I'm looking for a python interpreter, it can be command line, or have a GUI, I don't really care (or an emacs plugin, would work also, actually).

What I'm looking for is real-time text-highlighting, and backwards search through previous lines. Most interpreter/shells have up-arrow, so you can scroll through previous commands, I'd like to be able to search backwards, like in bash, for example. Additional features would be great, but those are the two that I'm really annoyed by the lack of.

I'm on a mac, but I have coworkers on Windows, so either would be appreciated.


Have you considered using IPython? It is an interactive shell with lots of powerful features like syntax highlighting and history. It works on all major platforms.

If you have problems with installation on Mac/Windows, try Anaconda or similar Python distributions - made to get up running quickly.

  • I was looking at ipython. For some reason, text highlighting didn't happen for me. I'll have to try it again – Brian Postow Aug 15 '16 at 14:35
  • For some reason, iPython doesn't syntax highlight, but jupyter does. anyone know the reason for that? – Brian Postow Aug 15 '16 at 15:01
  • ah, I was using an old iPython. that works now. Thanks! – Brian Postow Aug 15 '16 at 15:15

pyscripter is a good one to have. It take some time for to get understand that software.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/pyscripter/ . There is more information if you google it.

  • Great IDE, but the product neither has a community nor a software eco-system around it. I would not recommend pyscripter these days. – Sascha Gottfried Aug 16 '16 at 8:23
  • @SaschaGottfried Tell me why ? I use it when I worked on python that can read through ArcGIS. Is there a particular a reason why you don't recommend it ? – PROBERT Aug 16 '16 at 14:43

I'd suggest bpython, which has many nice features - like text-highlighting, code-completion with suggestions displayed as you type, expected parameter-list as you type, auto-indentation, etc. http://www.bpython-interpreter.org/

  • 1
    Please do not write link-only answers. Explain why this would be a solution for the OP. – user416 Aug 17 '16 at 7:47
  • Thanks for pointing me to this. It is a lightweight option, a vibrant community and a good explanation why it is different to the IPython ecosystem. – Sascha Gottfried Aug 30 '16 at 8:42

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