February 8, 2023

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The Top 7 Open-Source Python IDEs to Program Like a Pro

Python is a favorite of many programmers who have made the shift to this multi-faceted language. Like any programming langauge, Python benefits from a compatible environment to function smoothly.


Integrated Development Environments (IDE) help to fulfill this need. There are plenty of quality Python IDEs on the market. Each of these is well-renowned and has carved a niche for itself.

Consider these options if you’re interested in using a great open-source Python IDE.


Visual Studio Code IDE interface

An IDE needs enough tools and features for a Python programmer to work magic with their code. Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code (VSC) offers the best possible features, plug-ins, and other tools you might need to work efficiently on Python and other programming languages.

VSC ranks high on customizations and extensions, so you can install themes, debuggers, and language definitions to connect to additional services from their repository. Additionally, you can push your work to a Git repository and debug code directly from the editor window.

VSC has open-source code at its core, although Microsoft’s distribution of the product is proprietary. You’ll find Visual Studio Code to be one of the best free IDEs for Python programming.

Download: Visual Studio Code (Free)

You can always turn to Eric IDE when you’re looking for an interactive and easy-to-understand Python IDE. It is a cross-platform Qt GUI development framework that offers an unlimited number of editors.

Apart from the framework, it incorporates the Scintilla editor control, which seamlessly gives quick wins, especially if you work on Python regularly. However, if you are relatively new to the IDE concept, you might need to spend considerable time mastering Eric. Let’s just say, Eric isn’t the best Python IDE for beginners, but it packs a lot of features for advanced users who know their way around an IDE.

Some additional features which make Eric stand out are as follows:

  1. Syntax highlighting
  2. Error highlighting
  3. Enhanced search functionality
  4. Built-in support for Google protobuf
  5. Ability to run external applications
  6. Integrated web browser
  7. Integrated task management tooling

This list isn’t exhaustive, as there are many other quintessential features to choose from during the customization phase.

Download: Eric IDE (Free)

Pyzo Python IDE layout interface

Many Python users want to work with an interactive IDE, so the entire coding process is fun-filled and meaningful. Pyzo, like some of the other open-source IDEs on this list, proves its mettle as a cross-platform Python IDE ideal for scientific computation.

Despite its simple design and easy-to-use layout, you will find Eric to be a convenient tool since you get well-demarcated sections; namely, the editor and the shell. Additionally, you get a set of plug-ins to make your coding process effective.

Since Pyzo is written in Python and developed using the Qt GUI toolkit, you can use binaries on all major OSes. Once you have begun using Pyzo, you can run your code with any Python version installed on your system.

Download: Pyzo (Free)

Spyder coding editor window interface

Python is a multi-faceted language, and a variety of people from all walks of life use it. Spyder is a free IDE, and an open-source scientific environment tailored to scientists, data analysts, and engineers. There are quite a few Python IDEs online, but if you want to experience the true essence of a sustainable programming language, you should download a version for Windows, Linux, or macOS.

From code debugging to data editing and analysis, you can safely use Spyder’s facilities to interact with the programming language and create an excellent set of data-driven analyses.

Spyder features multiple segments, such as the Editor Window, IPython Console, Variable Explorer, Plots, and Debugger. As you might have guessed from their names, each component plays a significant role in Spyder’s functionality.

Download: Spyder (Free)

Python IDLE showing a Python code snippet

Don’t take the name literally, for the IDLE (Integrated Development and Learning Environment) IDE is far from being a Python side-thought. When you download any version of Python from the Python website, you’ll notice the most recent IDLE version is available on your system.

On the functional side, IDLE consists of a Python shell, wherein you can create, write, modify, and execute your Python scripts with ease. Some useful features include the following:

  1. Syntax Highlighting
  2. Auto-completion
  3. Smart Indenting

On the contrary, don’t expect too many fancy features within IDLE. It’s a bare-bones structure, which you can customize per your requirements. As a beginner, you can use IDLE to run small, bite-sized Python recipes to master the programming language.

Download: IDLE (Free)

Kate IDE interface showing a black screen

Text editors, or more powerful IDEs, are essential for every programmer. You should find an app that accommodates your work and the code you write, while offering simplicity and customization.

Kate is one such notable IDE, which ranks high in terms of customer experience. This IDE is easy to install and lets you edit your files quickly. Subsequently, you can edit multiple files simultaneously using the split and tab views to make your editor efficient and seamless.

Additionally, Kate offers a multitude of plug-ins, which works well when dealing with complex code hierarchies. Its in-built intelligence, bracket management techniques, and quality checks make it a worthwhile text editor for Python newbies.

To test out any text editor’s capabilities, you can always try running a few vital Python commands before making it your favorite.

Download: Kate (Free)

Thonny IDE interface showing Python script

If you value convenience, Thonny should be just what you’re looking for. Since it comes with Python 3.10 built-in, your installation woes are put to rest; Thonny works well with a single installer.

If you’re a beginner, you will benefit immensely from learning Python on Thonny. The IDE’s debugger allows for step-by-step debugging so that you can quickly pinpoint any errors in your code blocks and debug them with ease. Navigate through your code by pressing the F6/F7 keys, and you are all set.

Like any other IDE, even Thonny provides well-crafted syntax error highlighting functionality so that you don’t spend endless hours frustrating over-overlooked errors. In short, Thonny plays well with hand-holding Python beginners starting their coding journeys.

Download: Thonny (Free)

Run Python in a Dedicated Python IDE to Enhance Productivity

Python IDEs can enhance your coding proficiency, and some editors even provide ample opportunities to improve your coding skills. While IDEs can provide a lot of help, you still need to learn the basics to navigate around your editor effectively.

To learn Python online, there are plenty of courses available, especially if you are starting with your programming journey.