5 best Python IDEs and Code Editors

5 best Python IDEs and Code Editors

In this article, we will list top 5 IDE’s and Code Editors used for python programming. Before diving into this article we will learn the difference between IDE and Code Editor.

What is a Code Editor?

Code Editor is a software program that can be used to view and edit code. It offers basic functionality like syntax highlighting. It is lightweight and ideal for learning purposes. Code editors can be used for smaller projects. When a project gets large, one has to think of using an IDE. Textmate, Sublime Text are some of the popular code editors.

What is an IDE?

IDE also known as Integrated Development Environment is an advanced code editor. It offers robust features such as code completion, debugging, linting, etc. The advantage of IDE is its rich features. Pycharm, Android Studio are some of the popular IDE’s.

IDE or Code Editor?

If you are a beginner and want to learn python quickly we recommend using an IDE. If you don’t want the complexity of an IDE, you can go with a code editor. There are pros and cons for each. However, for beginners, we recommend using an IDE as you can be more productive.

All the below code editors and IDE’s work on macOS, Windows, and *nix.


Pricing: Free

For: Beginners, Students


This is bundled with the python installation. If you have python installation in your system, then you have this also. This can be used for smaller projects, preferably for quickly editing one or two python files. Some of the best features of IDLE are

  • syntax highlighting
  • inbuilt debugger
  • interactive python interpreter
  • code completion

idle python

2. Sublime Text

Pricing: Freemium

For: Beginners, Students

It is one of the popular code editors and has support for a wide variety of programming languages. It comes with built-in support for python. You can turn Sublime Text into a full IDE by installing additional packages for debugging, linting, etc. You can download and use Sublime Text for an unlimited period of time. Occasionally you will be shown a popup asking you to purchase a license. This is a great editor but customization options are limited.

Sublime Text

3. Atom

Pricing: Free

For: Everyone

It is open-source software and developed by Github. It is similar to Sublime Text and you have to install packages that will turn Atom into a python IDE. You can customize the look, feel by installing a package or even by writing your own Atom package. One disadvantage is that if you install many packages, Atom will become slower.


4. Visual Studio Code (VS Code)

Pricing: Free

For: Everyone

It is open-source software and developed by Microsoft and is faster than Atom. It is the most preferred code editor of many developers. Similar to atom it has a wide variety of extensions that will turn it into a complete python IDE and is fully customizable. 

VS Code

5. Pycharm

Pricing: Freemium

For: Everyone

It is developed by Intellij. You can download and use the community version for free. This is enough for most people, but if you want more you should upgrade to a professional version. For example, if you work on a Django project that includes a mix of HTML, CSS, and Javascript files, then the community edition has no support for it. You have to use the professional edition. But if you are going to develop only python, this is our recommended IDE.  You can blindly go for the community edition. Thank ourselves later. 


My personal favorite: Visual Studio Code

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