Python Tools for Visual Studio Installation
Installing PTVS is relatively easy. You can go for a basic “Core IDE” setup, or customize it further for your particular scenario, eg Web, Scientific Computing, etc. by installing relevant packages:
As you can see all you need to get started is Python + VS + PTVS. This gives you full edit / debug / intellisense / browse /… capability.
Core Python IDE setup instructions
If you already have VS installed, installing PTVS and Python should take less than 5 minutes. Let’s assume you have nothing installed and go through the steps.
1. Select and install an interpreter
2. Install Visual Studio
PTVS is a plug-in that requires Visual Studio to operate. You have two choices with Visual Studio:
- Pro/Ultimate – this is the full featured VS and includes Profiling. It’s not free, though students, startups, etc. can get it for free.
- “Python Express” edition – this is the free version and does everything except Profiling.
NOTE FOR VISUAL STUDIO EXPRESS USERS: You cannot install PTVS into Express Editions because these versions do not accept any plug-ins. However, you can get the equivalent “Python Express” as described below.
“Python Express 2012” can live side by side with you other VS Express editions.
Select your Visual Studio option:
3. Install PTVS
Alright now that we have VS installed, let’s grab PTVS:
4. 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:
5. 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
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”
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
To install packages using Python’s own “pip” utility, install it from from
http://www.lfd.uci.edu/~gohlke/pythonlibs/#pip. From then, you can simply enter a command (elevated) to grab packages, eg:
pip install Django==1.5.1
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.