Being able to run your Python code is vital as a Python developer. This allows you to test your code to see if it works as intended before making it “live.”
This article will discuss five ways to run Python scripts, automate tasks or even create secondary tools for your programs.
- What’s a Python Script?
- How to Run Your Python Scripts via the Interactive Mode
- How to Run Your Python Scripts Using an IDE
- How to Run Your Python Scripts Using the Command Line
- How to Run Your Python Scripts Using a Text Editor
- How to Run Your Python Scripts Using File Manager
- Make Your Programming Easier
What’s a Python Script?
A Python script is a text file that contains a series of executable commands. The source code of a script is typically stored in a text file with the “.py” extension.
When executed, a Python script runs in a so-called “interpreter,” which reads the source code line by line. Alternatively, the script can be “compiled” into a stand-alone executable program, which does not require a Python interpreter to run. In either case, running a Python script typically produces an output, such as printing text to the screen or storing data in a file.
In addition to these basic capabilities, Python scripts can create graphical user interfaces, process images, and videos, and perform complex mathematical computations.
The advantage of knowing how to run your Python scripts and using them is that they can be easily shared and reused. For example, a common task, such as downloading a web page, can be accomplished with a single line of code in a Python script. This makes it easy for others to use your code, and it also makes it easy for you to reuse your own code.
In addition, scripts can be easily modified to change how they work. For instance, you could change a single line of code in a script to download images instead of web pages.
How to Run Your Python Scripts via the Interactive Mode
Python’s interactive mode is one of the language’s most useful features. It allows for quick and easy testing of code snippets and is also a great way to learn the language’s syntax.
Here’s how to run a script via the Interactive Mode:
- Open Command Prompt on your machine
- Type “python” (or “python 3″ if you’re using the latest version) and hit Enter. When you see “>>>” on your screen, it means that the interactive mode has been engaged.
- Type in any valid Python code and press Enter to execute it. You should see the output on the screen immediately.
- Press Ctrl+Z and then hit Enter to exit Interactive Mode. Alternatively, type “exit()” followed by “Enter.”
The steps to open Command Prompt differ depending on the operating system installed on your machine.
- Windows: One way is to click on the Start menu and type Command Prompt in the search bar. Another way is to open File Explorer and navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Then, double-click on the cmd.exe file.
- macOS: Press cmd+spacebar and then type “terminal” into the search bar. The terminal application will be the first result and can be clicked to launch it.
- Linux: If you’re using a Debian-based distribution like Ubuntu, you can open the Command Prompt by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T. If you’re using a Red Hat-based distribution like Fedora, you can open the Command Prompt by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F2 and then typing “cmd” into the prompt that appears.
Here are a few examples of inputs (codes) and the corresponding outputs:
Input: print (‘Hello World!’)
Output: Hello World!
Input: print (‘Hi Ken! Welcome to the world of Python. ‘)
Output: Hi Ken! Welcome to the world of Python.
Input: 20 + 5
The interactive mode of Python is very user-friendly. When working on your code, you can simply type in the code you want to work with, and Python will automatically print out the associated information. This is extremely helpful when figuring out how to use a particular module or function.
In addition, the interactive mode allows you to test your code before committing it to a file. This way, you can be sure that your code is working as intended before you save it.
However, there are some things to remember when using Interactive Mode.
First, all commands are executed immediately. So, if you make a mistake, it can be difficult to undo. Second, the Interactive Mode does not save your work. So, if you want to save your progress, you’ll need to use a text editor or an IDE.
Finally, writing complex programs can be difficult because all commands are executed immediately. Therefore, it’s generally best to use an interactive mode for experimentation and simple tasks and then switch to a more traditional development environment when you’re ready to start writing real code.
How to Run Your Python Scripts Using an IDE
An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a software application that provides tools and resources for software developers to write, edit, build, and debug code. An IDE typically includes a code editor, a compiler or interpreter, build automation tools, and a debugger.
Some IDEs include a graphical user interface builder (GUI builder), database access tools, and distributed version control systems support.
Many different types of IDEs are available, each with unique features and benefits. Most IDEs are more focused on specific languages or technology platforms. In the case of Python, the most popular IDE is PyCharm.
Here’s how to run your Python scripts using PyCharm:
- Open PyCharm and select “File.”
- Click on “New Project.”
- Choose the project type “Python,” specify the project location and name, and click on “Create.”
- Right-click on your project in the Projects pane and select “New File.”
- Type in a file name (for example, my_script.py) and click “OK.”
- On the file editor, write your code or copy and paste it if you’ve stored it somewhere in your directory.
- Right-click and select “Run File in Python Console” from the popup menu. Alternatively, press Shift + F10.
You can select the code and click the “Run” button if you want to run a specific code section. Alternatively, you can use the “Debug” button to step through the code line by line. This can be helpful if you’re trying to identify an error in your code.
One of the advantages of running a Python script using PyCharm is that it can help improve your code’s quality. PyCharm’s code inspection capabilities can highlight potential errors and suggest fixes.
In addition, the IDE’s code completion feature can save you time by automatically completing Python code based on context. Overall, PyCharm can help to make Python development more efficient and productive.
How to Run Your Python Scripts Using the Command Line
The python command is used to invoke the Python interpreter. It can be used to run scripts or interactively explore the language.
When invoked with no arguments, the interpreter will enter into interactive mode. In this mode, it will accept commands from the user and execute them until the user exits.
The interpreter can also be invoked with a script file as an argument. This will cause the interpreter to execute the contents of the file. Script files typically have a “.py” extension.
To run the .py script from the Terminal, you first need to open the Terminal application. Once the Terminal is open, you must navigate to the directory where the .py file is located. To do this, you will use the “cd” command, followed by the path to the directory.
For example, if the .py file is in your Documents folder, you would type “cd Documents” into the Terminal. Once you have navigated to the correct directory, you can type “python3 [filename].py” into the Terminal, replacing “[filename]” with the name of your .py file. Finally, hit “Enter,” and the Python interpreter will execute your script.
Running Python scripts from the command line allows for a more streamlined workflow. For example, scripts can be run automatically when certain events occur, or they can be run on a schedule. Finally, knowing how to run your Python scripts from the command line can also make it easier to share them with others.
And because the process is so simple, it’s easy to create batch files or shell scripts that can be used to execute a Python script with just a few clicks. As a result, running Python scripts from the command line is an excellent way to increase productivity and efficiency.
How to Run Your Python Scripts Using a Text Editor
A text editor is a computer program that allows users to input and manipulate text. While most text editors are designed for use with plain text, some also support more advanced features such as syntax highlighting and code folding.
Text editors offer many features that can be helpful when running Python scripts.
For example, most text editors offer syntax highlighting to help you identify code errors. In addition, a text editor can also provide autocomplete suggestions, saving you time when typing in long or complex commands. Finally, it can also offer a debugger to help you identify and fix errors in your code.
While there are several great Python text editors out there, Atom is one of the best:
- It’s free and open source, making it accessible to everyone.
- It has excellent support for Python, including syntax highlighting, code completion, and linting.
- It’s cross-platform, so you can use it on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
- It has built-in support for Git, making tracking changes to your code easy.
- It’s highly customizable, so you can tailor it to your needs.
- Finally, it can be extended with plugins to add even more functionality.
Here’s how to use Atom to run your Python scripts:
- First, install the latest version of Python on your device.
- Next, download and install Atom on your device.
- Download and install the corresponding script package from this web page.
- Restart Atom and then create a new project.
- Create your script or add one.
- Right-click and select “Run File.”
- Files with .py extensions can be run by pressing Control+Shift+b
How to Run Your Python Scripts Using File Manager
You can run your Python scripts using the File Manager application on your computer. This process is simple and only requires a few steps.
The first step is to open File Manager and locate the Python script you want to run. Once you’ve found the script, right-click on it and select “Open With.” From the menu that appears, select “Python Launcher.” This will launch the Python Launcher application, which will run your Python script.
You can also launch the Python Launcher from the command line by typing “python” followed by the path to your script. For example, if your script is located in the “Documents” folder, you would type “python Documents/script.py.”
Once the Python Launcher is open, your script will be executed, and you’ll see the results in the Output window. You can also view any error messages that may have occurred during execution.
One of the benefits of File Manager is that it can be used to create portable scripts. This means you can copy the script to another computer and run it so long as Python has been installed on the new machine.
Additionally, File Manager allows you to manage multiple scripts simultaneously. This can be helpful if you need to test many scripts or if you want to keep track of which scripts are running on which machines.
Make Your Programming Easier
Now that you know how to run your Python scripts, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. You can use them to automate mundane tasks, create models and simulations, or process data. You can also run your scripts locally or remotely, making them a versatile tool for many purposes.
That said, it’s essential to use a virtual environment whenever you’re running some scripts. This allows you to keep your dependencies separate from your system’s and makes it easier to manage different versions of libraries.
It’s also recommended that you use a logging module to keep track of what your script is doing. This can be helpful for debugging purposes and provide valuable insights into the behavior of your code.
By following these simple best practices, you can ensure that your Python scripts are run correctly on any system.