Top 5 Best Python IDE and Text Editors

In this article, I will mention my top five choices for the best Python IDE and text editors. Now, all of these choices have their different pros and their different cons in different use cases for them. So that means, that for me my favorite may not be yours and in that instance, I’d love to see a comment down below maybe explaining why you disagree with me or why you think one of the editors on my list should be ranked somewhere else now before we go too far, I will quickly mention the difference between an IDE and a text editor as that is important to know before going forward.

What is an IDE and a Text Editor?

IDE stands for an integrated development environment and essentially what that means is this is a much more feature-rich software tool. It comes with things like a debugger and autocomplete, and is a much heavier package with a lot more features. Well, that also means is this is going to use more memory on your computer. It’s gonna be more system-intensive, it may lag, you may crash sometimes, and on slower computers, it’s maybe not the best option.

The text editor is a lighter weight version of IDEs. It comes with fewer features, typically it’ll have some plugins that you can install, and really all it’s meant for is some basic scripting and some lighter weight coding and is a great option when you don’t have a very capable computer that can run one of these huge IDEs.

List of 5 Best Python IDEs and Text Editors

I will mention Top 5 best python IDE and Text Editors in descending order to give you a better feel of which one is better in use and feel. I have also provided the Pros and Cons of each IDE and Text Editor in the list. So the list is mentioned below. Read and go through all of them to find a better IDE or Text Editor according to your need.

5. Vim

best python ide
Image Credit: Vim

My fifth favorite editor for Python is Vim. Now, Vim is an extremely lightweight editor that becomes very powerful, when you know how to use it properly. It works on pretty much every operating system and it’s even capable of running solely in the command line. Vim is what many Python experts use because of its powerful keyboard shortcuts and unlimited customized ability and most of the users love how quickly they can develop with it, and the vast amount of plugins that come with it. I will warn you that, Vim has a very very steep learning curve it’s nothing compared to modern-day IDEs and it will likely take you a very long time to get used to the lack of UI features, and even just remember the sheer volume of keyboard commands and shortcuts. So in conclusion, Vim is a very powerful tool and the only development environment that you’ll ever need for Python, assuming that you can figure out how to use it. It’s not for everyone, I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners but it’s definitely something worth checking out especially if you’ve been developing in Python for a long time.

  • It is Lightweight and fast
  • Its a Powerful plugin model 
  • It is Free and open-source
  • Configuration portability 
  • its a Keyboard-based, mouse-free interface
  • A great productivity tool once learned is hard to forget
  • It has a Difficult learning curve 
  • The high effort needed to customize
  • Poor support for external tooling
  • Poor Feature Discoverability
  • Doesn’t play nice with the system cut/paste mechanisms

4. Atom

best python ide
Image Credit: Atom

Now, for my fourth pick, we have Atom. Atom is a sleek modern lightweight editor that has many Python developer’s tools of choice. It was developed by GitHub and contains many plugins, that allow for IDE-like features to be added of course. Its integration with GitHub and git is amazing. It’s free, it’s very easy to set up and get working, and in my experience, it requires the least amount of setup for any IDE or a text editor. The UI is pretty nice and it’s not too overwhelming, and it doesn’t use many system resources on its default settings. Atom is designed to be hackable which means you can customize almost everything about it and it comes with a suite of optional plugins. Although be aware as many users do report lag with too many packages or plugins installed. Atom is an Editor, I like to suggest the beginners and anyone looking for something that just works right out of the box. It’s a great choice, I don’t think you’ll have any complaints using it unless you want some features like a debugger, which won’t come with anything other than a heavier weight IDE.

  • Really easy to use
  • Atom has the Command Palette
  • Developer Tools!!
  • Integrated Package Manager
  • Easy to customize the UI
  • Fuzzy finder for quickly opening files
  • a lot of support from the Github crew.
  • Slow
  • You need to use CoffeeScript to write the packages
  • It cannot handle files bigger than a couple MB’s
  • once in a while the editor freezes during usage

3. Visual Studio Code

best python ide
Image Credit: Visual Studio Code

Now, for the first IDE in our list coming in at number 3 we have Visual Studio Code(VS Code). Now, VS code is maintained by Microsoft which means it’s constantly getting a ton of new features and exciting additions, and it’s actually pretty new to the market being released in just 2016. It’s known to be on the lighter side when comparing against other IDEs. Although, it is still sometimes slow and of course it comes with all the features you’d expect like a debugger. A massive advantage of using vs code is a built-in compiler and interpreter and compatibility with pretty much every single programming language. a lot of people prefer VS code for web development and heavier weight projects. The user interface I would say is pretty nice although some people may argue that it’s a little bit overcrowded, So this is actually where one of my favorite features of the tool comes in called Zen mode. Now, Zen mode allows you to turn your alone IDE into a minimalist editor with a click of a button. The only minor inconvenience when using VS code is that python is not one of the default languages that comes with it this means you’ll need to install it first before being able to run and use your Python code. Overall, it’s hard to find an editor that’s much better than VS code when it comes to features and my only complaint is sometimes about speed and that can be a little bit less intuitive to get used to compared to some of the other options on my list.

  • Code coloring or customization with themes.
  • Software memory consumption is low.
  • Ease of use.
  • Console terminal integration.
  • Very active community with all the plugins you need
  • Git integration.
  • Command Pallete could become a little overwhelming and complex.
  • Some programming languages not identified.
  • Sometimes terminals get bugged.
  • Default key shortcuts make no sense and I had to reconfigure almost all of them

2. Sublime Text

best python ide
Image Credit: Sublime Text

Now, for my number 2 pick, we have Sublime Text. Sublime Text is a lightweight editor that I personally love to use for smaller projects and some lighter weight scripting. The UI is simple and minimalistic and I find it very intuitive and easy to get used to. As Sublime Text is very lightweight it’s extremely fast and it’s unlikely we’ll run into any issues with it. However, to get the most out of Sublime Text, you’ll need to use one of its features called package control to install some plugins, this allows you to pick the exact features and add-ons you want and not be distracted by the ones you don’t use or the ones you don’t need. This does mean that this energy editor takes a little bit of time to get set up, but I find that it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. Opening new files and looking through folders is very fast and easy and can be enhanced even more with the right plugins. Overall Sublime Text is a great choice for anyone, not doing anything too crazy they just want a lightweight editor. If you’re willing to spend some time installing plugins you’ll have an editor that has all the tools you want and only those. It’s my personal go-to for most of my Python programming.

  • Identifying the different vendor coding within the text.
  • Easy to use and provides many preferences that suit all users’ needs.
  • Manipulating text is easy and efficient.
  • The ability to add package controls.
  • You can freely evaluate the app.
  • Text highlights are great for debugging.
  • Less and complicated plugins.
  • Formatting a large document file can be confusing.
  • Often prompts to purchase a new version.
  • No auto-saving a document.
  • Cannot highlight a particular portion of text.

1. PyCharm

best python ide
Image Credit: PyCharm

I’m sure you all have guessed, coming in at number 1 we have PyCharm. Now, PyCharm is an IDE designed specifically for python development. Although it is compatible with other languages, it’s very powerful for working with Python code and different Python modules and frameworks like Django, and includes pep 8 style recommendations on-the-fly coding verification, and seamless integration with anaconda, and other version control systems. It has very similar features to VS code with a very capable debugger and of course the ability to install plugins and packages. It has great features for connecting to databases and servers. The real downfall to PyCharm is that it’s a very heavyweight IDE compared to vs code and some of the other things we’ve talked about previously, it uses a lot of system resources and oftentimes will stall on loading while it’s indexing files. Now, there are ways of avoiding this, but as a beginner, that’s something that is annoying and something that I struggled with for a while when using PyCharm. Now, it is worth noting that PyCharm does have a free community version, which is very capable but also includes a professional version that has even more features, But for a pretty hefty price. So the overall PyCharm is my go-to for large Python projects especially ones using web frameworks or handling database connectivity and it does have a slight learning curve for beginners, but it’s definitely something I recommend to all Python developers to at least give a shot.

  • A plethora of productive shortcuts
  • Ability to view the entire Python source code with a single click
  • Availability of an array of plugins
  • Easy-to-use
  • Excellent community support
  • Facilitates faster code development
  • More powerful, commercial version available
  • Straightforward installation process
  • Costly paid version
  • May pose issues when trying to fixing tools like venv
  • Not suitable for Python beginners
  • Resource-intensive application, i.e., requires plenty of memory and storage space

So that has been my list for the top 5 Best Python IDEs and text editors. Do you agree with me? Please leave a comment. Hope you like the content and the information shared by me. If you find this post knowledgeable and learned something new and interesting today then please share this post with your friends and family members and help the Optimistic Coder to spread informational contents. Thank You.

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