As a developer, we always like to choose the best thing among several choices available, especially in the case of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). Usually, developers and programmers get confused in choosing the best and most suitable IDE or Editor for them. In this article, we will go through some of the best IDEs available for Python.

IDE

IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment. It is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) based software which allows the programmers to write, debug, release, and deploy their code. An IDE with minimal functionality consists of at least a source code editor, build tools, and a debugger. An IDE combines all essential tools needed for software development and testing which helps the programmer to produce good output.

Common Features of IDE

1. Code Editor – Code Editor is NOT and IDE

Many of the programmers and specifically the naïve ones do not know the difference between a code editor and an IDE. The code editor is an application that enables the programmer to write and manipulate the source code. Code Editor can also be a standalone application like Brackets, Sublime Text; visual editors like NoviBuilder or they are integrated into IDEs. The code editor only supports the feature of editing the text. On the other hand, IDE is a complete environment where you can create, test and deploy software applications.

2. Syntax Highlighting

Another feature of IDEs is syntax highlighting. Syntax highlighting means that the editor displays the text, more specifically, the source code in different colors according to the programming language being used. It highlights the reserved words in some specific color, function names in some other color and so on. Syntax highlighting is very useful, especially for the beginner programmers. Visual learners find it very useful for remembering the syntax.

3. Auto-Completion / Code Completion

Auto-completion feature, as you have most probably seen in your mobile phones, is used to minimize the time consumption while writing the code. Code completion is for the assistance of a programmer. It identifies and inserts common code components intelligently.

4. Debugger

Debugging is the process of finding and removing bugs from a program. Debugger feature of IDE allows the tester/programmer to test and debug the source code.

5. Compiler

Compilers translate the source code from one language to another. IDEs also contains compilers. 

6. Language Support

Some IDEs support specific language whereas there are other IDEs available with multi-language support.

Now that you know the basic features of an IDE. Let us dive into the best IDEs available for Python.

Top 10 IDEs for Python

10. IDLE

IDLE is a cross-platform open-source IDE which comes by default with Python. IDLE is completely written in Python. IDLE name is used to honour Eric Idle who was one of the founding members of Monty Python, the television show liked by the creator of Python language Guido Van Rossum.

IDLE is simple to use. It is suitable for educational purposes.

IDLE ide

Features

  • Python shell with syntax highlighting
  • Breakpoints
  • Call stack’s clear visibility
  • Multi-window text editor
  • Stepping

Price

Free of cost (Open-Source)

9. Thonny

Thonny is an IDE developed for beginners. It provides assistance to the beginner.

THONNY ide

Features

  • Easy for beginners
  • Visualize variables to see how they change when a program executes
  • Line numbers are available
  • Simple debugger
  • Step through expression evaluation
  • Visualize the function calls
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Step by step assistance

Price

Open-source

8. Eric Python

Eric Python IDE is full-featured IDE. It is a cross-platform IDE written in Python. Source code of Eric Python is available freely and can be studied and re-created by anyone.

ERIC PYTHON ide

Features

  • Configurable Window Layout
  • Application diagrams
  • Error Highlighting
  • Code folding
  • Class browser available
  • Visualize the function calls
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Step by step assistance

Price

Open-source

7. Atom

Atom is an open-source cross-platform IDE. It is a desktop application built using web technologies. It is based on a framework built by GitHub named Electron.

ATOM ide

Features

  • Enables support for third-party packages
  • Embedded Git Control
  • Multi Programming Language support
  • Allows installation of packages
  • Package Management
  • Exception reporting package
  • Smart auto-completion
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Multiple panes

Price

Open-source

6. Wing

The Wing is a cross-platform IDE created by Wingware. It is a lightweight IDE. It is designed to allow quick programming. There are three variants of Wing:

  1. Wing Pro
  2. Wing Personal
  3. Wing 101

Wing Pro is a professional version priced between $95 – $179.

Wing Personal and Wing 101 are simplified free versions available for educational purpose and beginners.

WING ide

Features

  • Automatic multi-process and child process debugging
  • Remote debug process
  • Module browser
  • Refactoring
  • Auto-completion for non Python files also
  • Customizable
  • Extensible
  • Remote development support
  • Syntax highlighting

Price

$95 – $179 Wing Pro

5. Sublime Text

SUBLIME TEXT is a cross-platform IDE that costs $80. It is developed in C++ and Python.

SUBLIME TEXT ide

Features

  • API and Package System
  • Multiple Panes
  • Goto Anything feature
  • Python-based plugin API
  • Allows simultaneous editing (multiple selections)
  • Command Palette
  • Easily Customizable
  • Good Performance
  • Syntax Highlighting

Price

$80

4. Rodeo

Rodeo is an open-source cross-platform IDE for Python. It highly supports Data Science related tasks.

RODEO ide

Features

  • Very easy to load and compare data
  • Data Experimentation
  • Built-in Python Tutorials
  • Cheat sheets are available
  • Easy to use file and package search
  • Simple and lightweight
  • Smart auto-completion
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Command history

Price

Open-source

3. PyDev

PyDev is an open-source cross-platform third-party package which serves as a plugin for Eclipse IDE. PyDev turns Eclipse for Python development.

PYDEV ide

Features

  • Remote debugger
  • Code Folding (Selectively hide or display sections of code) 
  • Support for Python 2.x and 3.x syntax
  • Error description on hovering
  • Auto-edit feature
  • Plug-in for Eclipse
  • Smart auto-completion
  • Syntax Highlighting

Price

Open-source

2. Spyder

Spyder is an open-source cross-platform IDE designed for data analysis and data science. It is a powerful scientific development IDE written in Python.

SPYDER ide

Features

  • Integrated with many of the scientific libraries of Python
  • Advance support for editing, analysis and data exploration
  • Static code analysis
  • Plug-in system and API help to enhance features
  • Dynamic code introspection
  • Class and function browser
  • Integrated pylint code analysis
  • Debugger
  • Syntax Highlighting

Price

Open-source

1. PyCharm

PyCharm is a cross-platform IDE developed by JetBrains. It comes in two versions:

  1. Community Version (Free)
  2. Professional Version ($199/User)

PyCharm is considered one of the best IDEs due to its remarkable features. It is most widely used.

PYCHARM ide

Features

  • Intelligent Assistance for Code
  • Scientific tools are available
  • Quick switching between files
  • Facilitates Web Developer and Web Development
  • There are more than 1000 plug-ins available
  • Allows the programmer to write own plug-ins
  • Customizable
  • Syntax Highlighting
  • Built-in developer tools

You can read more about Pycharm features on this link.

Price

  1. Community Version (Free)
  2. Professional Version ($199/User)

Comparison Table

Features IDLE Thonny Eric Python Atom Wing Sublime Rodeo PyDev Spyder PyCharm
Code Completion
Debugging Package Available Package Available Remote Debugger
Built-in Unit Testing Package Available Package Available Plugin
Open Source Community Edition
Light Weight
Refactoring Package Available Package Available

Thanku for reading. We’ll love to know your IDE choice in the comment section below.

Here’re some more Articles, you might be interested:

— Top 5 Python Web Frameworks to Learn

— Developing Chat Application in Python with Source Code

— File I/O in Python – Read and Write Files Tutorial

3 Comments

  1. PyCharm has great features but it is insanely slow. I’ve used Visual Studio remote debugging Python on a Linux machine. and it works quite well. A bit surprised it isn’t mentioned here.

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