Top 5 Best Python Development Tools (IDEs) and Code Editors

Top 5 Best Python Development Tools (IDEs) and Code Editors

Choosing the right development environment is crucial for any coder, especially those working in Python. A powerful IDE (integrated development environment) or a feature-rich code editor can significantly boost productivity, streamline workflow, and ultimately enhance the calm and cool work environment that Python developers are known to savor. In this comprehensive post, I’ll guide you through the top five Python development tools, assisting you in making the most fitting choice for your coding endeavors.

Developers, whether new to Python or seasoned professionals, often require tools that are agile and robust, enabling them to tackle a wide array of projects. These tools must also align with the preferences and work methodologies of the user. We will not only dissect the purpose and advantages of each tool but also the features that set them apart.

Read: Global Line Number in Python


Python program editors were designed to make it easier for programmers like us to write and debug our code (program). We have discussed, the top 5 best Python development tools (IDEs) and Code editors. A huge Codebase may be easily managed and deployed quickly with the help of these Python IDEs. Desktop and web applications can be created using these editors. For continuous integration, developers use the following popular Python IDEs.

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

IDEs are comprehensive software platforms that provide developers all the necessary tools to write and test software. They usually include a text editor, a compiler or interpreter, build automation tools, and a debugger, all bundled together in a unified user interface.

1. PyCharm (Professional, Pricing: Freemium)

PyCharm, a product of JetBrains, has gained significant popularity amongst Python developers. It embodies power and simplicity, offering features fit for both large-scale professional development and small personal projects.

Key Features:

  • Smart code assistance
  • Integrated version control system support
  • Debugging capabilities
  • Comprehensive testing support
  • Intelligent tools for project navigation
  • Python web development support
  • Scientific stack support
  • Cross-technology development

User Impressions:

Feedback from the Python community lauds PyCharm’s robust capabilities, its seamless integration with other JetBrains products, and its extensive plugin ecosystem. It’s seen as an invaluable asset for undertaking large Python projects, particularly in the field of data science and scientific computing.

2. Visual Studio Code (Beginner, Professional, Pricing: Free)

Visual Studio Code, or VS Code, is not a traditional IDE, but a powerful code editor that’s tailored to software development. It comes with a source code editor that can handle multiple languages, with significant support for Python.

Key Features:

  • Extensive plugin ecosystem
  • IntelliSense
  • Debugging and version control
  • Customization with themes and extensions
  • Terminal within the editor
  • Code collaboration

User Impressions:

Developers find Visual Studio Code to be a versatile and fast tool with strong community support. It’s appreciated for its lightweight feel, yet it’s capable of handling both small scripts and large-scale projects with interactive debugging features.

3. Spyder (Beginner, Professional, Pricing: Free)

Spyder is an IDE specifically engineered for scientific data analysis. It combines the editor viewers, and integrated IPython consoles into a single window, freeing you from having to juggle multiple applications.

Key Features:

  • Advanced scientific tools
  • Variable explorer
  • Editor with syntax highlighting
  • Interactive Testing
  • Data visualization

User Impressions:

Scientific Python programmers find Spyder to be an efficient, focused, and beginner-friendly tool. It’s been lauded for its ease of use and natural integration with core scientific Python libraries.

4. Jupyter Notebook (Beginner, Professional, Pricing: Free)

Jupyter Notebook revolves around the concept of ‘literate programming’ where you can include rich text alongside code. It’s a great tool for sharing live documents with the code, which can be run and visualized in real time.

Key Features:

  • Mix of code, text, and visualizations
  • Data cleaning, transformation, and statistical modeling
  • Machine learning and much more
  • Sharing of code and output

User Impressions:

For those involved in data-driven analysis, the Jupyter Notebook has proven indispensable. It not only makes data exploration and interpretation intuitive but also eases the process of sharing results in a comprehensible form.

5. IDLE (Beginner, Pricing: Free, Bundled with Python)

IDLE is Python’s default Integrated Development Environment. It’s simple and easy to use, making it an excellent choice for beginners and for those who prefer a less complex development tool.

Key Features:

  • Python shell with syntax highlighting
  • Integrated debugger
  • Auto-indentation
  • Customizable key bindings

User Impressions:

While not as feature-rich as the more advanced tools, IDLE is respected for its role in shaping the experience of countless Python beginners. Its functionality extends to aiding them in learning Python’s syntax and structure.

Code Editors

While IDEs are complete environments, code editors focus on providing a customizable interface to the user, often catering to specific language frameworks and ecosystems with extensive plugin support.

1. Sublime Text (Beginner, Professional, Pricing: Freemium)

Sublime Text is known for its speed, efficiency, and extensibility. Its modern interface is user-friendly, and it has been a favorite among developers for many years, including Python community members.

Key Features:

  • Goto Anything for quick navigation
  • Multiple selections
  • Split Editing
  • Instant project switch
  • Highly customizable, with a Python API for plugins

User Impressions:

Sublime Text has garnered a dedicated following for its robust feature set and attractive user interface. Developers appreciate its swift performance and a wide array of available packages that extend its functionality.

2. Atom (Beginner, Professional, Pricing: Free)

Atom prides itself on being a ‘hackable text editor for the 21st century.’ Built by GitHub, it is open-source, approachable, yet entirely customizable code editor that’s extensively used in Python programming.

Key Features:

  • Built-in package manager
  • Smart autocompletion
  • File system browser
  • Multiple panes
  • Find and replace
  • Telemetry usage package for debugging

User Impressions:

Atom finds favor among developers for its modern and sleek interface, as well as its strong commitment to the open-source community. Its library of user-contributed packages is particularly praised for supplementing the core experience.

3. Vim (Professional, Pricing: Open-source)

Vim, an editor based on the “Vi” text editor, is renowned for its efficiency in terms of speed and ergonomics once users become accustomed to the modal editing it employs.

Key Features:

  • Modal editing
  • Extensive plugin system
  • Highly customizable
  • Efficient navigation and editing
  • Built-in documentation

User Impressions:

Vim has a cult-like following, thanks to the efficiency it provides once mastered. Though its learning curve is steep, Vim enthusiasts swear by its speed and expressiveness once the skills are honed.

4. Emacs (Professional, Pricing: Open-source)

Very similar to Vim in its long-standing status and learning requirements, Emacs takes a more expansive approach, resembling an operating system more than just a text editor.

Key Features:

  • Self-documenting
  • Content-aware editing modes
  • A rich programming environment
  • An entire ecosystem of tools available as plugins

User Impressions:

Some users swear by Emacs, lauding its unparalleled extensibility and the sheer range of tasks it can perform. It’s a tool of choice for those who seek a remarkably lightweight and agile development environment.

5. Notepad++ (Beginner, Professional, Pricing: Free)

Notepad++ is a text editor and source code editor for use with Microsoft Windows. It boasts a vast array of languages and is a consistent favorite among Windows users, including many Python developers.

Key Features:

  • Syntax highlighting and folding
  • Macro recording and playback
  • User-defined syntax highlighting and folding
  • Document map
  • Auto-completion

User Impressions:

Notepad++’s user-friendly interface and performance on Windows systems is a central factor in the positive reception it has received. Its quick note-taking and basic coding features make it a valuable and accessible tool for beginners in Python and other languages.

Selecting the right Python development tool is a personal choice influenced by factors such as the nature of the project, level of experience, price, and individual preferences. It is also important to note that no single tool is best for every situation, and developers often use a combination of tools to tackle different aspects of their work. By evaluating each tool’s unique offerings and considering how they align with your specific needs, you can ensure that your development environment is optimized for productivity and enjoyment.

For more information on Python development or to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and tools, stay connected with the vibrant Python community. Remember, the true ‘best’ Python development tool is the one that helps you craft clean, scalable, and innovative code—regardless of its popularity or price tag. Happy coding!


What is the best Python IDE for beginners?

For beginners, IDLE, which comes bundled with Python, is recommended due to its simplicity and ease of use. Another great option is Sublime Text, known for its intuitive interface and flexibility.

Can I use these editors for languages other than Python?

Yes, most of these editors and IDEs support multiple programming languages. Sublime Text, Atom, Vim, and Emacs, in particular, offer extensive support for various languages through plugins and built-in features.

Is it necessary to use an IDE or editor specifically designed for Python?

While not necessary, using an IDE or editor that offers Python-specific features (such as syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging tools) can significantly enhance productivity and make the coding process more intuitive.

How do I choose between an IDE and a code editor?

The choice between an IDE and a code editor depends on your project’s complexity, personal preference, and specific needs. IDEs provide comprehensive tools and functionalities for larger projects, while code editors are more lightweight and suitable for smaller projects or quick edits.

Are there any free Python development tools?

Yes, many Python development tools are available for free. IDLE, Atom, Vim, Emacs, and Notepad++ are all free options that offer powerful features for Python development.

How can I contribute to the Python open-source community?

Contributing to Python can be as simple as reporting bugs, submitting patches, or helping with documentation. You can also contribute to open-source Python projects on platforms like GitHub or participate in community discussions on forums like or Stack Overflow.

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