Python Tools for Visual Studio Installation
Installing PTVS is relatively easy. You basically need three things:
1) Visual Studio (paid Pro+ version or free Express versions (starting w 2.1Beta))
2) PTVS extension (this gives VS Python support)
3) A Python interpreter and Python Libraries (these are *not* bundled with PTVS)
A complete and perpetually FREE Python IDE
Starting with 2.1 Beta and VS 2013, you can install PTVS into Express for Web and
Express for Desktop editions! The result is a powerful Python IDE that doesn’t cost anything. The Express for Web edition is focused on Web development, while the Express for Desktop includes C++, etc.
1. Install VS & PTVS
2. Select and install an interpreter
Help me decide
which interpreter to use.
3. Let’s make sure everything installed OK
Start Visual Studio: go to File/New/Project. Depending on which interpreters(s) you’ve installed, you should see a list like this. Select “Python Application”:
Now start the Interactive Prompt: Tools/Python Tools/Python Interactive. Enter “import sys” and “sys.version”. You should see something similar to this:
4. You’re All Set!
You have everything you need to start programming in Python in Visual Studio.
What’s To Do Next?
- You may wish to watch a couple of overview videos of PTVS on YouTube to get a feel for the IDE, especially if new to Visual Studio:
- You may also wish to browse the wide selection of Python packages and install some that are of interest to you. You can:
- Install individual packages
- Install a full Distro
- Interested in web development? Check out the
Python Developers page on
Python Package Installation Options
What makes Python awesome is the breath/depth of freely available packages. For a taste, browse through
SciPy.org’s Topical Software. You can install Python packages individually or via a full “Distro”. Installing individual packages allows you to tailor your environment with a smaller footprint. Distro’s on the other
hand come with 100+ packages that have been pre-built and well tested together. We recommend installing a Distro.
1. Installing a full “Distro” [Recommended]
There are several Python Distros available. Each one has free and paid versions, as well as 32/64 editions. You should select one that matches your interpreter’s bit-ness:
Note: after installing a Distro, it’ll take a few minutes before Intellisense is available for all packages.
2. Installing packages individually
Here are some recommended packages. Generally you want to download the latest version that matches your Python interpreter and its bit-ness. You can install these from their websites, from PyPI, or directly from Professor Chistoph Gohlke’s
Starting with PTVS 2.0, you can install packages directly from within PTVS. Starting with 2.1 Beta 2, templates such as Flask will prompt to do this for you automatically. You can also right click on your Python environment and select “Install
Python Package”, or “Install from requirements.txt”:
Python packages can be also be installed from outside VS and they’ll show up in the list of installed packages for that Interpreter. To install packages using Python’s own “pip” utility, install it from
http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/#pip. From there, you can simply enter a command (elevated) to grab packages, eg:
pip install Django==1.6
PTVS will detect the addition and start Analysis immediately.
Last but not least, you can Install from each project’s corresponding website:
If you are having trouble with installation or need some recommendations:
- Check the Discussions section. Many installation questions have already been answered and can be searched.
- Start a new thread/discussion. Someone from the community or the PTVS team will get you going quickly.