IDLE is the Python IDE built with the :mod:`tkinter` GUI toolkit.
IDLE has the following features:
- coded in 100% pure Python, using the :mod:`tkinter` GUI toolkit
- cross-platform: works on Windows, Unix, and Mac OS X
- multi-window text editor with multiple undo, Python colorizing, smart indent, call tips, and many other features
- Python shell window (a.k.a. interactive interpreter)
- debugger (not complete, but you can set breakpoints, view and step)
The coloring is applied in a background "thread," so you may occasionally see uncolorized text. To change the color scheme, edit the [Colors] section in :file:`config.txt`.
- Python syntax colors:
- Shell colors:
- Console output
- dark green
Upon startup with the -s option, IDLE will execute the file referenced by the environment variables :envvar:`IDLESTARTUP` or :envvar:`PYTHONSTARTUP`. IDLE first checks for IDLESTARTUP; if IDLESTARTUP is present the file referenced is run. If IDLESTARTUP is not present, IDLE checks for PYTHONSTARTUP. Files referenced by these environment variables are convenient places to store functions that are used frequently from the IDLE shell, or for executing import statements to import common modules.
In addition, Tk also loads a startup file if it is present. Note that the Tk file is loaded unconditionally. This additional file is .Idle.py and is looked for in the user's home directory. Statements in this file will be executed in the Tk namespace, so this file is not useful for importing functions to be used from IDLE's Python shell.
Command line usage
idle.py [-c command] [-d] [-e] [-s] [-t title] [arg] ... -c command run this command -d enable debugger -e edit mode; arguments are files to be edited -s run $IDLESTARTUP or $PYTHONSTARTUP first -t title set title of shell window
If there are arguments:
- If -e is used, arguments are files opened for editing and sys.argv reflects the arguments passed to IDLE itself.
- Otherwise, if -c is used, all arguments are placed in sys.argv[1:...], with sys.argv set to '-c'.
- Otherwise, if neither -e nor -c is used, the first argument is a script which is executed with the remaining arguments in sys.argv[1:...] and sys.argv set to the script name. If the script name is '-', no script is executed but an interactive Python session is started; the arguments are still available in sys.argv.
Additional help sources
IDLE includes a help menu entry called "Python Docs" that will open the extensive sources of help, including tutorials, available at docs.python.org. Selected URLs can be added or removed from the help menu at any time using the Configure IDLE dialog. See the IDLE help option in the help menu of IDLE for more information.
The font preferences, highlighting, keys, and general preferences can be changed via the Configure IDLE menu option. Be sure to note that keys can be user defined, IDLE ships with four built in key sets. In addition a user can create a custom key set in the Configure IDLE dialog under the keys tab.
IDLE contains an extension facility. See the beginning of config-extensions.def in the idlelib directory for further information. The default extensions are currently: