Top 6 Development Environments for Python | The USA Print

An integrated development environment (IDE) allows you to run code written in different programming languages.

Since Python is one of the most widely used development languages, there are unsurprisingly many Python IDEs on the market.

Discover in this article Python IDEs of all kinds, open-source as paid, compatible with all Python frameworks.


Named after Eric Idle of the British comedy troupe Monty Python, IDLE is quite minimalist. However, it offers everything you need to develop properly in Python.

Itself coded in Python, IDLE uses Tkinter’s toolkit for its GUI. Starting IDLE will open a Python shell, just like starting Python from the terminal. You can play with code snippets, with keywords and colored results.

Your code will be appropriately highlighted and automatically indented, with a configurable indentation level. IDLE supports the use of spaces or tabs for indentation and can perform automatic conversion between the two. Also, it can indent multiple lines at once.

IDLE does not have any project management functions, but has a powerful debugger that displays the call stack as well as the state of local and global variables.

Read also : The 6 most popular IDEs in C and C++


Like IDLE, Eric (lowercase) is named after Eric Idle and is also written in Python. Although Python is its focal point, the tool supports other languages.

It supports essential tasks like code completion, brace matching, a built-in class browser, and a powerful debugger.

Although the interface seems loaded, eric is very effective for serious coding: he has for example a hex editor, an SQL browser and an icon creator.

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It supports unit testing and can debug multi-threaded and multi-processor programs.


PyDev is a Python IDE running on Eclipse, which itself is a very popular open source IDE for various programming languages, and which enjoys a wide range of plugins available to complement its functionality.

PyDev comes with a series of basic but essential coding features, such as code autocompletion, debugging, coding templates, and a browser for testing code.

It offers an integration option to work with the Django Python framework, as well as Jython and IronPython support.

As it is free software, it is free to use and it provides enough functionality for basic to intermediate programming.


PyCharm is a Python IDE for professional developers.

Offered by JetBrains, it is a paid program that includes an impressive set of tools, such as:

  • intelligent assistance,
  • web development frameworks,
  • scientific tools (such as IPython Notebook, Anaconda, NumPy, Matplotlib…),
  • cross-technology development
  • and a huge collection of development tools.

Considered the best Python IDE for developers, PyCharm supports over 50 plugins of various kinds.

5. Thonny

Thonny is an IDE developed at the University of Tartu in Estonia, and is itself written in Python. It features a powerful debugger, perfect for learning the ins and outs of coding without worrying about how breakpoints work.

Thonny will automatically indent as you code, which will be useful for anyone new to Python (the language that uses indentation to delimit functions, loops, classes, clauses, etc). It will automatically complete your code and provide the correspondence between parentheses and square brackets. It also has syntax error highlighting.

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Ideal for beginners, it is a bit difficult to install for a neophyte. Damage !

6. Atom

Let’s end this list with Atom, “the hackable text editor of the 21st century”. Powered by social coding megalith GitHub, it can do just about anything you can imagine. And if he can’t do that, someone is sure to be working on a plugin to fix it. Atom has a huge community working for it.

The tool allows collaborating on coding projects in real time through the Teletype package. Coders who prefer the lightness of their application will hesitate before the 400 MB (including dependencies) of its installation. Still, even on a modest system, it runs well, and all the features Atom provides justify the disk space investment.

Contrary to what one might think, its clean interface makes it a very user-friendly and beginner-friendly IDE.

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