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What is Python IDLE?

00:00 What Is Python IDLE? Every Python installation comes with an Integrated Development and Learning Environment, which you’ll see shortened to IDLE or even IDE.

00:11 These are a class of applications that help you write code more efficiently. While there are many IDEs for you to choose from, Python IDLE is very bare bones, which makes it the perfect tool for a beginning programmer.

00:26 Python IDLE comes included in Python installations on Windows and Mac. If you’re a Linux user, then you should be able to find and download Python IDLE using your package manager. Once you’ve installed it, you can then use Python IDLE as an interactive interpreter or as a file editor.

00:44 Firstly, a brief note on the appearance of IDLE. While the functionality is the same across all three supported platforms, there’s an important difference in appearance. On macOS, the menu bar remains at the top of the screen rather than being attached to the application windows, as seen here on Linux

01:08 and on Windows.

01:15 All of the screen captures you see in this course are taken on macOS, so with that in mind, you should be able to easily find what you need on your operating system.

01:25 The best place to experiment with Python code is in the interactive interpreter, otherwise known as the shell. The shell is a basic Read, Eval, Print Loop, commonly known as a REPL. It reads a Python statement, evaluates the result of that statement, and then prints out the results on the screen.

01:43 Then it loops back to read the next statement. The Python shell is an excellent place to experiment with small code snippets. You can access it through the terminal or command-line app on your machine.

02:03 You can simplify your workflow with Python IDLE, which will immediately start a Python shell when you open it.

02:14 Every programmer needs to be able to edit and save text files. Python programs are files with a .py extension that contain lines of Python code.

02:23 Python IDLE gives you the ability to create and edit these files with ease. Python IDLE also provide several useful features that you’ll see in professional IDEs, like basic syntax highlighting, code completion, and auto indentation.

02:40 Professional IDEs are more robust pieces of software, and they have a steep learning curve. If you’re just beginning your Python programming journey, then Python IDLE is a great alternative.

02:52 So let’s start on that journey by taking a look at the Python IDLE shell.

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