Pycharm: A Concise Tutorial Just An Hour | ACTE
Pycharm Tutorial

Pycharm: A Concise Tutorial Just An Hour – FREE

Last updated on 10th Jul 2020, Blog, Tutorials

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Anitha Kumar (Python Developer )

Anitha Kumar is a Python developer with 4+ years of experience in Knime, SAS Enterprise Miner, H2O, Orange, and Apache Mahout, and she has expertise in Sublime Text 3, Atom, Jupyter, Spyder, and Spatial Data Mining.

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Python is one of the most popular languages in the industry. Developers majorly use Python for application development. To develop applications in Python efficiently, we need certain development environments and tools. These are provided by an IDE. The popular Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Python is PyCharm. Here, in this PyCharm tutorial, we will comprehensively learn about PyCharm.

PyCharm is a cross-platform IDE that provides consistent experience on the Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

PyCharm is available in three editions: Professional, Community, and Edu. The Community and Edu editions are open-source projects and they are free, but they have less features. PyCharm Edu provides courses and helps you learn programming with Python. The Professional edition is commercial, and provides an outstanding set of tools and features. For details, see the editions comparison matrix.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using PyCharm

When it comes to Python development, PyCharm is a sure shot. Though it has a range of advantages, it doesn’t mean that the popular Python IDE is flawless. Therefore, before picking it up, ensure that you ultimately benefit from it. Here are the important feats and flaws of PyCharm to consider:


  • A plethora of productive shortcuts
  • Ability to view the entire Python source code with a single click
  • Availability of an array of plugins
  • Easy-to-use
  • Excellent community support
  • Facilitates faster code development
  • More powerful, commercial version available
  • Straightforward installation process


  • Costly paid version
  • May pose issues when trying to fixing tools like venv
  • Not suitable for Python beginners
  • Resource-intensive application, i.e., requires plenty of memory and storage space

Who Uses PyCharm?

PyCharm serves as the go-to Python IDE for several big names, including:

  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Lyft
  • Meltwater
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Uploadcare

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    Competitors of PyCharm

    PyCharm is, obviously, not the only efficient Python IDE. There are several others. Each one of them is preferred over the rest by virtue of their respective abilities and features. Top competitors of PyCharm are:

    • Cloud9 IDE
    • Codenvy
    • Eclipse + PyDev
    • Komodo IDE
    • The Jupyter Notebook
    • Wind Python IDE

    Installing PyCharm

    For developing applications in Python using PyCharm, you need to install it in your system.

    PyCharm is available in two versions:

    • Professional version: It is a full-featured IDE used by professional developers.
    • Community version: It is an open-source and free software that is not full-featured. You can use it for learning Python application development.

    The Professional version is a paid tool and comes with a free trial. You have to buy a license key for it after your free trial period is over.

    The Community version, on the other hand, is open-source without any subscription charge.

    In this blog, we will see the installation of the Community version that includes enough features to help us write efficient programs.

    Steps to Install PyCharm

    Step 1: To download PyCharm, visit the official website of JetBrains:


    Step 2: Click on the ‘Download’’ button

    Step 3: After that, you will see the below window with two options, Professional and Community

    Step 4: Download the Community version


    Step 5: After downloading the file, click on it

    Step 6: When the following window appears, click on Next and the installation process will start


    Step 7: After clicking on Next, first, a window for setting up the installation location will appear. Note: You can either select a folder for the installation location or retain the default path.


    Step 8: In the next step, you can set the Installation Options as per requirements, and then, click on the Next button to proceed


    Step 9: Now, you have to select the Start Menu folder, or you can leave it as default


    Step 10: After these steps, click on the Install button as above to start the installation process


    Step 11: When you click on the Finish button, your PyCharm installation completes


    Now, you have successfully installed PyCharm and Python both in your system.

    Configuring the Style of Code

    To configure PyCharm’s code styles we will follow the below steps:

    Step 1: From the toolbar, go to File > Settings > Code Style, from where, we can select our preferred language or code style. We can also go to Settings using Ctrl+Alt+S


    Step 2: Then, we will go to File and Code Templates to see the template of our code

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    Step 3: Click on Python in the Code Style menu, from where, we can change Tab Size, Indent, Spaces, Blank Lines, and Continuation Indent


    Further in this module, let’s discuss about how we can configure the font style and font color of our code.

    Configuring Fonts and Colors

    We write code for creating applications. The code consists of a lot of text. It contains variables, keywords, classes, and different data types. If all these parameters are represented with different colors, it becomes easy for us to understand the code. PyCharm provides us a feature to customize and configure PyCharm’s font and color.

    Steps to select a color scheme:

    Step 1: Go to File > Settings (or press Ctrl+Alt+S), and then go to Editor > Color Scheme

    Step 2: To configure PyCharm, we can now change our color scheme to Default, Darcula, Github, High contrast, Monokai, Twilight, or WarmNeon from the drop-down list

    The Default color scheme is a simple and light theme.

    The Darcula color scheme is a dark theme as shown below:

    PyCharm also provides a theme for users with vision deficiency, the High Contrast theme.

    Step 3: We can select the theme of our choice and click on Apply

    Semantic Highlighting

    The development of an application requires a lot of functions, methods, and classes. These consist of various logical operations that gives the functionality to the program. It is necessary to have a clear understanding of the program’s functionality. Thus, it becomes important to differentiate between functions, methods, and classes.

    For this, PyCharm provides us with a feature of semantic highlighting. It helps us distinguish between classes, functions, variables, and keywords. In this section, we will see how to configure PyCharm for Semantic Highlighting.

    Following are the steps for semantic highlighting:

    Step 1: Press Ctrl+Alt+S to open Settings

    Step 2: Then, go to Editor > Color Scheme > Language Defaults


    Step 3: Go to Semantic highlighting and tick the checkbox of Semantic highlighting placed on the top-right corner


    Step 4: Now, we can change the color of semantics by clicking on the color codes


    Customizing Keyboard Shortcuts

    In this section, we will first look into the predefined keymaps. After that, we will see the configuration of shortcuts for the keyboard and the mouse.

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    Keymap Configuration

    We will do the keymap configuration by going to Settings > Keymap. It consists of various predefined keymaps that are automatically selected by PyCharm. However, these predefined keymaps are not customizable.

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    Configuring Keyboard Shortcuts

    Step 1: Open Settings and go to Keymap

    Step 2: Then, go to Edit Shortcuts and click on Add Keyboard Shortcut


    Step 3: Now, enter the key combination in the editor option. We can also use Second stroke for creating a complex shortcut with two-key combinations


    Step 4: Click on OK to save the newly created shortcut. Remember, always use mouse pointer while creating a shortcut because using Enter will result into a new key combination with Enter as a component of this newly created shortcut

    Configuring Mouse Shortcuts

    Step 1: Go to Settings and right-click on Keymap

    Step 2: Then, right-click on Edit Shortcuts and click on Add Mouse Shortcut


    Step 3: When a dialog box appears to add a Mouse Shortcut, take the mouse pointer at the center of the dialog box and add the shortcut

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    Step 4: Click on OK to save the newly created shortcut

    In this module, we have learned how to configure PyCharm. We have also learned adding keyboard and mouse shortcuts and configuring semantic highlighting for the text. In the next module of this PyCharm tutorial, we will learn how to configure PyCharm projects.

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