Getting Started with Python: The Installation [Windows]

Published on February 27th, 2018

Python is a programming language created by Guido van Rossum back in 1991. The language is easy to use and has gained a lot in popularity the last few years. At the time of writing, it is the 3rd most popular language (after Java and C) as ranked by TIOBE.

Installation of Python

So how do you start? If you are using MacOS or Linux, Python is already pre-installed. If you are on Windows, you always need to do the installation first. There are basically two ways:

  1. Download the installation from the official Software Foundation
  2. Download Anaconda (freemium, open source distribution)

Anaconda would be my recommendation as it comes with many popular packages (sort of ‘modules’) and tools. With Anaconda you can easily manage packages, dependencies and environments (if that doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry, I’ll come to that in a later post). If you only need a basic Python installation, you might want to choose for the download from the Software Foundation. You should go for Python 3 if you don’t have any specific reason to use the older Python 2 (for instance, when you need to work on a legacy project that still uses Python 2). In any case, make sure that you are choosing the right version: 32 or 64 bit. If you are not sure what version of Windows you are running, just follow these steps.

If you successfully completed the installation, you can now start using the language directly from the Command Line by typing “python” (hit Enter):

Python Hello World!

Congratulations, you are now ready to start coding!

In case you installed Anaconda, go to Anaconda Navigator (in the Windows Start Menu) and you can use one of the following programs: Jupyter Notebook, iPython or Spyder:

Anaconda Navigator (Python)

For further documentation on these programs, you can visit their websites:

Happy Coding!

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