individual preferences and project requirements. For instance, IDLE is an excellent choice for beginners as it comes bundled with Python, while PyCharm offers advanced features suitable for large-scale Python projects.

Here are some of the best IDEs & text editors for Python development:

IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment)

  • IDLE is a default editor that comes with Python and is an excellent choice for beginners.
  • It is available for Mac OS, Windows, and Linux, and it's free.
  • Some of its most remarkable features include the ability to search several files, an interactive interpreter with syntax highlighting, smart indenting, error, and I/O, as well as basic text editor features, and a very capable debugger.

PyCharm

  • PyCharm is a widely used Python IDE created by JetBrains and is suitable for professional developers who need to work on large Python projects.
  • It is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and its price is freemium.
  • Its notable features include support for JavaScript, CSS, and TypeScript, smart code navigation, quick and safe code refactoring, and support for accessing databases directly from the IDE.

Want to learn more about the career opportunities available to Python developers? Check out our comprehensive guide to the Python career path for insights and advice.

Visual Studio Code

  • Visual Studio Code is an open-source and free IDE created by Microsoft that finds great use in Python development.
  • The IDE is lightweight yet packs a punch with its robust features, some of which are typically only found in premium IDEs.
  • Some of its most notable features include one of the best smart code completion that is based on various factors, Git integration, code debugging within the editor, and support for adding additional features like code linting, themes, and other services through extensions.

Sublime Text 3

  • Sublime Text 3 is a highly customizable code editor that supports many languages, including Python.
  • It is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and it's free.
  • Its notable features include syntax highlighting, custom user commands for using the IDE, efficient project directory management, support for additional packages for the web, and scientific Python development.

Atom

  • Atom is an open-source code editor by GitHub that supports Python development.
  • It is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and it's free.
  • Its notable features include support for a large number of plugins, smart autocompletion, supports custom commands for the user to interact with the editor, and supports cross-platform development.

Jupyter

  • Jupyter is a popular tool in the realm of data science due to its user-friendly interface, interactivity, and ability to facilitate real-time code sharing and visualization.
  • It is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and it's free.
  • Its notable features include support for numerical calculations and machine learning workflow, combining code, text, and images for greater user experience, and intergeneration of data science libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib.

Spyder

  • Spyder is an IDE that is open-source and is typically utilized for scientific development purposes.
  • It comes with the Anaconda distribution, which is popular for data science and machine learning.
  • It is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and it's free.
  • Its notable features include support for Python automation testing & frameworks, code completion, and splitting, support for plotting different types of charts, and data manipulation.

PyDev

  • PyDev is a robust Python interpreter that can be obtained as a third-party plugin for the Eclipse IDE.
  • It is flexible and one of the preferred open-source IDEs by developers.
  • It is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux, and it's free.
  • Some of its noteworthy features include seamless integration with Django, automatic code completion, support for type hinting and refactoring, debugging and code analysis capabilities, code coverage, and solid support for Python web development.

Thonny

  • Thonny is one of the best IDE for Python designed for educational purposes and is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating systems. Best of all, it's available at no cost.
  • Its standout features include an intuitive debugger, automatic syntax error detection, function evaluation, and a comprehensive display of variables used in Python programs or projects.

Wing

  • Wing is also a popular IDE that provides many good features to ensure a productive environment.
  • It offers a 30-day trial version for developers to check and understand the features of this IDE.
  • Its price ranges from US $95 - US 179 for a commercial license.
  • Its notable features include providing immediate feedback to your Python code, support for test-driven development with unit tests, Pytest, and Django testing framework, assisting in remote development, and auto code completion.

Vim

  • Vim is one of the best Python editors, that is flexible, open-source terminal-based.
  • It is a revamped version of the Vi text editor and is ideal for Python development.

GNU/Emacs

  • GNU/Emacs is a collection of macro extensions designed to enhance various code editors.
  • Evaluate the IDE's debugging and troubleshooting tools. Debugging tools can help you pinpoint errors and test your code more thoroughly.
  • Look for IDEs that support plugins and extensions to enhance functionality. Plugins can provide additional features such as code linting, code completion, and debugging tools.
  • It is an open-source code editor that is widely used by developers for Python development.

Dreamweaver

  • Dreamweaver is one of the best IDE for Python for web development that enables users to create, publish, and manage websites with ease.
  • Consider the level of support and community available for the IDE. A good community can provide valuable resources, such as tutorials, forums, and plugins, and can help with troubleshooting and development.
  • Evaluate the IDE's debugging and troubleshooting tools. Debugging tools can help you pinpoint errors and test your code more thoroughly.

Eric

  • Eric is a full-featured Python editor and IDE built on the cross-platform Qt GUI development framework.
  • It has excellent plug-in management support and is ideal for Python development.

Visual Studio

  • Visual Studio is an all-in-one (IDE) created by Microsoft that is widely used for building computer programs such as mobile applications, web services, and web apps. 
  • It also offers support for Python development and is particularly well-suited for professional developers working on large-scale Python projects.

Pyscripter

  • Pyscripter is a lightweight yet powerful Python IDE that comes packed with all the features you would expect from a modern development environment.
  •  It is natively compiled for Windows, which ensures optimal performance and minimal memory consumption, making it a top choice for Python development.

Rodeo

  • Rodeo is another standout IDE for Python that was specifically designed for data science-related tasks such as data extraction from various sources and creating charts and graphs.
  • It is compatible with multiple platforms and also serves as an interactive experimentation environment.

Here are four additional Python IDEs and a brief overview of each:

Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS)

Python Tools for Visual Studio is a free, open-source plugin for Visual Studio that adds Python support to the IDE. It includes features such as debugging, code completion, and refactoring, as well as support for web development and data science.

Komodo IDE

Komodo IDE is a commercial IDE that offers features such as code completion, debugging, and version control integration. It also includes a unit testing framework and support for web development technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Eclipse with PyDev

PyDev is a plugin for Eclipse that adds support for Python development. It includes features such as code completion, debugging, and unit testing, as well as integration with web development technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Anaconda

Anaconda is a Python distribution that includes several data science libraries and tools, as well as an IDE called Spyder. Spyder offers features such as code completion, debugging, and data exploration, as well as integration with data science libraries such as NumPy and Pandas.

These IDEs all offer different features and capabilities, and the best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Comparison of Python IDEs

Now that you know about the Integrated Development Environment, here's a quick comparison of some of the most popular Python IDEs:

IDE Name Price Platform Compatibility Notable Features
IDLE Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Easy to use, basic debugger, syntax highlighting
PyCharm Freemium Windows, Mac OS, Linux Advanced code navigation, database support, JavaScript/CSS/TypeScript support
Visual Studio Code Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Lightweight, Git integration, smart code completion
Sublime Text 3 Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Customizable, syntax highlighting, efficient project directory management
Atom Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux A large number of plugins, cross-platform development, smart autocompletion
Jupyter Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Interactive, great for data science, supports data science libraries
Spyder Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Automatic code completion, support for plotting and data manipulation, integration with data science libraries
PyDev Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Django integration, auto code completion, refactoring, debugging, code analysis
Thonny Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Simple debugger, automatic syntax error detection, detailed view of variables
Wing $95-$179 Windows, Mac OS, Linux Immediate feedback, test-driven development, remote development
Vim Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Flexible, terminal-based text editor
Emacs Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Macro extensions for different code editors
Dreamweaver Paid Windows, macOS Web development IDE
Pyscripter Free Windows Lightweight, supports modern Python IDE features
Rodeo Free Windows, Mac OS, Linux Great for data science, interactive

Additional Tips for Optimizing Your Python IDE

As a Python developer, you can expect to earn a competitive salary in the current job market if you have a good grasp of tools and IDEs. Unlock the full potential of your Python development workflow with these data-driven tips for optimizing your IDE. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting, these strategies will help you boost your productivity and write cleaner, more efficient code. 

Here are a few more tips for optimizing your Python IDE:

  • Use code snippets to save time and reduce errors.
  • Configure your IDE to automatically format your code for consistency.
  • Utilize keyboard macros to automate repetitive tasks.
  • Customize your IDE's color scheme to reduce eye strain and improve readability.
  • Use a plugin or extension to automate code testing and ensure code quality.
  • It can be uploaded to any web server and supports Python development.

Considerations for Choosing a Python IDE

When it comes to choosing a Python IDE, there are several important factors to consider. Firstly, you'll want to think about the specific project you'll be working on, as this may dictate the features you'll need in an IDE. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you'll be able to choose the Python IDE that best fits your needs, and will be well-equipped to tackle any Python project that comes your way.

Project requirements

Certain IDEs are better suited for specific types of projects. For example, if you're working on a data science or machine learning project, you may want an IDE that has built-in support for data analysis libraries such as NumPy and Pandas. On the other hand, if you're working on a web development project, you may want an IDE with built-in support for web frameworks such as Flask and Django.

User experience

Choose an IDE that is intuitive and easy to use. A good IDE should have a clean interface, clear documentation, and a helpful community.

Platform compatibility

Ensure that the IDE works well on your operating system. Certain IDEs are created with Windows in mind, while others are designed for macOS or Linux operating systems. Also, the wide range of Python libraries assists in working better

Community support

Choose an IDE that has an active community to help with troubleshooting and development. A good community can provide valuable resources, such as tutorials, forums, and plugins.

Further, If you're interested in becoming a Python full-stack developer, you'll need a reliable IDE that can handle all aspects of the development process.

Customization options

Choose an IDE that allows for customization to fit your development preferences. A good IDE should allow you to customize everything from the color scheme to the keyboard shortcuts.

Best IDE for Python: Specific Use Cases

Choosing the best IDE for Python for your project can be overwhelming, especially with so many options available. Here are some of the best Python IDEs for specific use cases:

Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Jupyter Notebook
  • Spyder
  • PyCharm Professional
  • Visual Studio Code
Web Development
  • PyCharm Professional
  • Visual Studio Code
  • Sublime Text
  • Atom
Game Development
  • PyCharm Professional
  • Visual Studio Code
Education
  • Thonny
  • IDLE

Tips for Optimizing Your Python IDE

Optimizing your Python IDE can help you write, test, and debug code more efficiently. Here are some tips for optimizing your Python IDE:

Customizing the interface:- Customize your IDE to improve productivity and personalization. For example, you can change the color scheme, font size, and layout to suit your preferences.

Keyboard shortcuts:- Learn keyboard shortcuts to save time and streamline development. Keyboard shortcuts can help you navigate your code more quickly and efficiently.

Plugins and extensions:- Install plugins and extensions to enhance functionality. Plugins can provide additional features such as code linting, code completion, and debugging tools.

Debugging and troubleshooting:- Use debugging tools to identify and fix problems in your code. Debugging tools can help you pinpoint errors and test your code more thoroughly.

Conclusion

The increasing popularity of Python as a programming language has led to the development of numerous IDEs, each with its strengths and weaknesses. However, recent trends and statistics show that the demand for powerful and user-friendly IDEs continues to grow. By carefully evaluating the factors discussed in this article and experimenting with different IDEs, you can find the best Python IDE for your needs and take your coding skills to the next level. Also, If you're new to Python programming and looking for a comprehensive tutorial to get started, our Python programming tutorial is a great place to begin.

So don't hesitate to invest time and effort into finding the right Python IDE – it could make all the difference in your development workflow!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the difference between a text editor and an IDE?

Ans:- A text editor is a software application that allows for editing plain text files, while an IDE provides a comprehensive environment for software development with features such as debugging and code completion.

Q2. Is PyCharm the best Python IDE for beginners?

Ans:- PyCharm may be overwhelming for beginners. IDEs like Thonny and IDLE are better suited for beginners.

Q3. Which IDE is superior: PyCharm or VS Code? 

Ans:- PyCharm may have a smaller ecosystem, but it offers a more extensive set of features. On the other hand, VS Code has IntelliSense that saves you from manually typing out code. Additionally, it has a GitHub CoPilot extension that accelerates coding speed. With linting configuration, you can enhance code cleanliness in both IDEs.

Q4. Can I use a Python IDE on multiple platforms?

Ans:- The best Python IDEs are compatible for Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Q5.Do I need certification to work with Python?

Ans:- Having a certification from a reputable organization can significantly increase your chances of getting hired and can also help you negotiate a better salary. JanBask Training offers comprehensive online Python training programs that can help you become proficient in Python and prepare for certification exams with efficient Python online classes.

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