Spyder 4 ... the python IDE for science

12-12-2019 05:00 AM
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MVP Esteemed Contributor
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Details as I go.  Everything is there to assist you from initial project thought to final application.

Right now... just the pics and a few tips.

An attachment of the first image, as well, if you want to explore in more detail.


Spyder 4's current version and changelog can be tracked at...

Spyder changelog on GitHub 

Theme choices

There are a variety of ways to layout and style the IDE.  A full dark theme is shown to the right .

Or you can split the themes and have different ones for  the editor and console.  The image below shows a lighter theme for the Variable explorer and the file explorer.

Separate (floating) or in-pane graphics available using direct access to Matplotlib.

Preference options

Graphics options

There is a new Plots window, or you can set your graphics to automatic to get a separate matplotlib graph window.  From there you can interactively alter the graphic to suit your needs.

You will also note, that svg inline graphics are supported.  I wrote a function to display numpy arrays representing geometry objects to get a quick preview without the need to create a featureclass.

File/project and script navigation

Help documentation and presentation

Help is everywhere. 

The example to the right shows what a function docstring looks link in the console and in the help tab. 

You can choose between coding styles within the preferences.

The numpydoc style used by packages like scipy, matplotlib, pandas to name a few, is shown below for comparison.

Editing tips


I hate scrolling, so when you get an error, click on the line number.  If it is in an imported script, you can even click on the script name to go there.

The object explorer can be used to retrieve information for objects.  This is useful for documentation purposes.

Finding stuff

When your package gets large and you are trying to locate something... Find is your friend.

A quick click and you are there to make edits, copy or just read.

Kite can be installed as well

Kite - AI Autocomplete and Docs for Python 

New Contributor

Looks great - thanks for posting, Dan.

I am curious, however, what steps a user must perform to get Spyder 4 up and running? I had no trouble using the ArcGIS package manager to install Spyder and get it running, but it won't let me upgrade beyond Spyder 3.3.6.

I assume that there must be some package dependencies that won't allow me to upgrade to Spyder 4, and I am not familiar enough with conda to go in and mess around with dependency over-rides. So, any chance you could provide a quick update on how to upgrade to Spyder 4 and any issues that might arise within the Python env? Thanks!

MVP Esteemed Contributor

conda update spyder --no-pin

New Contributor

Guaranteed safe? No impacts to be concerned about?

MVP Esteemed Contributor
If things go bad.... just roll back to the revision number you want (don't use the [ ] though, just to be clear).

Worse comes to worse... just reinstall Pro from the *.msi file you should have downloaded.

conda list
--revisions conda install --revision [revision number]
New Contributor

Sound plenty safe - many thanks for the info, Dan.

New Contributor

Thank you Dan! This is definitely the best way to do it. 

About the Author
Retired Geomatics Instructor at Carleton University. I am a forum MVP and Moderator. Current interests focus on python-based integration in GIS. See... Py... blog, my GeoNet blog...