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Python is a popular programming language that is reliable, flexible, easy to learn, free to use on all operating systems, and supported by both a strong developer community and many free libraries. Python supports all manners of development, including web applications, web services, desktop apps, scripting, and scientific computing, and is used by many universities, scientists, casual developers, and professional developers alike. You can learn more about the language on python.org and Python for Beginners.
Visual Studio is a powerful Python IDE on Windows. Visual Studio provides open-source support for the Python language through the Python Development and Data Science workloads (Visual Studio 2017 and later) and the free Python Tools for Visual Studio extension (Visual Studio 2015 and earlier).
Python is not presently supported in Visual Studio for Mac, but is available on Mac and Linux through Visual Studio Code (see questions and answers). Affinity designer coreldraw import.
To get started:
- Follow the installation instructions to set up the Python workload.
- Familiarize yourself with the Python capabilities of Visual Studio through the sections in this article.
- Go through one or more of the Quickstarts to create a project. If you're unsure, start with Create a web app with Flask.
- Go through one or more of the Quickstarts to create a project. If you're unsure, start with Quickstart: Open and run Python code in a folder or Create a web app with Flask.
- Follow the Work with Python in Visual Studio tutorial for a full end-to-end experience.
Visual Studio supports Python version 2.7, as well as version 3.5 through 3.7. While it is possible to use Visual Studio to edit code written in other versions of Python, those versions are not officially supported and features such as IntelliSense and debugging might not work. Python version 3.8 support is still under development, specific details about support can be seen in this tracking issue on GitHub.
Support for multiple interpreters
Visual Studio's Python Environments window (shown below in a wide, expanded view) gives you a single place to manage all of your global Python environments, conda environments, and virtual environments. Visual Studio automatically detects installations of Python in standard locations, and allows you to configure custom installations. With each environment, you can easily manage packages, open an interactive window for that environment, and access environment folders.
Use the Open interactive window command to run Python interactively within the context of Visual Studio. Use the Open in PowerShell command to open a separate command window in the folder of the selected environment. From that command window you can run any python script.
For more information:
Rich editing, IntelliSense, and code comprehension
Visual Studio provides a first-class Python editor, including syntax coloring, auto-complete across all your code and libraries, code formatting, signature help, refactoring, linting, and type hints. Visual Studio also provides unique features like class view, Go to Definition, Find All References, and code snippets. Direct integration with the Interactive window helps you quickly develop Python code that's already saved in a file.
For more information:
- Docs: Edit Python code
- Docs: Format code
- Docs: Refactor code
- Docs: Use a linter
- General Visual Studio feature docs: Features of the code editor
For every Python environment known to Visual Studio, you can easily open the same interactive (REPL) environment for a Python interpreter directly within Visual Studio, rather than using a separate command prompt. You can easily switch between environments as well. (To open a separate command prompt, select your desired environment in the Python Environments window, then select the Open in PowerShell command as explained earlier under Support for multiple interpreters.)
Visual Studio also provides tight integration between the Python code editor and the Interactive window. The Ctrl+Enter keyboard shortcut conveniently sends the current line of code (or code block) in the editor to the Interactive window, then moves to the next line (or block). Ctrl+Enter lets you easily step through code without having to run the debugger. You can also send selected code to the Interactive window with the same keystroke, and easily paste code from the Interactive window into the editor. Together, these capabilities allow you to work out details for a segment of code in the Interactive window and easily save the results in a file in the editor.
Visual Studio also supports IPython/Jupyter in the REPL, including inline plots, .NET, and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).
For more information:
Project system, and project and item templates
Visual Studio 2019 supports opening a folder containing Python code and running that code without creating Visual Studio project and solution files. For more information, see Quickstart: Open and run Python code in a folder. There are, however, benefits to using a project file, as explained in this section.
Project and item templates automate the process of setting up different types of projects and files, saving you valuable time and relieving you from managing intricate and error-prone details. Visual Studio provides templates for web, Azure, data science, console, and other types of projects, along with templates for files like Python classes, unit tests, Azure web configuration, HTML, and even Django apps.
For more information:
- Docs: Manage Python projects
- Docs: Item templates reference
- Docs: Python project templates
- Docs: Work with C++ and Python
- General Visual Studio feature docs: Project and item templates
- General Visual Studio feature docs: Solutions and projects in Visual Studio
One of Visual Studio's strengths is its powerful debugger. For Python in particular, Visual Studio includes Python/C++ mixed-mode debugging, remote debugging on Linux, debugging within the Interactive window, and debugging Python unit tests.
In Visual Studio 2019, you can run and debug code without having a Visual Studio project file. See Quickstart: Open and run Python code in a folder for an example.
For more information:
- Docs: Debug Python
- Docs: Python/C++ mixed-mode debugging
- Docs: Remote debugging on Linux
- General Visual Studio feature docs: Feature tour of the Visual Studio Debugger
Profiling tools with comprehensive reporting
Profiling explores how time is being spent within your application. Visual Studio supports profiling with CPython-based interpreters and includes the ability to compare performance between different profiling runs.
For more information:
- Docs: Python profiling tools
- General Visual Studio feature docs: Profiling Feature Tour. (Not all Visual Studio profiling features are available for Python).
Unit testing tools
Discover, run, and manage tests in Visual Studio Test Explorer, and easily debug unit tests.
For more information:
- Docs: Unit testing tools for Python
- General Visual Studio feature docs: Unit test your code.
Azure SDK for Python
The Azure libraries for Python simplify consuming Azure services from Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux apps. You can use them to create and manage Azure resources, as well as to connect to Azure services.
For more information, see Azure SDK for Python and Azure libraries for Python.
Questions and answers
Q. Is Python support available with Visual Studio for Mac?
A. Not at this time, but you can up vote the request on Developer Community. The Visual Studio for Mac documentation identifies the current types of development that it does support. In the meantime, Visual Studio Code on Windows, Mac, and Linux works well with Python through available extensions.
Q. What can I use to build UI with Python?
A. The main offering in this area is the Qt Project, with bindings for Python known as PySide (the official binding) (also see PySide downloads) and PyQt. At present, Python support in Visual Studio does not include any specific tools for UI development.
Q. Can a Python project produce a stand-alone executable?
A. Python is generally an interpreted language, with which code is run on demand in a suitable Python-capable environment such as Visual Studio and web servers. Visual Studio itself does not at present provide the means to create a stand-alone executable, which essentially means a program with an embedded Python interpreter. However, the Python community supplied different means to create executables as described on StackOverflow. CPython also supports being embedded within a native application, as described on the blog post, Using CPython's embeddable zip file.
Python features can be installed in the following editions of Visual Studio as described in the installation guide:
- Visual Studio 2017 (all editions)
- Visual Studio 2015 (all editions)
- Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition
- Visual Studio 2013 Express for Web, Update 2 or higher
- Visual Studio 2013 Express for Desktop, Update 2 or higher
- Visual Studio 2013 (Pro edition or higher)
- Visual Studio 2012 (Pro edition or higher)
- Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (Pro edition or higher; .NET 4.5 required)
Visual Studio 2015 and earlier are available at visualstudio.microsoft.com/vs/older-downloads/.
Features are fully supported and maintained for only the latest version of Visual Studio. Features are available in older versions but are not actively maintained.
|Python support||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|Manage multiple interpreters||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Auto-detect popular interpreters||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Add custom interpreters||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Project system||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|New project from existing code||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Show all files||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Editing||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|Object browser/class view||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Go to Definition||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Find All References||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Refactor - rename||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Refactor - extract method||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Refactor - add/remove import||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Interactive window||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|IPython with inline graphs||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Desktop||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|IronPython WPF (with XAML designer)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|IronPython Windows Forms||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Web||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|Django web project||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Bottle web project||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Flask web project||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Generic web project||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Azure||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|Deploy to web site||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔2|
|Deploy to web role||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔4||✔4||✔3||✗|
|Deploy to worker role||?||?||?||✗||✔4||✔4||✔3||✗|
|Run in Azure emulator||?||?||?||✗||✔4||✔4||✔3||✗|
|Attach Server Explorer||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔7||✔7||✗||✗|
|Django templates||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|Debugging||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|Debugging without a project||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Debugging - attach to editing||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Remote debugging (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Debug Interactive window||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Profiling||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
|Test||2017+||2015||2013 Comm||2013 Desktop||2013 Web||2013 Pro+||2012 Pro+||2010 SP1 Pro+|
Git support for Visual Studio 2012 is available in the Visual Studio Tools for Git extension, available on the Visual Studio Marketplace.
Deployment to Azure Web Site requires Azure SDK for .NET 2.1 - Visual Studio 2010 SP1. Later versions don't support Visual Studio 2010.
Support for Azure Web Role and Worker Role requires Azure SDK for .NET 2.3 - VS 2012 or later.
Support for Azure Web Role and Worker Role requires Azure SDK for .NET 2.3 - VS 2013 or later.
Django template editor in Visual Studio 2013 has some known issues that are resolved by installing Update 2.
Requires Windows 8 or later. Visual Studio 2013 Express for Web doesn't have the Attach to Process dialog, but Azure Web Site remote debugging is still possible using the Attach Debugger (Python) command in Server Explorer. Remote debugging requires Azure SDK for .NET 2.3 - Visual Studio 2013 or later.
Requires Windows 8 or later. Attach Debugger (Python) command in Server Explorer requires Azure SDK for .NET 2.3 - Visual Studio 2013 or later.
Requires Windows 8 or later.
Visual Studio Professional is an integrated development environment (IDE) for individual developers and small teams. It supports development of applications for Windows, SharePoint, the cloud, or web and mobile-device platforms.
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This donation provides one license and a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). The MSDN subscription includes a server license for Azure DevOps Server (formerly Visual Studio Team Foundation Server) and one CAL. See a summary of Volume Licensing Product Use Rights for specific licensing details.
Which Versions of This Software Are Available?
You can choose to download the current version or the previous version of this software. You can find out which version is the current one on the Current Versions of Microsoft Products page. In addition, you can download the software in any language that's available.
Benefits for Organizations
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If you have software development experience, you can use Visual Studio to
- Develop custom applications for use in your organization
- Develop mobile and web applications for use by your constituents and donors
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- Use major programming languages
- Develop for Windows 10
- Use default project templates that provide the files, resources, and structure for various kinds of Windows Store apps
- Use various tools to debug, optimize, and publish apps
- Develop for the web
- Test the same page, application, or site in a variety of browsers
- Develop web applications against a server identical to Internet Information Services (IIS)
- Develop for the cloud
- Develop, deploy, and test applications and services for Windows Azure
- Use profiling tools to identify the possible causes of poor performance
- Use Visual Studio LightSwitch templates to implement common application logic
- Develop for SharePoint
- Accelerate project development with project templates and design tools
- Ensure that sites function correctly with testing and optimization facilities
- Use a deployment wizard to package a SharePoint site and upload it to a web server
For organizations that do not need the full functionality of Visual Studio, Microsoft offers free, downloadable Express editions.
Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Subscription
This version of Visual Studio includes a two-year subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). Visit the Microsoft site to learn which MSDN benefits this product includes.
To activate the MSDN subscription, you must perform an additional step while retrieving your license keys from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center website: click Subscriptions in the VLSC menu bar and follow the MSDN link to enter information about the subscribing user. When the process is complete, the user will receive an email with a subscriber ID and directions to the MSDN website.
Obtaining This Product
Installing this product requires you to download the software from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) and enter a license key. You can download any available version or language for your product.
The license key allows you to install the product on as many computers as you have received licenses for. This quantity is specified in the email you receive from TechSoup after you request this product.
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Expect two emails:
- When your donation request has been approved, TechSoup will send a message to your organization email address. This email will confirm the number of licenses you have requested and provide information about how to use the VLSC once Microsoft accepts your license agreement. Make sure the email address in your organization details is up to date by visiting your account.
- Microsoft will send an email welcoming your organization to the VLSC. This email will indicate that Microsoft has accepted your license agreement. After you receive this email, you'll be able to follow the steps in the first email you received from TechSoup to obtain your donation through the VLSC.
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