What is an IDE, Code Editor, and Why Do You Need It?

Python is one of the main high-level programming languages generally used to automate certain repetitive tasks. Python services are largely used for maths, scripting, server-side web development, development of software, and artificial intelligence. It works on multiple platforms like macOS, Linux, Windows, Raspberry Pi, etc.

Before exploring more about Python IDE, we must understand what is the difference between Code editor and IDE!

A code editor is a tool that is a platform for editing and modifying the code only. They are generally lightweight and can be great for learning. However, once your program gets bigger, you need to code, debug and test your software, that’s where IDEs come in.

IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment.

IDE is basically a software pack that consists of equipment that provides many features like coding, compiling, debugging, executing, autocomplete, libraries. An IDE can understand your code better than any text editor and consists of characteristics such as code linting, build automation, testing and debugging.

1) Jetbrains Pycharm

Pycharm is an integrated development environment which is one of the widely used Python IDE developed by JetBrains. Pycharm is known for its product development thanks to its productivity tools such as quick fixes. It is available with mainly two versions as pycharm professional edition and pycharm community edition.

Price: US $ 199 per User – 1st year for Pycharm Professional Developer, Community(Free)

Website: https://www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/

Compatibility/Platform Support: Windows, Linux, Mac OS.

jetbrains pycharm for Mac

Top features :

  • It is intelligent coding assistance that provides first-class support to Python, which includes intelligent code editor, smart code navigation, fast and safe refactorings.
  • Pycharm provides exceptional support for python webs development frameworks such as Django, Flask, Pyramid, Google App Engine, and web2py.
  • Pycharm is the best IDE for Django development services which provides proper highlighting and auto-completion for all the objects.
  • Pycharm is a cross-platform, and customizable IDE, With the use of a single licence key python can run on Windows, Linux and MacOS.
  • It has a strong integration with IPython Notebook, Pycharm Anaconda, Numpy and Matplotlib.
  • Pycharm remote debugging your application through an interpreter, and Python remote debug server configuration.
  • PyCharm makes it possible to use the Pycharm virtualenv tool to create a project-specific isolated Python environment


  • PyCharm provides smart platform to programmers with intelligent coding assistance such as live code verification, faster bug fixing, error detection, code completion, syntax highlighting, etc
  • PyCharm has active community support with free annual subscriptions to be raffled at your user group meetings.
  • Allows to develop a customizable interface which improves productivity.


  • Pycharm is expensive when it comes to buying the Pro version.
  • Default settings and initial installation process is difficult.

Download link: Pycharm ubuntu , Pycharm Windows, Pycharm Mac

2) Spyder python

Spyder is among the best python-compatible IDEs for Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data. It provides an exceptional combination of data science workflows such as advanced analysis, editing, debugging and profiling functionality.

Python integrates well with popular data science libraries such as Numpy, SciPy, and Matplotlib. Spyder can also be used as a PyQt5 extension library, allowing programmers to develop upon its functionality and embedded its components.

Price: Free (open source)

Website: https://www.spyder-ide.org/

Compatibility/Platform Support: Windows, Linux, Mac OS.

Spyder python

Top features:

  • Spyder uses a multi language editor with a class/function browser, code analysis tools, auto code completion, vertical/horizontal splitting.
  • Explore and edit variables from GUI
  • Strong integration with iPython console, a developer can code line by line, cell or file.


  • Spyder has active community support.
  • Spyder profilers find and eliminate bottleneck to improve code’s performance.
  • With the help of powerful debugger, it can trace each step of code’s execution.
  • Rich in development tool features, and support feature to quickly view any object docs.


  • Spyder can not easily identify which warning the programmer wants to inactive.
  • Execution and optional dependencies

Download Link: Spyder with Anaconda

3) PyDev – python ide for eclipse

PyDev is a third party python editor for Eclipse IDE which may be used in Python, Jython and IronPython development. Pydev enables advanced inference techniques to provide elements such as code analysis, code completion, and code completion with auto import. PyDev comes with many important features such as: type hinting, refactoring of python code, Debugger in the graphical pattern, basic syntax highlighting, analysis of code.

Price: Free (Open Source)

Website: https://www.pydev.org/index.html

Compatibility/Platform Support: Linux/macOS/Windows/Solaris/QT

PyDev - python ide for eclipse

Top features:

  • PyDev IDE allows users to integrate with Django easily, code coverage feature and code completion.
  • It also supports Pylint integration, interactive console, token browsers, unit test integration, and remote debugger, etc.


  • Code analysis and code completion are the best features available in PyDev Eclipse.
  • Allows you to create a Google App Engine for Python project.
  • Adding PyDev is faster and easier if you have already installed Eclipse.


  • Multiple plugins can decrease the performance of PyDev IDE and sometimes it remains unstable which creates issues.

Download link: pydev eclipse python download

4) Wing Python IDE – Designed for Python

Wing IDE Python 3 provides more productive development experience which developers require for python development. Features like smart editors which autocomplete the code and strong debugger improve python development speed and accuracy using Wing Python IDE.

Price: US $ 95 to US $ 179 per user for commercial use, wing Personal (Free), Wing 101 (Free)

Website: https://wingware.com/

Compatibility/Platform Support : Windows, Linux, Mac OS.

Wing Python IDE - Designed for Python

Top features :

  • Wing IDE helps developers by getting quick feedback in the live runtime.
  • Without restating the application, It can search for the debug code and perform bug fixes.
  • It supports remote development and is extensible and customisable too.

Pros :

  • Developers can get moving around the code by using go to definition, edit symbol index, find the uses and symbols in the application, find the uses and symbols in the application.
  • All variables in the script can be seen via the source browser.
  • Additional exceptional handling tab helps programmers to debug the code.

Cons :

  • Dark themes are not supported by Wing IDE which most developers like to use.
  • Commercial version is expensive.

Download link : Wing IDE 101, wingware wing ide professional, Wing personal

5) Atom ide python

Atom editor for python is a hackable text editor for the 21 century, similar to the Sublime text code editor developed by Github that can be used for Python development. Atom IDE is the most preferable code editor used by developers due to its simple interface. Atom is developed using Electron, a framework for developing desktop applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Price: Free (Open source)

Website: https://atom.io/

Compatibility/Platform Support : Windows, Linux, Mac OS

 Atom ide python

Top features :

  • Atom IDE supports cross platform editing, developers can use it on Windows, OS X, or Linux.
  • It has exceptional features such as file system browser and Built-in package manager.
  • Developers can write code faster with a flexible and smart auto completion feature.
  • It has multiple panes feature to split Atom interface into multiple panes which can edit and compare code across files.


  • It is a fully customizable interface which contributes to Atom’s success.
  • Atom is small which is an advantage for developers to download and load faster.
  • UI customization is allowed in Atom for its user.
  • It is simple and really simple to use.

Cons :

  • Atom allows browser based apps so it takes more time to sort the plugins and configurations.

Download link : atom editor for python download

6) Idle

IDLE is a popular editor which is python’s default integrated and learning environment, useful for beginners to get started easily with Python.It is also a cross platform tool can be used on Windows, Unix, MacOS, and optional for many Linux distributions.

Price: Free (Open Source)

Website: https://docs.python.org/3/library/idle.html

Compatibility/Platform Support : Windows, Linux, Mac OS

Idle IDE Python

Top features :

  • IDLE coded using tkinter GUI toolkit, coded in 100% pure Python.
  • IDLE ide is an interactive interpreter that allows users to highlight codes input, output, errors using colors.
  • It has the best multi window text editor features like code auto completion, multiple undo, smart indent, call tips, etc.

Pros :

  • Beginner special Python IDLE which is ready to roll when downloading Python.
  • It enables multiple search files within any window, and replaces using the editor window.
  • Its inbuilt integrated debugger with call stack visibility feature boosts performance of developers.

Cons :

  • IDLE doesn’t enable copying to the dashboard.
  • For new tools, if developers find issues which may not have immediate solutions.

Download link : Python idle download

7) Thonny, Python IDE for beginners

Thonny is a simple, lightweight IDE for learning and teaching programming for beginners that comes with Python 3 built- in, designed with the beginner Pythonista scripting environment. It is developed at The University of Tartu, which you can download for free on the Bitbucket repository for Linux, Windows, and Mac.

New thonny version used in raspberry pi also helpful for micropython development.

Price : Free

Website: https://thonny.org

Compatibility/Platform Support : Windows, Linux, Mac OS

best python ide for beginners

Top features :

  • Thonny IDE installation process is simple and easy to get started, just one installer needed and you are ready to learn programming.
  • It allows users to check how the shell commands and programs that affect Python variables.
  • It has a simple debugger with debug commands keys like F5, F6, and F7.
  • Developers can check how Python internally evaluates the written expression.

Pros :

  • It has a very simple and functional Graphical user interface.
  • It helps spotting Typos and highlights the same name doesn’t always mean the same variable.
  • Exploration of Code completion through APIs for learners.
  • It does not require large memory to run the code.

Cons :

  • Thony IDE is not for experienced developers, In contrast beginners have a lot of advantages.
  • Only basic functionality such as limited text editing, interface design is not good at all, few support templates are available.

Download link : Thony version 3.2.6 Download

8) vscode python ( Python in Visual Studio Code )

Description: VSCode using a lightweight Python IDE is a productive alternative to PyCharm. To run the VS Code in Python, developers need to set up a Python development environment which includes VS Code Python extension, Python interpreter, and Python 3.

Now Microsoft office ally announces native support of Jupyter Notebook in VS Code. Sometime people also know VS code as vscode jupyter, pylint vscode and vscode django.

Price : Free

Website : https://code.visualstudio.com/

Compatibility/Platform Support : Windows, Linux, Mac OS

Python in Visual Studio Code

Top features :

  • It allows auto completion and intellisense using the currently selected interpreter.
  • Intellisense is a common term that concludes a number of features such as incontext method and variable suggestion across all files.

Pros :

  • Its Electron framework allows you to work with VS Code on most platforms.
  • Code debugging is available directly from the editor.
  • It supports many keyboard shortcuts to bust up coding.

Cons :

  • Less features available for debugging.
  • It doesn’t have built-in templates.

Download link : Visual Studio Code for Python Download

9) Jupyter and the future of IPython — IPython

Jupyter is an intelligent tool for beginners who have just started with data science, scientific computing and data machine learning. If you regularly do data science work with Python, you might fall in love with the Ipython/jupyter tool. Jupyter Notebook is an open source software that allows you to share visualisations, live code, etc.

While Jupeter supports many programming languages, If anyone wants to install Jupyter Notebook than Python (Python 3.3 or greater, or Python 2.7) is the core requirement. We highly suggest Anaconda distribution to install Python and Jupyter.

Price : Free

Website : https://jupyter.org/

Compatibility/Platform Support : Windows, Linux, Mac OS(Please review)

Jupyter and the future of IPython

Top features :

  • Jupeter supports many programming languages, works as editor as well as educational tool.
  • Jupyter Notebook a multi user version, designed for classrooms, companies and research labs.
  • It is a container friendly which uses kubernetes and docker to scale deployment.

Pros :

  • It supports integrated data science libraries such as Numpy, Pandas, and matplotlib.
  • It supports machine learning visualization, Numerical simulation, and statistical modeling

Cons :

  • There is no code style correction, no linting and no IDE integration.
  • It is a tool for presentation not for a production.
  • It is bad for running long asynchronous tasks.

Download link : JupyterLab installation

10) PyScripter for Windows / pyscripter for mac / pyscripter for linux

PyScripter is a feature rich, light weight and open source IDE created to become competitive in functionality with other commercial windows based IDEs. Its extensive blend of features make it a productive Python development environment. It comes in two flavours as PyScripter 32 bit and PyScripter 64 bit is compatible with Python 2.6 and Python 3.0.

Price : Free(Opensource)

Website: https://github.com/pyscripter/pyscripter/wiki

Compatibility/Platform Support : Windows, Linux, Mac OS

PyScripter for Windows , Mac and Linux

Top features :

  • PyScripter supports Integrated Python Interpreter with features such as code completion, command history, and call tips.
  • It can also execute scripts without saving them.
  • It has a syntax highlighting editor.

Pros :

  • It is noticeable more responsible than other Python IDEs.
  • It supports integrated python debugging such as thread debugging, debugger hints, remote python debugger, call stack.
  • It has a project manager which can import existing directories and multiple run configuration.

Cons :

  • It has a formatting problem with a function with a very long list of parameters.
  • Less features available for debugging.

Download link : PyScripter python installation

11) Ninja-IDE

Ninja IDE is a lightweight, cross-platform integrated development environment that runs on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Initially it was created for Python and allows developers to create applications for several purposes using extensive tools and utilities. It also supports code highlighting features for many other programming languages.

I’ve been running Ninja-IDE 2.0 on my Raspberry Pi and it runs surprisingly well.

Price : Free

Website : http://ninja-ide.org/

Compatibility/Platform Support : Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, FreeBSD

ninja ide python 3

Top features :

  • Ninja-IDE has a highly configurable and powerful code editor for imports and navigations.
  • It supports code search, file handling, automatic indentation, editor zoom, etc.

Pros :

  • It highlights a wide range of errors including static and PEP8 errors in the document.
  • Quick and direct access to all files using an amazing code locator.

Cons :

  • Bad performance as slow down and freeze oftenly
  • Not publish new version since 2013

Download link : Ninja-IDE Python installation

12) Vim

Vim is a highly configurable, open source text editor which allows manipulation of text files. Vim is known for its unique modal mode of operation including basic three modes as: insert mode, command mode, and command line mode.

The IdeaVim plugin emulates Vim in PyCharm, including normal, insert, and visual modes, Command-line and Ex modes, Vim regexp and configuration, and other features.

Price : Free

Website: https://www.vim.org/

Compatibility/Platform Support :Windows, Linux, Mac OS, IOS, Android, UNIX, AmigaOS, and MorphOS.

vim editor for windows

Top features :

  • Vim is largely customizable and supports many plugins such as file management, version control.
  • It supports recognition and conversation of different file formats for MS-DOS, MAC or Unix.

Pros :

  • It supports many programming languages and file formats.
  • It has a keyboard interface to improve efficiency.


  • It does not have enough innovative features compared to other text editors.
  • The interface is not comfortable to use for some developers.

Download link : Vim Python installation

Summary :

The topmost Python IDEs and text editors preferred by the developers worldwide are covered in this article. We hope this article would have given you a clear picture of the difference between IDEs and text editor’s features.

Large scale Industries prefer IDEs like Atom, Pycharm, Sublime text, wing, etc, so they can get the latest features with extended support for their issues. Small scale Industries search for open source and cover most of the features, they mostly prefer PyDev, Spyder, IDEL, Eric, and Python for Visual Studio code for their projects.