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