Getting Started

Last updated on 2023-05-08 | Edit this page

Estimated time: 15 minutes



  • How do I use the Spyder IDE?
  • How can I run Python programs?


  • Learners can launch the Spyder IDE
  • Learners are able to use the IPython console to interact with Python
  • Learners are able to write code in the Spyder editor and run this code
  • Learners are able to save their code in a *.py file
  • Learners can use the different buttons and panels needed in the Spyder IDE

Use the Spyder IDE for editing and running Python.

  • The Anaconda package manager is an automated way to install the Spyder IDE.

  • It also installs all the extra libraries it needs to run.

  • Once you have installed Python and the Spyder IDE requirements, open a shell and type:


    $ spyder
  • This will start The Spyder IDE.

  • This environment has several useful tools we can use, which you can see in different panels in the Spyder IDE. We will look into some of them.

  • You can change the positions and sizes of these panels to your preference, as you get to know them.

Different ways of interacting with Python using Spyder

  • On the left, filling half of the screen is the editor. Here you can write and edit code, which can then be saved in a file (usually with a .py extension). We can run the code we wrote here by pressing the green ‘play’ button on top or press F5 on your keyboard.
  • On the bottom right, we find the IPython console. This is were we can talk directly to Python. It will interpret what you have typed directly when you press Enter.

Python in the console


Go to the IPython tab at the bottom right. What happens when you type a small calculation there? For example, what happens when you type the following calculation and press enter?


7 * 3

Python returns the result of the calculation.



Python in the editor

The large panel on the left probably has some text in it that looks like this:

Spyder Editor

This is a temporary script file.

Write the following line below these lines and press run (the green ‘play’ button or f5). A window might pop up asking you to specify the run settings, leave the settings as they are and press ‘Run’. What happens?


print('Hello world!')

In the IPython console Python tells you which files it ran and the result of this run


runfile('/home/ylja/.config/spyder-py3/', wdir='/home/ylja/.config/spyder-py3')
Hello world!
  • Code written in the editor can be saved, like any other file.

Saving the code

To save the code, press ‘file’ and then ‘save as’. Now give the file a name, for example ‘’ and save it in a directory/folder where you know how to find it. Look into your file system the way you usually do it. Is the file where you expect it to be?

Key Points

  • Use the Spyder IDE for editing and running Python
  • The IPython console can be used to interact with Python directly
  • The editor can be used to write code, run and save it