Fast start-up for small Python scripts

ExpressPython: Lightweight, portable Python editor for small scripts

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Hand Robot

There are many IDEs for Python, and it’s time for one more. ExpressPython is a lightweight, small code editor for Python 3. Originally built to help teach students how to code, it can be used in programming competitions, or just when you need a fast, small, clean code editor.

There are a wide variety of Python IDEs and code editors available for programmers. Between PyCharm, VS Code, IDLE, Spyder, just to name a few, programmers have many to choose from depending on their needs and preferences. Add one more editor to the fray.

ExpressPython is a small, lightweight Python 3 editor that can help with learning and competitive programming, such as coding challenges. Its creator started work on it in 2014  in order to fulfill a few needs, such as the ability to work offline.

It is not made with the intent of becoming a fully-featured IDE, and does not include debugging features. However, it does have a few noteworthy features, so let’s take a look.

Building the editor

According to the GitHub README, the creator made the editor in order to fill a few niches. These include:

  • Runs easily in windows, portable, doesn’t affect system.
  • I wanted a tool to test regexes, small scripts.
  • Online IDEs cannot access my file system I need to access files If I wanted to.
  • Online IDEs are sometimes slow at peak times or for non premium uses.
  • You cannot access Online IDEs once you are in the underground train 🚄.
  • It should start fast and I don’t need to create files to test things
  • Suitable to simulate HackerRank . (Has an input window and output window, works with stdin)
  • I wanted to learn C++/Qt and polish Python knowledge.
  • Compiled to 32bit will work on a 64bit machine.
  • Type some text in to input section and process it using quick scripts.

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Here’s a sample image of how it looks:


Input and output. Source.

It was also created with the intention of teaching Python 3 to beginner students.

Features & downloading

Some features include:

  • Built with C++
  • Usable for coding challenges
  • Quick start-up time
  • Simple, minimalistic UI
  • Customizable code execution

Currently, the editor lacks keyboard shortcuts.

Interested users can grab it on GitHub.

Dependencies include Python 3.7.x (32bit) and Qt 5.9.x (GPL Version, MinGW 32bit). As of now, only Windows binaries available for download. (Check out the open GitHub issue for creating a mac-os app with bundled Python and see if you can lend a hand.)

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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