How do I open my Powershell? (Absolute Begginer)

Hello everyone. I’ll explain my problem. The thing is, I have never programmed, and I wanted to learn Python. A friend of mine recommended me the awesome book “Learn Python The Hard Way”. Now, you all can laugh about me, because I am not even able to run the Powershell (leave alone trying to run any Pythond code…). I have this screen in front of me:

Please, could someone give me a clue about how to open the Powershell and subsequently run Python code? Thank you very much, and I apologize for my silly doubt and my poorly use of English.


It was not so long ago that I was in the same boat as you.

First things first - have you installed Python yet? You need to do that first. Ensure the Python package is in your PATH.

If the install has been done correctly, you should be able to type Python + ENTER and have the Python prompt activate.

Thereafter see if you can use the default IDLE IDE that comes with the Python package. I recommend using this package first before moving on to ATOM.

Next time mention which operating system you have and what you can and cannot do already.


  • Dan Padric

Hello Dan, thank you for your quick and detailed response!
Since I have this screen here when I search for Python in packages, I assume the Python package is already installed…

Thing is, when I type “Python” and press ENTER, nothing happens.

No special notification or anything… I’m sorry, I’m really a newbie.

PS: My operating system is Windows 7.

When I press ENTER, this is what I see (I replied 2 times since I’m a new user and I wasn’t allowed to post more than one image…):


Allow me to make it clear: Atom is a text editor. Atom can not run code on its own. What you show in the pictures controls how the code is formatted / coloured. Even Notepad++ can deliver that to you.

Other add-ons (Packages) give the Atom text editor added functionality. This includes a terminal. Again it does not make the code run.

Start by visiting Install the appropriate files you need. If you have done it correctly, you will be able to edit and run code even without Atom. Let Lady Google tell you more about this. Search words like: install python, idle.

The book you have is a good one. I recommend you try working through that by using IDLE. Then we can help you with Atom.

See what you can do with the info.

  • Dan Padric

First, don’t worry about PowerShell. You don’t need it. There are better tools to use for the same purpose. Even if you do end up using PS via a terminal package, just treat it like any other command line.

In this world, there are code editors and then there are integrated development environments (IDEs). An IDE is a code editor with a bunch of additional features packed in, and they’re all designed to work together (that’s the “integrated” part). Atom is a code editor that happens to be flexible enough that users can build it into something that resembles an IDE. Atom has multiple packages that can be used to run Python code, including script and hydrogen, but all of them rely on external executable files to make them work.

The first thing you need to do is figure out whether you need Python 2 or Python 3 for the tutorials, then download that version. The second thing you need to do is figure out what you want to use to write code. I love Atom, but it doesn’t hold your hand at all. In my mind, that’s a good thing, but if you’re looking for a curated, easy experience, you want to choose an IDE like IDLE or PyCharm Community.

This is my opinion - Get to know the language first in the easiest possible environment before changing to something different. Otherwise there are too many things that change all at once and needs to be learnt, you;ll get discouraged quickly.

The book spoken about earlier, can be worked through with ease when using the IDLE package. After feeling comfortable with the language syntax and what it can do, other things become important like docstrings and coding structure standards that is policed by linting.This should have been called lynching instead!

But such is my 2c worth of opinion.

  • Dan

It a pity no one has actually answered your question. In the same predicament and looking for answers. I do know to open the power shell in windows 7. Go to start on your computer … type powershell in search box and click on windows powershell. The blue dialogue windows powershell box will open up. This is where you run python. I haven’t figured out how to run it yet though.

1 Like

I answered the question. The first link in my post is a package that makes a PowerShell terminal inside Atom, and then I offered other options as well.

This is where you run python. I haven’t figured out how to run it yet though.

It’s just python

go to install package and type platformio-ide-terminal hit enter and install the first package you see …it will add the terminal and you will we able to see the output…one thing if you are absolute beginner better start patforms like or jupyter notebook or python IDLE.

powershell is a software coding app provided by windows, if you are using windows 10, right click the home button on your screen and there should be a powershell option
I ran into this when my brightness couldn’t be changed. (It says it is at minimum but in reality, it is at max and it practically burns my eyes)
also, I’m using the same book and it always says error when I type in Python, python, python3.6 and so forth…
note that I can use IDLE but I’m not sure if the path is installed so I’m confused in which download link I should click
also note I was cheating with the first 11 exercises using IDLE when I was told not to until I had to import things that normally didn’t work with IDLE

sigh if only zed was not so ambiguous

The one for 3.6.3, if that’s what the book is using.

I got it to work, the original book uses 3.6.0

The version syntax goes Major.Minor.Patch, and your tutorials should only break when the next major version is released, so feel free to upgrade your Python install as you like.

Hi Everyone

I decided to start my Python journey today and came across the same book ‘Learn Python the Hard Way 3’. I am an absolute beginner. I’ve downloaded Python2 (as in structured) and figured out how to run it in Power Shell. I also learnt basic coding (do I call it coding?) in Power Shell like making Directories and Files.
My question is:
In the book, they ask us to “edit the files” and “save or save as” them. I’m guessing you would use Atom for that. I read above how people have replied to rather use IDLE but I would prefer to follow the steps of the book, even if it’s more challenging. I actually want to try and use both Atom and IDLE.
I have no idea how to use Atom to edit the files I have created on Power Shell. Do I run Atom in Power Shell like you can run Python in Power Shell?
Again, I’m a beginner (I’ve literally just started today) so I don’t understand 99% of what was being said above in the replies :sweat_smile: but is IDLE something you have to download and then run in Python? Or is it already included in the Python2 that I have installed.
I’m using Windows 8.

Thank you!