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Name: [002] Ian Ozsvald
Member: 128 months
Authored: 181 videos
Description: I am the co-founder of ShowMeDo (see, author of `The Screencasting Handbook <>`_ and the founder of the professional screencast production company `ProCasts <>`_: .. image:: ...

Using IDLE v1.2 [ID:138] (4/10)

in series: Python Development on XP

(Showmedo is undergoing major changes. To report any problems viewing the videos please email us and include browser and OS specifics. Cheers - Kyran.)

IDLE is the bundled editor for Python, it comes with all the distributions. Here I show you how to get started writing and running scripts and how to use the extra power of IDLE.

Topics covered - printing at the immediate command line inside IDLE, navigating at the command line, writing loops at the command line, seeing tooltips which give us help about Python functions. Using a keyboard interrupt (Ctrl-C ) to break into code editing. Defining a function at the command line and then calling it with arguments. Command completion (using Alt-/). Use of default arguments in a function.

In the second half of the video I show you how to use IDLE's script editor - we copy the code we've developed at the command line into an editor, save the code, run it (F5) and edit it. At end end of this video you will have a thorough understanding of the main development environment that ships with every Python distribution.

You'll find the source code in the wiki.

To talk to your fellow Pythonistas you should join the ShowMeDo Learners Google Group.

For more introductions, see the IDLE Doc at and this second intro.

Got any questions?

Get answers in the ShowMeDo Learners Google Group.

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  • Published: Sometime before 1st March 2007 (in other words - we don't remember!)

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This was good. This was my first use of ShowMeDo, I'm still learning what I can expect from the videos.

I have noticed that you are going to the previous line and hit enter to copy the previous command to the current line. You can accomplish this by pressing Alt+p in IDLE for Windows and Cntl+p in Mac OS 10.x.

29. Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys free shipping Sun, 25 Apr 2010 01:33

just starting.

Great introduction to IDLE, thanks. :-)

Good one. Please practice on the volume of your voice and talk a little bit slower.

As a new programmer to python this episode was informal and I understood your explanation.

25. anonymous Sun, 05 Jul 2009 14:33

Just looking

That was a pretty good video for newbies.

Nice Quick Start. Experienced programmer, but first time using Python. I was able to do the exercises along with your discussion of them. I am glad you made me pay for this, else I would feel like I was stealing.

This video was very helpful in better understanding just a small portion of the functions available in IDLE. I've tested IDLE in the past, but this adds to that information. I really appreciate seeing it from a different perspective

This is a nice intro into idle, gives a good idea of what idle does and provides some good links to other idle intro 's - thx

I'm glad to be learning Python here at ShowMeDo. I find the visual medium a lot easier than reading book. I do both, but I prefer video. Keep up the great work. I'm looking forward to building the WxPython image viewer. Thanks!

Review of Using IDLE v1.2

Hi Ian, I am a complete beginner in programming and found this very useful. Thank you

Review of Using IDLE v1.2

I want to say, Ian, that your videos are very informative and that I personally find them entertaining as well. You leave out no details, and for someone like me who is very new to programming, this is a breath of fresh air as I've sifted through one too many tutorials done by programmers who assume their viewers/readers are educated in the more simple areas of this subject. Keep up the good work!

Nice one Ian!

I learned some new things about IDLE from your screencast. In fact I am reapidly becoming a fan of showmedo after listening to your interview on the Ubuntu UK podcast. Keep up the good work!

Superb video thanks!

I did not know about the shortcut keys so that will help me a lot while I am using Idle

Hi Marlow. Yes, there are 2 problems there.

1) The Python Newbies on XP series did get renamed a year back to Python Development on XP. We know more about correctly-naming a series now so that shouldn't happen again.

2) The Python section of the site doesn't show all 3 of the Subscriber videos yet, we need to add in a Subscriber-video section so that it is obvious - we'll do this in the next few weeks.



Just subscribed today & finished my first subscriber video (Using IDLE v1.2). I liked everything about it. Thanks Ian!

One minor suggestion to help us newbies: On the page enumerating "Python Tutorial Screencasts & Videos" and "Beginner Programming Python Video Series", etc... I could not find listed anywhere 'Python Newbies on XP...' which I had seen mentioned & recommended. I think it is named something slightly different? " Python Development on XP"?? (if so, the variation in names is not helpful) It's not in "python 101" or "Resources for Python Newbies" which sounded right at first. Anyway, I finally navigated into the out-of-date "Beginning Python" series and then found & followed a link to "python newbies on xp..." But that's just a minor nit on the web pages.

I like how you included multiple lines as well as some Ptyhon syntax in addition to just showing features of IDLE. Very useful!

Hi Ryan, cool, glad you like them :-)

We *really* do believe this is a Better Way than just hacking away burning the midnight-oil. What we really need to do of course is increase the number of really good series that we carry, to help educate more people.

We're always looking for new contributions!


Nice introduction to IDLE. Like you mentioned in the ShowmeDo presentation at PyCon, these videos are a great alternative to just hacking away at learning a new language. Great initiative and contribution to the world of Python.

Can't wait to watch all the new Python videos that are forthcoming...

Hi Vincent. Great, glad you found it useful! So nice also that you're in my preview group for the next Introductory Python series, your feedback is very helpful.



The screencast format is perfect for this kind of introduction. It was easy to learn the solutions to some issues that irritated me for a while when I was first trying to learn to use Idle. I was glad to hear you say that the introduction entitled "Using IDLE (for Version 0.5)" dated March 5, 2000 is still fairly accurate as far as it goes. I think I had seen it a while back and had not read it thinking it was out of date.

Thanks especially for the discussion of tabs versus spaces and how they're handled by the interactive window and the editing window. Very helpful.

Nice tutorial Ian. I did some Python work with the pyparsing library today and this was useful.

Hi miracle, glad you like the series. Thank you so much for the comments over these 5 videos, they are much appreciated.

As you say on the next video, I do show you how to run Python from the command line :-)

Glad that you found these so useful,


6. anonymous Sat, 17 Mar 2007 23:46

This IDLE session is great. It really highlighted this simple to start yet powerful free IDE. A build-in IDE, In my point of view, is one of many reasons Python is getting more popular. I started to like Python and this series by Ian more...

One thing that Ian can show the audiance with a few seconds, probablly is how to use the saved python code outside of IDLE. something like:

c:\python> python

After all, one purpose of writing any code is to use it on normal OS environment... This is just a minor thing. I am sure most users will figure out...

Please continue, Ian... Great work!

Before watching the video, I was under the impression that IDLE was nothing more than a fancy syntax highlighting editor but here Ian shows you how useful IDLE really is when you start learning Python.

Though I use PyDev for my daily work, I do go to the Python shell to just try out a few things on the interpreter before writing my main code but I never used IDLE for it, I always preferred command line. But Ian just shows you that IDLE is more than a syntax highlighting interpreter and he demonstrates a lot of it's feature like repeating the code (by hitting return), Alt + '/' (which shows code complete), and Ctrl + C (Key-board interrupt), etc.

He also points you to some good references to IDLE tutorials which will be very useful when you are beginning to learn Python.

Keep going Ian :-) Looking for more videos from you here on ShowMeDo.

Hey Eric. Cool, it is good to hear that you learned something new :-)

Let me know what other topics you'd like to learn about?


Things that I just learned new here.

1) The Alt+/ is awesome.

2) Hitting return in from of code will repeat it.

Good job Ian.

I couldn't see the video. Could you please fix it. Thanks a lot.

Showmedo is a peer-produced video-tutorials and screencasts site for free and open-source software (FOSS)- with the exception of some club videos, the large majority are free to watch and download.

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Educating the Open-source Community With Showmedo

Although as important as the software it supports, education and documentation are relatively neglected in the Open-source world. Coders love to code, and explaining how best to use or improve the software tends to be deferred or even sidelined.

At Showmedo we believe the community can play a vital role here and also say thanks for the tools and software that make our lives easier. If you have a piece of software you love or a programming langugage you are enthusiastic about, why not make a screencast showing others how to use it? All the stuff you wish you'd been told, the tips, tricks, insights that would have saved you time and frustration.

Screencasting is easier than you think, and we're happy to help you. You can emailus for advice or just use some of the how-to screencasts on the site. This screencasting learning-pathis a good place to start.

Kudos and Thanks for Ian

3 Minute Oveview (What Does Python Look Like?)

simple and informative. you draw me in
70 months ago


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