Overview of PyCharm

PyCharm is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that provides tools for writing efficient code. It supports various frameworks such as Django, Flask, and Pyramid. PyCharm is majorly used by developers for application development with Python language. This PyCharm tutorial is entirely focused on answering the questions ‘What is PyCharm?’ and ‘Why do we use PyCharm for Python application development and for other frameworks?’

Let’s first understand the necessity of an IDE.

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Before moving further in this PyCharm tutorial let’s have a look at the topics we will cover in this module:

Why do we need an IDE?

Let’s suppose, we are making a project using Python programming language. We know that Python is extensively popular among the developer’s community, as well as in industries, due to its following features:

  1. Simple to code: Python is a very simple language compared to other programming languages. Also, it is a developer-friendly language.
  2. Object-oriented language: Python is an object-oriented language that uses concepts of classes and objects.
  3. GUI programming support: We can create graphical user interfaces using Python Tkinter library. Besides, we can use modules such as PyQt5, PyQt4, and wxPython to create a GUI application.
  4. High-level language: Python is a high-level programming language. We do not need to take care of managing memory or the system architecture while writing Python codes.
  5. Portability: Python is a portable programming language, i.e., we can run Python codes on any platform. For example, we can run a code written for Windows in Linux, UNIX, and Mac, without changing it.
  6. Integrated language: Python is an integrated programming language. We can easily integrate C, C++, etc. with Python.
  7. Interpreted language: Python is an interpreted programming language as well. Python’s source code is changed to bytecode. Due to this, it is directly executed without compiling.
  8. Large set of standard libraries: Python consists of a rich set of modules, packages, and libraries. It helps in various stages of application development.

Now, a question arises that where can we effectively use these Python features? This is where an Integrated Development Environment plays its key role.

What is an IDE?

An IDE typically has an editor and a compiler window. There, we can write our code, run it, and compile it. Hence, it becomes much easier to develop applications using an IDE. The major reasons for using an IDE are given below:

  1. We can easily write our code in its text editor window.
  2. To store the resource files of a project, we have a project editor window.
  3. It makes debugging of the code easier.
  4. An IDE’s autosuggest feature helps us in writing efficient code.
  5. We can import other projects for integrating with the existing one.

Further, we will see the details of an IDE in this first module of the PyCharm tutorial.

Next, let’s address the question, ‘What is PyCharm?’

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What is PyCharm?

PyCharm is among the most popular IDEs for application development in the industry. We use PyCharm as an IDE for developing applications in Python programming language. There are two versions of PyCharm: v2.x and v3.x.

PyCharm logo

Features that make PyCharm the most preferable IDE for development are as follows:

  1. Intelligent code editor
  2. Code navigation
  3. Refactoring
  4. Presence of visual debugger
  5. Assistance for many Web technologies
  6. Support for popular Python Web frameworks
  7. Assistance for Python scientific libraries
  8. Support for various database tools
  9. A customizable and cross-platform IDE
  10. Support for version control system

Further, in this PyCharm tutorial, we will see the installation of PyCharm.

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Installing PyCharm

For installing PyCharm, first, go to the official website of JetBrains. The link is given below:

www.jetbrains.com/pycharm/download/#section=windows

After opening the above link, we will see the following window:

Versions of PyCharm

From here, we can choose either a Community or a Professional version as per requirement and can download and install it in our system easily with no effort.

Later in this PyCharm tutorial, we see a detailed explanation of PyCharm installation in Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, and macOS.

Configuring and Customizing PyCharm

PyCharm is an IDE that is configurable and customizable according to our requirements.

Following customizations are possible in PyCharm:

  1. Resetting the style of code
  2. Changing fonts and colors
  3. Semantic highlighting
  4. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
  5. Keymap configuration
  6. Customizing keyboard and mouse shortcuts

Moreover, we can configure the interpreter and projects in PyCharm. If we are working on a Python project, then we need to set a Python interpreter for it. If we are working on a project in R programming language, we should use an R interpreter in PyCharm.

In this section of the PyCharm tutorial, we had an overview of PyCharm as an IDE and some hints about its installation, customization, and configuration. In the next modules of this PyCharm tutorial, we will look into each of these in detail.

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