The official documentation of the Python 3 language isĀ here. (To be precise that is the Library Reference, which is the part of the documentation you are most likely to delve into.) If you are looking up specifically string functions, odds are that what you want will be in the subsection "Text Sequence Types-str" of the "Built-in Types" section, not in either of the string subsections of the Text Processing Services section.

CS 111: Installing and configuring Spyder Environment for Python on your machine

ONLY do this if you're on your own machine, not on the lab machines!

Installing Python on your machine

While some sort of an editor is used for writing Python programs, all programs must be run (or "executed") by the computer. In order for the computer to be able to understand what your written code means, it needs to be able to understand the Python language.

In Week 1 we'll use the Python 3 built into ZyBooks, but after that, we'll be writing our own Python.

In this class we will be using Python 3, specifically the Anaconda distribution of Python 3.7.

To install it on your computer:
Go to

  • Choose whichever of Mac or Windows you have (or Linux if applicable)

  • Click the download button for Python 3.7 version. (FYI: The button should give you the graphical installer. The Graphical Installer and the Command-Line installer install exactly the same thing, but the Graphical Installer is much easier to use.)

  • Open the downloaded file, and click Agree/Continue to do the install

    • Note: If you see a checkbox in the install dialog asking something like, "Do you want to modify PATH so anaconda is on it" be sure you do check that box. However, the last time we looked, this box is automatically checked and the question isn't even asked in doing a default install.

Installing and configuring Spyder on your machine

You're done! Spyder is installed automatically with the Anaconda distribution of Python.

Run Anaconda Navigator, and from it launch Spyder. (You'll have version 3.3.something of Spyder, probably 3.3.6, but any 3.2 or 3.3 version of Spyder will be just fine.)

Running Python Files

We discuss this in considerably more detail in the second lab, but the key thing to remember is that you work on a Python file in the editor on the left-hand side of Spyder, and then load it into the interpreter that is the lower-right-hand window.

(You can also play around with individual lines of Python directly in the interpreter window without loading any file.)

Possible to-do items for 1-2 months into the term

Anaconda out of the box includes Python and lots of add-ons, called modules, such as the data science module pandas that we will be using.

However, it doesn't include every add-on module that exists. We might possibly ask you to use the Anaconda Navigator to install another module or two later on if we find one we really want to play with.