Oct. 18, 2019

The 5 Best Python IDE's and Code Editors for 2019

Comparing Top 5 IDEs and Text Editors for Python

In this article, we will take a look at the top 5 Python IDEs and 5 Python text editors. Based on your field, price and features - you'll get to see which Python IDEs and Code Editors will be best for you. Confused between an IDE like Eclipse, or if you should for something as simple as Sublime Text? We have got everything covered!

What Will You Learn here:

Top Python IDEs and Text Editors Comparison 

  1. PyCharm
  2. Spyder
  3. PyDev
  4. IDLE 
  5. Wing 

Best Python Code Editors

  1. Sublime Text
  2. Atom
  3. Vim
  4. Visual Studio Code 
  5. Jupyter Notebook

Comparison of Top Python IDEs

 
IDE Cost OS Supported Size Size(in MB) Languages Supported iPython Notebook
PyCharm $199/year Windows, MacOS, Linux Big 150-176 MB Python, Javascript, Coffescript, XML, HTML/XHTML, YAML, CSS, Saas, Stylus No
Spyder Free Windows, MacOS, Linux Big 361-427MB Python Yes
PyDev Free Windows, MacOS, Linux Big 300MB Python, C++, Coffeescript, HTML, Javascript, CSS Yes
IDLE Free Windows, MacOS, Linux Small 15.6 MB Python No
Wing Free, Paid Windows, MacOS, Linux Big 400 MB Python Yes
 

Top Python IDEs and Text Editors Comparison 

We will now get into the depths of each of these IDEs and Text Editors. And, we will look into factors that will help you decide which one is the best IDE for Python.

1. PyCharm IDE

Price: $199 per year per developer

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, MacOS and Linux Distros.

PyCharm Python IDE
Source: Jetbrains

PyCharm, an IDE developed and maintained by JetBrains is one of the most popular Python IDE. In a survey done by JetBrains, more than 20% of developers mentioned Pycharm as their preferred IDE.

As an IDE, PyCharm does much more than just allowing you to import libraries and write code. It is a professional grade IDE that allows Python developers to write production grade and maintainable code.

 

Features which makes PyCharm the best Python IDE:

  1. Code completion and automatic error detection
  2. Smart Code Navigation to help you quickly get to the right class, file, symbols, etc
  3. Makes refactoring painless with safe Rename and Delete. Easy to push project-wide changes
  4. Easy to implement unit tests and graphical UI tests with Python profiler
  5. Automated Deployment CI/CD pipeline integration
  6. Database integration - Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL and other major databases
  7. Remote Development - you can write your Python code with PyCharm’s professional Edition.

Pros and Cons of PyCharm IDE


Pros
  1. Smart features like Autocomplete helping devs write code faster
  2. PyCharm supports multiple frameworks
  3. Highly reliable for production grade processes
Cons :
  1. Costs around $199 per year per user
  2. PyCharm has certain performance issues on Windows OS
  3. There's a learning curve associated with PyCharm
  4. Requires SSD and considerable memory size 
 

2. Spyder Python IDE 

Price: Free

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux

Spyder Pyton IDE Source: Spyder.com

SPYDER is actually an acronym that stands for Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment. This IDE is mainly used by the Scientific Python community.

Tools and libraries like Numpy, Scipy, Matplotlib, etc are in-built with this Python IDE. Powerful features specifically built for the scientific programming makes Spyder a preferred IDE. It is also one of the best alternatives for Scientific programmers outside of Matlab.

 

Features which makes Spyder the best IDE for Scientific programming:

  1.  Integrated Pylint and Pyflakes for analysis
  2. Syntax colouring, breakpoints
  3. Code Autocomplete and Variable explorer
  4. Comes with most of the scientific programming libraries and framework
  5. iPython notebook integration

Pros and Cons of Spyder IDE:

Pros
  1. Built to support data analysis and visualisation
  2. Leverage autocomplete and syntax highlight for efficient programming
  3. Helps you leverage iPython notebook to perform a more granular analysis of your code
  4. Real time code analysis and feedback
Cons
  1. Lack of version control
  2. Lack of integration of a debugger
 

3. PyDev IDE

Price: Free

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux

Pydev python IDE Source: Pydev.org

PyDev started as an IDE that primarily worked with Eclipse, allowing Pythonista's write code on Eclipse. But, no it has expanded beyond Eclipse and now can also be integrated with Visual Studio Code.

Although free, PyDev integration with VS Code costs $40 after a free trial of 1 month.

 

Features which makes PyDev best IDE:

  1.  All basic autocomplete features that other Python IDE's provide
  2.  Code editing directly inside of Eclipse and Visual Studio Code
  3.  Django Integration and ease of unit testing
 

Pros and Cons of PyDev IDE

Pros
  1.  Open source
  2.  Pylint integration
  3.  Debuggers and real time
Cons
  1.  Limited Support as it crowd funded
  2.  Less features than other enterprise backed IDEs
 

4. Python IDLE


Price: Free

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux

Python IDLE IDE


Python IDLE comes by default in the Python Bundle once you download Python. This is a great IDE for entry level Python programmers as it is pretty much hassle free to set up on all OSes.

It is absolutely free to use. But, it isn’t good enough to create advanced level production grade Python code. 


Features which makes IDLE the best beginner Python IDE:

  1. Easy to set up, requires little to no efforts
  2. IDLE is cross platform which means it can support you on all three operating systems
  3. Multi-window Code Editor that allows features like smart indentation, autocomplete, etc

Pros and Cons of Python IDLE

Pros:
  1. Easy to set up Python IDE that’s beginner friendly 
  2. Has low overall IDE size 
  3. Not suitable for doing large projects
Cons: 
  1. Doesn’t has multiple language support 
  2. Error markup feature is missing
  3. No integrated Debugging for Python code 
 

5. Wing Python IDE

Price: $45 for Educators, $99 per user for professional license

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux

Wing Python IDE


Wing is a faster, stable and extremely light Python IDE, and if often compared a lot with PyCharm. From affordable subscription options to numerous features, this is the IDE which every PyCharm user should check out. 


Features which make Wing one of the top Choice for Professional Python developers:

  1. Typeshed integration and code warnings 
  2. Remote debugging similar to PyCharm
  3. Split reuse policy
  4. Pylint integration 
  5. Supports to Type annotation with Python 3

Pros and Cons of Wing Python IDE: 

Pros:
  1. Remote development makes it easy to work using Wing for Python developers 
  2. Numerous integrations for TDD 
  3. Autocomplete, real time error warnings, etc
  4. Extremely fast, which means it won’t get in the way of a developer’s productivity
Cons:
  1. Less features than other professional grade Python IDEs like PyCharm

Best Python Code Editors 

Python Code Editors unlike an IDE are just simply programs that allows you to write code. With these code editors, you can import libraries, frameworks and write code.

Even though we went through those IDEs, Python code editors have their own place. Without Code editors in Python, most developers wouldn't learn or understand syntax and snippets.

So, let’s see what top Python code editors are. 

1. Sublime Text 

Cost: $80

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, Linux and MacOS

Sublime Screenshot
Sublime Text Editor Python Source: Sublimetext.com

Sublime Text is best in class Code Editor that's extremely fast and allows developers to write their own plugins. With numerous features like multi-line editing, block editing, regex search, etc - it's definitely one of the top code editor for Python developers.

 

2. Atom Python Code Editor

Cost: Free

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, Linux and MacOS

Atom was one of the earliest code editors that was released. It had it’s traction, but doesn’t holds a significant share amongst other code editors in the Python community anymore. The advantage that most code editors bring over IDEs is that code editors are much faster. But, Atom is much slower than most other code editors. 

 

3. Vim Python Code Editor

Cost: Free

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, Linux and MacOS

Vim Screenshot
VIM Python screenshot
Source: Spacevim.org


Vim for most of the part is a command line interface code editor, but it can also work as a standalone application. Among other things, VIM is fast, cross platform and extremely performant.

While Vim has its upsides on using it as a text editor, it certainly isn’t the first choice for beginners. Learning Vim while learning Python is like learning two things at the same time. If you’re a seasoned developer, you’ll find yourself way more productive with Vim than what an entry level Python developer would.

 

4. Visual Studio Code

Cost: Free

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, Linux and MacOS

Visual Studio Screeshot
VS Code Editor Python Screenshot
Source: Visualstudio.com

Visual Studio(VS) Code was developed by Microsoft and released in the year 2015. It is available to download for free.

VS Code editor supports Python snippets, syntax highlighting, brace matching and code folding.

 

5. Jupyter Notebook

Cost: Free

Operating Systems Supported: Windows, Linux and MacOS

Jupyter Screenshot
Jupyter Python Notebook
Source: Jupyter.org

Jupyter Notebooks are scientific computing and data professional's favourite Python editor. Jupyter is best if your work involves data exploration, research and presentation.

You can save your notebooks in JSON format or export your results in PDF and HTML formats.

 

Python IDEs and Code Editors Frequently Asked Questions

 

What’s the difference between a Python IDE and A Python Code Editor?

Python Code editors are simple interfaces that allow you to write programs or modules of your Python programs. Code editors are pretty limited in terms of what they can do apart from writing programs and highlighting syntax.

IDEs on the other hand allow you to do everything - writing code, debugging, version control and everything else that makes your work professional grade. From writing code to integration of your work with CI/CD process - an IDE can help you with everything. 

What is the best Python IDE in 2019? 

Well, it depends on your use case. Ideally, each IDE has its own pros and cons. For example, If you need remote deployment as a feature consider PyCharm. But, if you are a data professional, you may want to explore Spyder’s features.

Recommended Python Training – DataCamp

For Python training, our top recommendation is DataCamp.

Datacamp provides online interactive courses that combine interactive coding challenges with videos from top instructors in the field.

Datacamp has beginner to advanced Python training that programmers of all levels benefit from.

 



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