Developers
August 6, 2020

Best Python Code Editors and IDEs

A solid development environment can make all the difference in a programming session.

Python is one of the most popular programming languages on the planet. In fact, it has consistently been in the top 10 since 2003. The language is extremely powerful, leading to its widespread use in academic circles, in the machine learning field, for web development and much more. In addition, it is considered a fairly easy programming language to learn.

As a result of these advantages, Python editors and integrated development environments (IDE) are available on virtually every platform. Here are some of the top choices.

PyDev and Eclipse

Eclipse is one of the most well-known IDEs available. It was originally created for Java programming but, thanks to PyDev, is an excellent option for Python as well.

PyDev does such a good job bridging the gap between Eclipse and Python that it effectively brings the experience nearly on par with Java development in Eclipse.

This is an excellent option for Java developers that want a familiar environment. PyDev and Eclipse are both available for Linux, macOS and Windows.

PyCharm

PyCharm was created by JetBrains, the makers of IntelliJ IDEA, as well as the Kotlin programming language.

PyCharm consistently ranks among the best Python IDEs, features excellent smart code navigation and intelligent code editing. Like Eclipse and PyDev, it is available for Linux, Mac and Windows.

Visual Studio Code

One entry on this list that may be unexpected is Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. Nonetheless, Microsoft’s code editor has gained respect for its well-rounded support for Python.

Developers who choose Visual Studio Code will benefit from all the visual niceties one would expect from one of Microsoft’s development tools. While some may be quick to dismiss this as an option primarily for a Microsoft developer who also needs to develop in Python, its language support, features and polish are well worth a look for anyone doing serious Python development.

Again, like the others, Visual Studio Code runs on all three major platforms.

IDLE

IDLE is an excellent choice for beginners who are just learning to program in Python, as it includes everything needed to get up-and-running, including a Python installation.

That’s not to say it’s exclusively for beginners. IDLE has features that will make it useful for seasoned professionals as well, and runs on all three major platforms.

NetBeans

Like Eclipse, NetBeans is primarily known as a Java IDE. That being said, thanks to a plugin, it too is a stellar Python IDE.

As a full-fledged IDE, NetBeans has all the features one would expect, including project management, code editing, debugging and tools to help with deployment.

NetBeans supports Linux, macOS and Windows.

Sublime Text

Shifting gears, Sublime Text is a code editor, rather than a full-fledged editor. That being said, it is one of the most powerful text editors on the market and is an excellent choice for Python development.

Sublime Text was itself written in Python, as well as C++. One of the advantages it provides over a traditional IDE is speed and simplicity. Since it is a text editor first and foremost, it tends to get out of the way let a programmer focus on writing code. Its lightweight approach also makes it incredibly fast, especially compared to the larger, monolithic IDEs.

Sublime Text is also very extensible, and is available for all three major platforms.

Vim

Vim is practically a legend in the field of text editors, and is certainly one of the oldest. Originally released in 1991, it is designed to run as either a standalone application or via the command line.

Vim has earned its reputation as one of the most powerful text editors available and makes any kind of text editing or manipulation a breeze. This makes it a powerful choice for Python development.

Vim also supports one of the biggest array of platforms, being available on AmigaOS, Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, MorphOS, MS-DOS, Windows and UNIX.

BBEdit

Like Sublime Text, BBEdit is a text editor that enjoys almost venerable status on macOS. It is one of the oldest Mac apps still going strong, having originally been released for Macintosh System Software 6 in 1992.

BBEdit supports a wide array of programming languages, including Python, and has powerful features that lend themselves to programming.

Pythonista for iOS

Certainly the strangest addition to this list, Pythonista is a full-fledged Python development environment for Python development on iOS.

The application is incredibly well-reviewed by users, and provides iOS developers a way to automate tasks on their device, create games and more. Most important, it also provides a way for a developer to stay productive and keep working while on the go and away from their normal workstation.

Python Development: A Plethora of Choices

Without a doubt, Python developers have a wide array of options to choose form. Whether full-fledged IDEs, modern text editors, old favorites or even iPad environments, there’s sure to be an editor or IDE for everyone.

TagsPythonCode EditorsIDEs
Matt Milano
Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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DevelopersAugust 6, 2020
Best Python Code Editors and IDEs
A solid development environment can make all the difference in a programming session.

Python is one of the most popular programming languages on the planet. In fact, it has consistently been in the top 10 since 2003. The language is extremely powerful, leading to its widespread use in academic circles, in the machine learning field, for web development and much more. In addition, it is considered a fairly easy programming language to learn.

As a result of these advantages, Python editors and integrated development environments (IDE) are available on virtually every platform. Here are some of the top choices.

PyDev and Eclipse

Eclipse is one of the most well-known IDEs available. It was originally created for Java programming but, thanks to PyDev, is an excellent option for Python as well.

PyDev does such a good job bridging the gap between Eclipse and Python that it effectively brings the experience nearly on par with Java development in Eclipse.

This is an excellent option for Java developers that want a familiar environment. PyDev and Eclipse are both available for Linux, macOS and Windows.

PyCharm

PyCharm was created by JetBrains, the makers of IntelliJ IDEA, as well as the Kotlin programming language.

PyCharm consistently ranks among the best Python IDEs, features excellent smart code navigation and intelligent code editing. Like Eclipse and PyDev, it is available for Linux, Mac and Windows.

Visual Studio Code

One entry on this list that may be unexpected is Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code. Nonetheless, Microsoft’s code editor has gained respect for its well-rounded support for Python.

Developers who choose Visual Studio Code will benefit from all the visual niceties one would expect from one of Microsoft’s development tools. While some may be quick to dismiss this as an option primarily for a Microsoft developer who also needs to develop in Python, its language support, features and polish are well worth a look for anyone doing serious Python development.

Again, like the others, Visual Studio Code runs on all three major platforms.

IDLE

IDLE is an excellent choice for beginners who are just learning to program in Python, as it includes everything needed to get up-and-running, including a Python installation.

That’s not to say it’s exclusively for beginners. IDLE has features that will make it useful for seasoned professionals as well, and runs on all three major platforms.

NetBeans

Like Eclipse, NetBeans is primarily known as a Java IDE. That being said, thanks to a plugin, it too is a stellar Python IDE.

As a full-fledged IDE, NetBeans has all the features one would expect, including project management, code editing, debugging and tools to help with deployment.

NetBeans supports Linux, macOS and Windows.

Sublime Text

Shifting gears, Sublime Text is a code editor, rather than a full-fledged editor. That being said, it is one of the most powerful text editors on the market and is an excellent choice for Python development.

Sublime Text was itself written in Python, as well as C++. One of the advantages it provides over a traditional IDE is speed and simplicity. Since it is a text editor first and foremost, it tends to get out of the way let a programmer focus on writing code. Its lightweight approach also makes it incredibly fast, especially compared to the larger, monolithic IDEs.

Sublime Text is also very extensible, and is available for all three major platforms.

Vim

Vim is practically a legend in the field of text editors, and is certainly one of the oldest. Originally released in 1991, it is designed to run as either a standalone application or via the command line.

Vim has earned its reputation as one of the most powerful text editors available and makes any kind of text editing or manipulation a breeze. This makes it a powerful choice for Python development.

Vim also supports one of the biggest array of platforms, being available on AmigaOS, Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, MorphOS, MS-DOS, Windows and UNIX.

BBEdit

Like Sublime Text, BBEdit is a text editor that enjoys almost venerable status on macOS. It is one of the oldest Mac apps still going strong, having originally been released for Macintosh System Software 6 in 1992.

BBEdit supports a wide array of programming languages, including Python, and has powerful features that lend themselves to programming.

Pythonista for iOS

Certainly the strangest addition to this list, Pythonista is a full-fledged Python development environment for Python development on iOS.

The application is incredibly well-reviewed by users, and provides iOS developers a way to automate tasks on their device, create games and more. Most important, it also provides a way for a developer to stay productive and keep working while on the go and away from their normal workstation.

Python Development: A Plethora of Choices

Without a doubt, Python developers have a wide array of options to choose form. Whether full-fledged IDEs, modern text editors, old favorites or even iPad environments, there’s sure to be an editor or IDE for everyone.

Python
Code Editors
IDEs
About the author
Matt Milano -Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

Related Articles