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PyCharm vs. IntelliJ IDEA + Python Plugin

Q: With the announcement of PyCharm will the IDEA plugin still be available?

A: Yes, we plan to release new PyCharm builds and plugin updates synchronously. The plugin will remain free for those who have purchased a IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate license.

Q: Will the plugin support most/all of the features PyCharm supports?

A: The Python plugin for IntelliJ IDEA is built from the same codebase as PyCharm. Some features may be temporary not available in the plugin because the latest available IntelliJ IDEA bases on an earlier IntelliJ platform compared to PyCharm.

Q: What is the differences between PyCharm and the Python plugin. Will there be advantages to using PyCharm instead of just the plugin?

A: PyCharm offers a simpler UI in a number of areas such as project management, IDE settings etc.

The Python plugin, in its turn, has the full range of Jython support features (cross-language navigation, completion and refactoring). PyCharm only supports Jython as the runtime for running applications.

If you're not using the Java/Python integration, PyCharm is a better place to start.

Q: Can I use PyCharm with my IntelliJ IDEA license?

A: No. The two products use separate licensing systems; you need to buy two licenses if you would like to use both products.

Q: Are the project files compatible between IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm?

A: Projects created in PyCharm can be opened in IntelliJ IDEA with Python plugin installed without any issues. IntelliJ IDEA allows a more flexible project configuration, such as the possibility to configure libraries for projects. PyCharm will be able to open and work with projects that use the more advanced settings, but you will not be able to change the settings in PyCharm.

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4 Comments

  1. Some features may be temporary not available in the plugin because the latest available IntelliJ IDEA bases on an earlier IntelliJ platform compared to PyCharm.

    Is this statement still valid?

    1. This statement is sometimes valid and sometimes not, because IntelliJ IDEA and PyCharm release cycles are not always synchronized. As I'm writing this, it's not true, because IntelliJ IDEA 14 and PyCharm 4 are based on the same version of the platform. However, generally PyCharm publishes its releases more frequently, so this may end up being true again in the future.

  2. I've been using (and loving PyCharm).  If I want to start a Node.js project, and have ongoing Python And JavaScript work, should I get IntelliJ?

    1. No, I don't think so. IIRC PyCharm supports both Node.js and JS.

      https://www.jetbrains.com/help/pycharm/2016.1/node-js.html