I'm looking for a good IDE for Python that should run on Windows 7 and higher. The program should ideally support the following features:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Code Completion
  • Debugger Support
  • Support to run Shell side by side
  • Support for CPython and IronPythin
  • Navigation to Definition (As in Visual Studio)

It will be preferred if IDE has good UI and docking support as in Eclipse

At this time, I cannot acquire products that are not free, but I am willing to accept answers that describe a relatively cheap product.

5 Answers 5



Made by JetBrains, are the same people that make ReSharper, the C# refactoring tool. It has a free and a paid version. I found the free version to be quite good. I've not tried the paid version.

Screenshot with debugger

Requirements Checklist

  • Syntax highlighting: Yes, Also has error highlighting, programming style highlight, and spelling error highlighting (I can't work out how to add a word to its dictionary, which is annoying)
  • Code Completion Yes, menu comes up when you hesitate, and also is bound to the tab key
  • Debugger Support: Yes
  • Support to run Shell side by side: Yes? I've not tried but I can't see anything that could stop you.
  • Support for CPython and IronPython: Partial (at least) I've tested it with CPython and PyPy, I've not tried IronPython. Cython is only in the Paid version.
  • Navigation to Definition (As in Visual Studio) Yes, via the "Find Definitions" context menu option. (It is listed under a separate subheading in the results)
  • You can get this for free if you are a student, an Open Source developer, or even a startupper. The application for students is especially easy, got mine in a few minutes jetbrains.com/estore/students
    – Agostino
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 16:40
  • 1
    You can always get community edition free. It is the pro-version you have to pay/get exempt as Agostino says Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 0:36
  • The community version is also free for commercial use. I have to prove this to the legal department of a few multinationals, but after that the whole team was gladly using it. t can't be beaten
    – Mawg
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 10:36

Note I am the co-founder of Wingware, makers of Wing IDE for Python

Wing IDE has syntax highlighting for Python and many other languages and a code completer that uses both static analysis and live runtime state when available (such as when the debugger is active or if you're working in the shell). There is also a Source Assistant, which gives you call tips, documentation, and other information relevant to the code you click on or are typing.

You can goto-definition on any symbol and also use the Find Uses tool to find all points of use (and also refactor to rename, move point of definition, etc).

The debugger includes some advanced features like conditional breakpoints, an interactive Debug Probe that work like a Python shell in the context of the current debug stack frame, and the ability to watch values by symbolic name or object reference.

What's missing from your list is that the debugger doesn't support IronPython.

You can get the somewhat simplified Wing IDE Personal for $45 but it doesn't have all the features I mentioned above. However, if you are using the IDE for coursework or thesis work, or for unpaid open source development, you can get Wing IDE Professional for free. See https://wingware.com/store/free


Python Tools for Visual Studio

Check out Python Tools for Visual Studio (PVTS). It meets your requirements (plus it's free):

Read Scott Hanselman's blog article One of Microsoft's Best-Kept Secrets - Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) for more information.




Sublime is becoming one of the more popular programming editors. It's not really a full IDE, but it's ease of use, speed and numerous community developed packages makes it operate like one and in some ways it's better (Think paradigm shift :)

It does support the majority of your list and is worth looking into IMHO.

  • Syntax highlighting (YES)
  • Code Completion (YES)
  • Debugger Support (packages available, though I haven't tried them yet. maybe someone else can speak to this)
  • Support to run Shell side by side (YES)
  • Support for CPython and IronPythin (YES)
  • Navigation to Definition (yes, codeintel)

Sublime UI



http://pydev.org/ has all of the features you asked for (it's an open-source plugin for Eclipse).

It features things such as:

Also, it's interesting to note that there's a standalone for it which has other goodies: http://www.liclipse.com (but it's commercial).

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