Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a free and open source text editor with very good support for Python programming. We recommend installing the following VS Code extensions:

To install the above extensions, open the Extensions view by clicking on the Extensions icon in the Activity Bar on the left side of the editor and search the extension name in the search box. Once found, select it and click Install.

Run scripts

To run Python scripts from within VS Code, you have several options:

  • Right-click on the file, and select Run Python File in Terminal.

  • Open the file and press F5 to start the script with the debugger attached, which means you can add breakpoints (clicking on the gutter, next to the line numbers), inspect variables and step into your code for debugging, or…

  • Open the file and press Ctrl+F5 to start the script without debugger.


On Windows, VS Code uses PowerShell as default terminal shell, which causes problems when used with Anaconda. To switch to the standard Windows shell, press Ctrl+Shift+P, type Select Default Shell, and choose Command Prompt instead.

Virtual environments

If you are using conda to manage your virtual environments, VS Code has built-in support for them. When a .py file is open on VS Code, the bottom left side of the Status bar will show the Python interpreter used to run scripts. Click on it and a list of all available interpreters including all environments will be shown. Select one, and the next time you run a script, the newly selected interpreter will be used.

More features

VS Code provides a large set of features to make it easier to program in Python. Check out the documentation for more details.