There are many IDE's and text editors which support  Python programming , some are made specially for python while others support multiple programming languages. Python itself comes bundled with an Integrated Development Environment called IDLE which is mostly suitable for learning  purposes or for exploring python features. IDLE can be used for small educational projects but it's features are highly limited compared to some major IDE's and text-editors. It is rarely used for large projects, it is recommended that python programmers should learn and master a more advanced IDE or editor. 

Each text-editor or IDE has it's pros and cons, also mastering the various features of a given one may take time.  A python programmer should , therefore, make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the IDE or editor  to learn since the choice can affect their productivity dramatically.  

Most modern Editors and IDE offers features to boost productivity , some of those  useful features  includes:

  1. Auto saving files - Sometimes you might forget to save your work on exit,  you also don't want to be saving your work each and every time you want to run the program. Most Editors and IDE's today offers the auto save feature by default, the out save takes place for example when you exit without saving , or when the editor stop being on focus e.g when you open another application.
  2. Real time source code reloading - Sometimes you might be working with two or more editors or IDE's at the same time, this is especially common when working with multiple programming languages,  where one editor/IDE  is more suitable for one language than another. You do not want to reopen the file so that an editor/IDE can  reflect the changes you made somewhere else.  Editors and IDE's  keeps track of the file you are in and reloads it, any time they detects a change.
  3. Syntax Highlighting - Editors/IDEs highlights specific's language syntax, such as keywords, variables , symbols and data types  with different colors, making the source code easy to understand and debug.  Another area where highlighting  is really useful  is in indicating syntax Errors. Syntax errors in a specific language are easy for an editor/IDE to recognize and  most will highlight the errors making debugging such errors super easy. 
  4. Debugging utilities- Most IDE's/Editors  comes with a prebuilt debugger  to offer debugging support and facilities  for the programming language being used
  5. Support for version controls - Version controls (e.g GIT ) cannot be left out in any discussion concerning modern software development. They have become one of the most important tools that a programmer needs to have in their tool box. Most modern IDE's/Editors offers builtin support for these essential software, and others offers Plugin to support them.  

Let us explore some IDE's and text-editors which offers high functionality when it comes to python programming .


1. Visual Studio Code / VS Code

Visual studio code , developed and maintained by Microsoft   is one of the most common editors and it has often been ranked as the most used editor. It is supported by the major operating systems including Windows, Linux and macOS.  VS  Code supports many languages through extensions which  can be  installed in order to offer language specific  features like syntax highlighting, indentation and auto completion.

VS code offers powerful and rich functionality when it comes to python programming,  it has  a lot of python extensions which are easy to install and use. On top of these extensions is  one made by Microsoft named Python which offers rich support for the python language  including features such as code linting , debugging, code formatting, unit tests and many more. In the following section we will look on how to install VS code and the python extension.

Installing VS code

To download the VS Code installer visit the  download page and select the installer for the operating system your computer is running.

Visual studio code installers

After the installer is downloaded, click it and follow the prompts that follow to start the installation process.

Installing the Python extension

The VS code editor is pretty basic by itself,  to use it for python development you will need the Python extension which you can install as follows.

Open your editor and click the extensions widget on the left

Extensions widget in VS code editor

On the search panel which opens , search Python then  click on  the top one which has verified Microsoft as Publisher.

You can now successfully edit,debug and run python programs with the VS code editor.

Some other useful VS code  extensions for Python worth mentioning includes :

  • LiveCode - provides real-time code evaluation
  • Python snippets - Provides a large set of code snippets which you can use as reference
  • Python preview - Supports debugging preview for python language
  • Python indent - For effective python code indentation
  • Git Graph - Offers a graphical representation of your  working tree in git.


Pycharm is a fully-featured Integrated Environment made specially for python programming ,It was developed and is maintained by a Czech company called JetBrains. Pycharm can be used consistently  in all the major operating systems including Windows, macOS and Linux. . It is one of the most powerful and feature-rich python IDEs and it comes with a lot of features already installed to support python programming.

Pycharm has a free version - Community version and a premium one - Professional version. The free version has less features and a little  weaker functionality compared to the Professional Version.  

The official website also specifies some minimum requirements which includes:

  1. 4gb of RAM 
  2. 3.5gb of disk space
  3. 1024×768 monitor resolution

You can install the community version as follows.

Installing Pycharm

Start by downloading Pycharm's installer  relevant to the operating system you are in from the official  download page .It will automatically detect the operating system your  computer is running on when you click the download  link. Select the Community version on the window that follows.

After the download is complete, click on the installer and follow through the installation guide to start the installing pycharm.

The pycharm installation guide

After the above installation is done, you should be able to open , create and run python projects in the Pycharm IDE. The IDE offers a nice user interface with pre-built support for working with git.

3.Sublime Text 

Sublime text is a lightweight text-editor written in C++ and Python. It has some major releases , the most current release is Sublime Text 4. It offers a rich Command palette where one can run numerous commands including  installing useful plugins and packages. It offers some robust feature to support  most language grammars. 

Sublime Text can be used in the major operating systems( Windows, macOS, Linux). It also offers platform-specific plugins and packages .

Some useful plugins that one can install when working with Python includes:

  1. GitGutter - A powerful Git  tool to highlight modifications made since the last commit. 
  2. SublimeLinter - Automatically lints files with .py extension when they are modified.
  3. Djaneiro - Offers a high level support for Django web framework , including it's templating language   
  4. Anaconda - This should not be confused with the Python distribution for Data Science under the same name. In Sublime text, the Anaconda package is used to offer real time  Python code completion .
  5. Zen tab - This plugin let's the user set the maximum number of tabs that can be open . It closes the oldest tab if the maximum tabs are reached  whenever a new tab is opened .
Installing Sublime Text.

To download the Sublime Text Editor installer, visit  the  download page and select the installer for your operating system. 

Sblime text download page

You can  then click on the installer and select the folder where  you want to install the Sublime text on.

Sublime text installer

The installation require around 70mb of disk space.

 Sublime HQ Pty Ltd, the company which developed and maintains Sublime Text also has  a related open-source GUI for working with Git Graphically  known as Sublime Merge. This package can be used alongside the Editor . You can check it on


Atom is a  free, open-source  and modern  text-editor which can be run on all the major  operating systems(Windows, macOS, Linux) . It is highly customizable and offers a wide range of themes, it also allows users to create custom themes. It has a built-in package manager which users can use to install and maintain packages. The editor has  thousands of packages and plugins that can  be used to add new features or improve app's functionality. 

It offers support for many programming languages  including python.

Downloading and Installing Atom

Start by downloading the Installer on the official github page . Then run the installer to start the installation.

Other installation methods.


If you are on Windows and you are using Chocolatey package manager , you can instead run the below command.

cinst Atom


  1.   If you are on Ubuntu, start by  installing dependencies
sudo apt install git libasound2 libcurl4 libgbm1 libgcrypt20 libgtk-3-0 libnotify4 libnss3 libglib2.0-bin xdg-utils libx11-xcb1 libxcb-dri3-0 libxss1 libxtst6 libxkbfile1
  1. Download atom-amd64.tar.gz from the Atom releases page.
  2. Run the following command in the directory where you want to extract the Atom folder.
tar xf atom-amd64.tar.gz 
  1. Launch Atom using the installed atom command from the newly extracted directory.


Eclipse IDE was initially made for Java programming but it offers support for other programming languages through Plugins. The plugin which is used to enable  Python Programming in Eclipse is called Pydev and it  supports Jython and IronPython as well. The plugin offers  features  such as :

  • built-in debugger
  • type hinting
  • Unittest integration
  • interactive console
  • Django integration
  • code completion
  • syntax highlighting
Installing  Eclipse and Pydev.

Visit the official download page  to download the installer for the Operating System you are in. 

Eclipse installation page

When the download is done, click on the installer to start the installation process.

Installing Pydev

Make sure you have all the necessary requirements before you start installing Pydev:

  • Eclipse
  • Java
  • Python 2.6 onwards

To install the Python plugin Pydev  on the Eclipse, You can use the Eclipse update manager by clicking on the Help > Install New Software...

Eclipse Editor Help tab

 In the next screen, add the following URL to indicate that you want to work with the latest version of Pydev :

Uncheck the 'Contact all update sites during install to find required software'  at the bottom then press Enter.

Eclipse Pydev query

Select  Pydev for Eclipse ,  then click next to start the installation. Restart the Editor after the installation for the effects to take place.