3: Using Python IDLE

Book ref: Project 4 (pg 84ff)

Python 2.7: Same

See also: Python 3/Project 4 post

You have started this new batch of tutorials working with the Python (Command Line) program. Python (Command Line) looks black and a bit ugly. It’s also a bit old fashioned in how it lets you interact with it.


It’s important to know about Python (Command Line) because it’s the easiest way to do something quickly in Python. For example, if I want to quickly check how something works in Python I will open up a Python command line and check it. So, you start out with it because it’s something you’re going to use for the rest of your Python programming days.

The command line has some limitations. Maybe the biggest of those is that it doesn’t let you save anything, but never fear! Python has an answer to that in IDLE. IDLE is a program that helps you write Python programs. One of the many things it can do is to allow you to save your programs to use them later. Open up your menu’s search bar and type “Python”. Click the entry that says IDLE(Python GUI). You should get a window that looks like this (the words might be different):


See how the title of the window says Python 3.4.5 Shell? It can do pretty much everything the Python (Command line) shell can do. However, that’s not where you can save your code! Instead, you need to open a new file. Click the “File->New File” menu item (or type Ctrl+N):


It’ll open up a new window like this:


Type your code in there:

print("Hello world!")


and press Ctrl+S to save it. You’ll get a dialog box that asks you for a name to save it under. This is naming your Python file, much like you might name a word processing document or image that you create. In this case call it helloworld.py. When saving your code, add “.py” to the end of the file name. Finally, press F5. Pressing F5 is what runs your code.

In the Shell Window you’ll get something that says “== RESTART:” and some other guff. Then, after that, it’ll show you the output of the program you saved:

Hello world!

Notice that IDLE gives different colors to different parts of your code? Try to work out what each of the colors means. IDLE has a lot of different features, project 4 of my book has more details, some of which are listed in the Python 3/Project 4 post.

3 Responses to 3: Using Python IDLE

  1. Thank you for a great article, your advice will be very helpful for me.

  2. Dinesh kumar says:

    This blog giving the details of technology. This gives the details about working with the business processes and change the way. Here explains think different and work different then provide the better output. Thanks for this blog.


  3. Pingback: 3: Comments | Python Tutorials for Kids 13+

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: