If you’re looking to get started with Python programming on Windows, you’ll need to install both Python and an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) like Visual Studio Code (VS Code).
In this article, we’ll go through the steps to install Python and VS Code on Windows and get you ready to start writing Python code.
Install Python and VS Code on Windows
Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a free and open-source code editor developed by Microsoft for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is designed to be lightweight, fast, and customizable, making it a popular choice for developers of all skill levels.
Another standout feature of VS Code is its extensive library of extensions. These extensions can add additional functionality to the editor, such as support for new programming languages or frameworks, or even entirely new features like code snippets or debugging tools.
Step 1: Download and Install Python
The first step is to download and install Python on your Windows machine. You can download the latest version of Python from the official Python website (python.org). Once you’ve downloaded the installation file, run it and follow the prompts to install Python.
During the installation process, you’ll be asked to choose a destination folder for Python. The default location is fine for most users, but you can choose a different location if you prefer.
Follow these steps :
1. Go to the official Python website at https://www.python.org/downloads/windows/.
2. Scroll down to the “Python Releases for Windows” section and click on the “Download Python X.X.X” button (where X.X.X is the latest version number).
3. Scroll down to the “Files” section and click on the “Windows x86-64 executable installer” link if you have a 64-bit version of Windows. If you have a 32-bit version of Windows, click on the “Windows x86 executable installer” link instead.
4. Once the download is complete, double-click on the downloaded file to start the installation process.
5. Check the box “Add Python 3.X to PATH” and click on “Install Now”. (Note: replace X with the version number that you downloaded.)
6. Wait for the installation to complete. This may take a few minutes.
7. Once the installation is complete, you can launch Python from the command line by typing “python” or “python3” and pressing Enter. You can also click on the Windows Start button, type “Python” and select “Python X.X” to launch it.
After the installation is complete, open the Command Prompt by pressing the Windows key + R and typing “cmd” into the Run dialog box. In the Command Prompt window, type “python” and press Enter. If Python is installed correctly, you should see the Python version number displayed in the Command Prompt window.
Step 2: Download and Install VS Code
The next step is to download and install VS Code, which is a popular IDE for Python development. You can download the latest version of VS Code from the official VS Code website (code.visualstudio.com).
Once you’ve downloaded the installation file, run it and follow the prompts to install VS Code. During the installation process, you’ll be asked to choose a destination folder for VS Code. The default location is fine for most users, but you can choose a different location if you prefer.
Follow these steps :
1. Go to the official VS Code website at https://code.visualstudio.com/download.
2. Click on the download button for the appropriate operating system (Windows, macOS or Linux).
3. Once the download is complete, double-click on the downloaded file to start the installation process.
4. Follow the installation wizard’s instructions, selecting the options you want to install (typically, you can leave the default options selected).
5. Wait for the installation to complete. This may take a few minutes.
6. Once the installation is complete, launch VS Code by clicking on the icon in the start menu (Windows) or the Applications folder (macOS). On Linux, you can launch VS Code from the terminal by typing “code” and pressing Enter.
That’s it! You now have VS Code installed on your system. You can start using it as a text editor or an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for various programming languages. You can also install extensions to add additional features and functionality to VS Code.
Step 3: Configure VS Code for Python Development
After you’ve installed VS Code, you’ll need to install the Python extension to enable Python development in VS Code. To do this, open VS Code and click on the Extensions icon on the left-hand side of the window. Search for “Python” in the Extensions Marketplace, then click the Install button for the “Python” extension.
Once the extension is installed, you’ll need to configure VS Code to use the Python interpreter that you installed in Step 1. To do this, click on the “Command Palette” (Ctrl+Shift+P) and search for “Python: Select Interpreter”. Select the Python interpreter that you installed in Step 1.
Follow these steps :
1. Install the Python extension: Open VS Code, click on the Extensions icon on the left sidebar (or press Ctrl+Shift+X), search for “Python” in the Extensions Marketplace, and click on the “Install” button next to the “Python” extension by Microsoft.
2. Set up a Python environment: You need to specify which Python interpreter VS Code should use. You can do this by opening the Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P) and typing “Python: Select Interpreter”. Then, select the Python interpreter you want to use (if you don’t have one installed, you can choose to install one).
3. Create a new Python file: Click on the “Explorer” icon on the left sidebar, click on “New File”, and save the file with a “.py” extension.
4. Write some Python code: In the new file, type in some Python code.
5. Run the code: You can run your Python code by clicking on the “Run” icon on the left sidebar (or press F5), selecting “Python File” as the environment, and clicking on the “Run” button. Alternatively, you can run your Python code from the terminal by typing “python filename.py” and pressing Enter (where “filename” is the name of your Python file).
That’s it! You now have VS Code configured for Python development. You can continue to customize your settings and install additional extensions as needed.
Step 4: Start Writing Python Code in VS Code
Now that you’ve installed Python and VS Code, and configured VS Code for Python development, you’re ready to start writing Python code. To create a new Python file, click on “File” -> “New File” and save the file with a .py extension.
To run your Python code, you can either click on the “Run” button in the top menu or press F5. You can also use the terminal in VS Code to run your Python code by typing “python [filename].py” into the terminal.
In this article, we’ve gone through the steps to install Python and VS Code on Windows and configure VS Code for Python development. Now that you’re set up, you can start exploring the vast world of Python programming. Happy coding!