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Visual Studio as Python IDE

📅 2012-Mar-02 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 📚 Archive

 

Visual Studio can be used as a full-featured IDE for not only IronPython, but also good old CPython (the default implementation of Python). Just follow these steps:

  1. Install Visual Studio 2010 if you do not have it. The Express editions and older versions of Visual Studio cannot be used. If you do not have access to Visual Studio 2010, do not worry, there is a free solution: Visual Studio 2010 Shell. Microsoft gives away the shell of the IDE for free and this is enough for our purpose.

  2. Install Python from here if you do not have it.

  3. Python Tools for Visual Studio is what makes the magic happen. Download it from here and install it.

  4. Open Visual Studio 2010, choose File → New → Project. Under Other Languages, click on Python and pick the Python Application. Give the solution a name and your new Python solution is ready with a .py created for you!

  5. Now go play with your Python code in the Visual Studio IDE!

You get all the features that make working in Visual Studio great: syntax highlighting, auto completion, error detection on-the-go (the red squiggles), breakpoints, single stepping through code, adding variables to watch and the call stack. In fact, it almost seems like Python on Visual Studio has more features than C++ has on Visual Studio ;-)

I have used Eclipse as an IDE for Python before. Compared to that I must say that Visual Studio wins the Python IDE fight hands down. The experience is simple, smooth and fast. Do try it out for yourself! 😁

Tried with: Python 64-bit 2.7, Visual Studio 2010 and Python Tools for Visual Studio 1.1