14 Best Python IDEs and Code Editors

Since 1991, Python programming language has been one of the cornerstones of the digital world as we know it. In fact, it was the driving force behind many successful tech projects. Python now powers all sorts of software, websites and applications that people and businesses use every day.

Today’s Python developers have access to a vast ecosystem of Python-related tools and IDEs. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best Python IDEs equipped with high-performing editors, interpreters and compilers. With these, designing outstanding tech products is one step closer.

What is Integrated Development Environment?

An integrated development environment, or IDE, is software that makes coding faster, easier and more accurate. An IDE offers a wealth of useful features that make development work more efficient. The best of them are:

  • code autocompletion;
  • code compiler and interpreter;
  • code linting and highlighting;
  • editor and debugger;
  • resource management;
  • integrations, plugins and more.

The benefits of IDEs are just as diverse:

  • higher coding productivity;
  • time and cost optimization of development work;
  • higher-quality output and programming workflow;
  • elimination of tedious manual development tasks;
  • higher code accuracy.

That being said, let’s jump straight to the best Python IDEs to consider mastering for your next project.

The best Python IDEs and code editors

1. PyCharm

PyCharm Python IDE

PyCharm by JetBrains is a great choice for experienced pros in need of an advanced Python IDE.

PyCharm IDE is available in two versions:

  • free open-source Python IDE for the community;
  • pro version starting at $199/Mo.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

PyCharm pros:

  • multiple out of the box features including autocompletion, code compiler, version control system and debugger;
  • dedicated Python community support;
  • integration with HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Node.js, Angular JS, etc.

PyCharm cons:

  • resource-intensive;
  • rather slow loading time.

2. Spyder

Spyder Python IDE

Spyder Python IDE is the #1 choice among data scientists and machine learning experts. If you’re into data science and are familiar with Anaconda distribution, this is the Python IDE to go for.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Spyder pros:

  • the best Python IDE tailored for data scientists;
  • robust debugger and multi-language editor;
  • integration with iPython console to facilitate handling variables.

Spyder cons:

  • less visual and polished than other Python IDEs and editors;
  • execution dependencies, particularly when multiple plugins are involved.

3. Pydev

Pydev Python IDE

To enable Python development, Pydev plugin comes in combination with Eclipse Python IDE.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Pydev pros:

  • integration with Iron Python, CPython, Django and Jython;
  • efficient syntax highlighting and multi-language editor;
  • an interactive console, smart indent, content assistants and tabs preferences.

Pydev cons:

  • multiple plugins tend to slow down performance significantly.

4. IDLE

IDLE Python IDE

One of the best Python IDEs, IDLE was introduced back in 1998. This is a simple Python IDE with basic functionality, which makes it a perfect choice for beginners.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

IDLE pros:

  • 100% Python, also enhanced by Tkinter GUI;
  • multi-window code editor;
  • IDLE compiler with built-in search across windows and dialog boxes.

IDLE cons:

  • while IDLE IDE is perfect for beginners and lightweight projects, it’s not robust enough to power large-scale Python projects.

5. Wing Python IDE

Wing Python IDE

Wing IDE powers Python development with some of the best compiler features developers need. However, for many development projects, this robust IDE can be quite expensive.

Pricing: annual license starts at $179/user.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Wing Python IDE pros:

  • integration with Django testing architecture;
  • highly flexible and customizable; also great for remote Python development;
  • a powerful debugger that developers often rate as Wing Python’s best features.

Wing Python IDE cons:

  • dark themes which the dev crowd loves are not available;
  • pro version is rather expensive.

6. Eric Python IDE

The Eric Python IDE

Eric Python IDE is a popular Python development software well-known for its useful integration with Scintilla editor. Eric Python is a good choice for beginners and pros alike.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Eric Python IDE pros:

  • multiple editors with customizable window layouts;
  • project and task management features, version control, syntax highlighting;
  • efficient debugger;
  • integration with CORBA, unittest and Google Protocol Buffers.

Eric Python IDE cons:

  • GUI is not very easy and visual to work with;
  • multiple plugins can cause significant performance issues.

7. Rodeo

Rodeo Python IDE

A cross-platform Python IDE, Rodeo is another great development tool for data scientists. It’s best used for machine learning and data science projects which typically involve large sets of data and variables for experimenting.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Rodeo pros:

  • a lightweight and flexible development architecture;
  • block or single execution of code;
  • built-in Python documentation;
  • iPython integration, powerful debugger, code autocompletion, visual file navigator and more.

Rodeo cons:

  • memory issues could happen all too often;
  • multiple bugs as reported by developers.

8. Thonny

Thonny Python IDE

One of the best Python IDEs, Thonny is a #1 learning resource for beginners to get familiar with Python development. In a nutshell, it has all the features newbies need, and nothing they don’t.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Thonny pros:

  • a simple debugger;
  • Thonny goes an extra mile to make the interpreter function simpler and error-free;
  • all must-have features for Python development including syntax highlighting, function calls, a robust editor and more.

Thonny cons:

  • the functionality is quite basic. For advanced features and visual editor interface, developers must resort to other tools.

9. Atom

Atom Python IDE

Developed by GitHub, Atom Python IDE pretty much sets the industry standards. This IDE is built by developers for developers, making it a perfect choice for your next project.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Atom pros:

  • dedicated community support;
  • top-notch integration with Git which enables multiple panes, colors, themes and projects;
  • on-going enhancements for plugins which makes Python development more efficient.

Atom cons:

  • multiple tabs are convenient but they tend to slow down the overall performance.
  • performance issues on the older CPUs.

10. PyScripter

PyScripter Python IDE

PyScripter Python IDE is a relatively new player on the market, but one that both experienced and beginning devs will come to appreciate. In fact, it can beat many premium IDEs in terms of being lightweight and flexible.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows.

PyScripter pros:

  • code templates, multi-language support, bracket matching and unit testing;
  • powerful debugger;
  • very clean and responsive user interface.

PyScripter cons:

  • lack of cross-platform compatibility (only works for Windows).

11. Sublime Text

Sublime Text Python IDE

Sublime Text is definitely one of the best Python IDEs on the market thanks to its solid and reliable architecture for Python development. This software also comes with a dedicated Python API.

Pricing: $80 for a license.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Sublime Text pros:

  • an extremely flexible and customizable code editor;
  • GOTO Anything and GOTO Definition features that greatly speed up development work;
  • command palette, multiple selections, change indentation and more.

Sublime Text cons:

  • lack of robust Git plugin integration;
  • quite complicated to navigate, particularly for beginners.

12. Python IDE from Visual Studio Code

Visual Code Studio Python IDE

Visual Studio Code Python IDE is especially popular for the development of modern cloud applications. One of the best choices for Python developers, for sure.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Visual Studio Code Python IDE pros:

  • smart code completion with the IntelliSense feature;
  • Git integration and multi-language support;
  • highly customizable code editor.

Visual Studio Code Python IDE cons:

  • search feature is rather limited;
  • slowish performance as reported by many users.

13. Vim

Vim Python IDE

Vim is a free text editor which can be used as a standalone Python development tool or command line interface. This IDE is a great choice when you only need the text editor functionality.

Pricing: free, open-source Python IDE.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, MorphOS, etc.

Vim pros:

  • support for non-programming applications that most other text editors lack;
  • a variety of plugins to add more functions;
  • two development modes (normal and working) for users to work with.

Vim cons:

  • functionality is limited to the text editor;
  • could be quite confusing for beginners and the learning curve is steep.

14. Cloud 9

Cloud 9 Python IDE

With Amazon’s backing, Cloud 9 is one of the best IDEs for Python development. In terms of code completion feature alone, it’s probably the most sophisticated IDE out there.

Pricing: free for Amazon customers; small monthly compute and storage fees apply.

Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux.

Cloud9 pros:

  • web-based, no need to install a local IDE;
  • powerful team collaboration in real-time;
  • great to create, manage and debug serverless applications;
  • multiple cursors and a drag-and-drop interface.

Cloud9 cons:

  • lack of shortcuts;
  • the documentation leaves wanting more;
  • complicated setup.

There you go – 14 great Python IDEs to consider.

Running on another IDE that’s been a great fit for your project?

Share your insights in the comments below!

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I am a freelance writer and marketing enthusiast with a keen interest in emerging technologies, IT landscape and software products that make our world a better place.
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Ira Chopovska

Digital Marketer

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Sam

With the ecosystem for Python-related tools and IDEs so vast, it is important to find the solutions that work best for you. I really undertook this challenge back when I was programming regularly in Python. Cloud 9 is been great for me lately as its sophistication is unmatched while remaining free for Amazon customers.

Cloud9 is awesome! You are right.

Tech Boy

Great! Python is a very powerful programming language and these IDE’s make it even more powerful. Atom and Sublime text are very exciting and very easy to work on. A very good list presented here and very informative one too!

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