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Setting Up Python on macOS

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00:00 In this video, you’re going to learn how to set up Python on macOS. You’ll learn where to download Python, how to install Python, and how to open the Integrated Development and Learning Environment, also known as IDLE.

00:17 The official Python distribution is hosted on the python.org website. Start by opening up the internet browser of your choice. Then, navigate to python.org.

00:38 At the top of the website in the main navigation bar, there’s a Downloads button. When you hover over it, you’ll see a button to download the latest Python version.

00:48 At the time of this recording, that version is Python 3.9.4. Go ahead and click the button to download Python. Once the file has finished downloading, click on it at the bottom of your browser or use Finder to navigate to the Downloads folder and open it from there.

01:10 Once it opens, you’ll see the Python installation window. On the first screen, you’ll see information about the version of Python you’re installing. We’re installing Python 3.9.4 for macOS 10.9 or later.

01:27 Python for macOS consists of the Python programming language interpreter, as well as the integrated development environment, IDLE. Go ahead and click Continue. On the next screen, there’s some important information about certificate verification and OpenSSL, using IDLE and other Tk applications, as well as using Python on macOS 11.0 Big Sur and Apple Silicon Mac support. Don’t worry about any of this right now.

01:56 Go ahead and click Continue. The next screen includes some history of Python as well as the license it’s distributed under. If you’d like to read the license, go ahead and do so.

02:08 Otherwise, click Continue. Then you’ll need to agree to the license. Click Agree. The next screen tells you how much space Python will take on your computer and will allow you to change the install location if you prefer.

02:26 I recommend keeping the default installation location, so go ahead and click Install. You’ll have to give the installer permission to install on your computer, so go ahead and type in your Mac user password.

02:41 Once you’ve entered your password, click Install Software.

02:48 On most computers, installing Python will take just a couple of minutes.

02:56 Once installation completes, you’ll see the Python application folder open in Finder. There are a couple of different ways to interact with Python. One is through something called a terminal on your computer.

03:08 The other is through the Integrated Development and Learning Environment, or IDLE. We’re going to use IDLE through this video course, so go ahead and double-click on the IDLE icon to open it up.

03:21 This opens up the IDLE shell window. At the top of the window, you can see the version of Python that’s running and some information about the operating system. Below that information are three red right angle brackets. These are called a prompt.

03:39 Whenever you see this, it means that Python is waiting for you to give it some instructions. Go ahead and close IDLE as well as the other Windows that are open on your computer.

03:52 Now I’m going to show you how to open IDLE the next time you turn on your computer. There are two ways to do this. One is using Finder. The other is using the Spotlight search bar. To open IDLE with Finder, first, open up a new Finder window.

04:11 Then, click the Applications link on the left-hand sidebar. Scroll down until you find a folder called Python 3.9 or whatever version of Python you downloaded.

04:26 Double-click the folder icon to open the Python application folder. Then double-click on the IDLE icon to open IDLE.

04:38 To open up IDLE using the Spotlight search bar, press the Command key and while holding it down, press Spacebar. Type in the word idle. I have multiple versions of Python installed on my computer, which is why you see three different IDLE options in the Spotlight search bar.

04:57 You might only see one. If you see multiple versions, make sure to select the one that says Python 3.9 or whatever version you downloaded. So, there you go! Now you know how to download and install Python and open up IDLE, Python’s Integrated Development and Learning Environment.

05:16 If you’d like to see how to install Python on other operating systems, check out the other lessons in this course.

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