Setting Up Visual Studio Code for Python Development

Nicholas Flynn

Setting Up Visual Studio Code for Python Development

Are you ready to take your Python skills to the next level? Learn how to set up Visual Studio Code for Python. This will boost your productivity a lot.

Python is super popular, and Visual Studio Code is a great tool for coding. When you use them together, you can easily make cool Python apps.

Let me show you how to get Visual Studio Code ready for Python work. It doesn’t matter if you’re new or have lots of experience. We will go over everything. This includes how to install Python and Visual Studio Code, set up the Python interpreter, and how to run and debug Python code.

So, are you all set to level up in Python? Join us on this fun journey to becoming a Python expert with Visual Studio Code!

Installing Python and Visual Studio Code

We’re about to help you install Python and Visual Studio Code. These tools are key for Python programming. We’ll make sure you’re set up, no matter your operating system. Let’s dive in!

Installing Python

First, we need to get Python onto your computer. It’s a strong programming language that’s easy to install.

  1. Visit the official Python website or find another source you like.
  2. Pick the latest Python version for your system and download it.
  3. Open the installer and follow what it tells you to do.
  4. Make sure to choose the option that adds Python to your system’s PATH.
  5. To check if it worked, open a command line and type python --version. You’ll see the version you installed.

Installing Visual Studio Code

With Python ready, it’s time for Visual Studio Code. This code editor is both popular and flexible.

  1. Head over to Visual Studio Code’s website.
  2. Download and run the setup for your computer.
  3. Just follow the steps it shows you to finish setting up.
  4. Once done, launch Visual Studio Code to see it in action.

Verifying the Python Installation

Let’s make sure Visual Studio Code sees Python correctly before wrapping up.

  1. Open Visual Studio Code if it isn’t already running.
  2. Look for “Python” in the Extensions side menu to find the Python extension by Microsoft. Then, install it.
  3. After installation, click the Python version at the bottom left of the window. It should show the version you installed if everything’s correct.

Congratulations! You’ve set up Python and Visual Studio Code successfully. Next, we’ll get into configuring the Python interpreter for your Python projects.

Configuring the Python Interpreter

After you install Python and Visual Studio Code, setting up the Python interpreter is key. This ensures a smooth development process. We’ll guide you in creating a Python environment that meets your needs, including choosing the right interpreter.

Setting Up a Python Environment

Creating a Python environment is your first task. You can choose between virtual environments and conda environments. Virtual environments keep your Python projects separate, avoiding package conflicts. Conda environments offer extensive package management, ideal for data science projects.

Selecting the Interpreter in Visual Studio Code

Next, choose the right interpreter in Visual Studio Code. This step is vital for running your code with the correct Python version. Visual Studio Code makes it easy to pick an interpreter. You can change between Python versions or environments for different projects.

Verifying the Installation

After setting up, check that everything works right. Visual Studio Code allows you to easily check your Python installation. Running a simple Python script confirms your interpreter is ready for use.

Using Python in Different Environments

You might also use Python in other settings, like the Windows Subsystem for Linux or Anaconda. Each environment offers benefits for your development needs. Knowing your options lets you choose the best environment, enhancing your Python skills.

Creating a Workspace and Virtual Environment

We’ll help you make a workspace folder in Visual Studio Code for your Python project. We will also explain setting up a virtual environment. This helps keep your project’s packages and dependencies separate.

Step 1: Creating a Workspace Folder

To create a workspace folder in Visual Studio Code, just follow these steps:

  1. Open Visual Studio Code and go to the File menu.
  2. Click “Add Folder to Workspace” and pick a spot on your computer for the project.
  3. Name your workspace folder something memorable and click “Add”.
  4. You now have a workspace folder for all your Python code and resources.

Step 2: Setting Up a Virtual Environment

A virtual environment makes a separate space for your project’s Python setup. This way, your project’s tools don’t mix up with the main Python system. To create a virtual environment, do the following:

  1. Open the terminal in Visual Studio Code by going to View, then “Terminal”.
  2. Use the cd command in the terminal to go to your workspace folder.
  3. Type python -m venv myenv to make a virtual environment called “myenv”.
  4. To use the virtual environment, run source myenv/bin/activate on macOS/Linux, or myenvScriptsactivate on Windows.
  5. Now, your virtual environment is ready. You can add packages needed for your project without changing the main Python setup.

Step 3: Creating a Python Source Code File

With your workspace and virtual environment ready, you’re set to create a Python file. Just do this:

  1. Go to the File menu in Visual Studio Code and choose “New File”.
  2. Save the file with a clear name that ends in .py, like
  3. This file will go into your workspace folder and be the main file for your Python code.

You’re all set to write code in your Python file inside the safe space of your virtual environment. Visual Studio Code will help you with hints and code suggestions as you go.

Running and Debugging Python Code

Now you have Visual Studio Code ready for Python, it’s time to use it for running and debugging code. Visual Studio Code has many tools and features to help. These make the process smooth and fast.

There are several ways to run Python code. You can run the whole file or just parts of it. This lets you try out and test your code in different ways.

But what if you hit an error, or want to see how your code works in detail? That’s when the Python debugger in Visual Studio Code is useful. You can set breakpoints and step through your code. This lets you look at each line closely, find any problems, or see things you didn’t expect.

Also, Visual Studio Code lets you set up the debugger how you like. You can change breakpoints, manage exception handling, and adjust the debugger’s actions. Having this control makes debugging quicker and helps save time when developing.

Armed with the right tools and knowledge to run and debug Python code in Visual Studio Code, you’re ready for tough projects. Challenges won’t stand in your way. So, start exploring Visual Studio Code’s features and improve your Python skills!