Python Installation

Step 1: Install the Python Interpreter

Python is a free, open source programming language. You can download the latest version of the Python interpreter from the following web site.

Download Python

This is the actual programming language - the program that will interpret and run the Python commands.

Look for a checkbox when you install Python that ensures you add the installation directory to the Windows path. This will allow you to run Python scripts from any folder/directory. If it does not get added during the Python interpreter installation process, you can add it manually yourself. In Windows 7, the steps to accomplish this are:

  1. Right-click the Computer icon
  2. Choose Properties
  3. Click Advanced System Settings
  4. Click Environment Variables
  5. Under System Variables, scroll down to Path, highlight the Path line, then click Edit
  6. Add ;c:\python to the end and click Ok
  7. Click Ok twice more to exit these dialog boxes
  8. Reboot your computer

It is recommended that you install the Python interpreter first and then an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) such as PyCharm second. The PyCharm IDE will detect you have the Python interpreter installed and use it to run your programs when you open the IDE.

Step 2: Install an IDE

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application used to write, run, and test software programs. There are many to chose from for each programming language, but we will recommend PyCharm for Python. The Community edition is free. It can be downloaded from this web site:

Download PyCharm

Once both these programs are installed, you may want to re-boot your computer. Then, run PyCharm to begin coding your PyCharm programs. You will need to create a New Project in PyCharm for your programs.