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Beginner's Guide to Python

New to programming? Python is free, and easy to learn if you know where to start! This guide will help you to get started quickly.

New to Python?

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Read ["BeginnersGuide/Overview"] to learn the key points.

First, you need to get the Python interpreter installed on your computer. (This is the program that reads Python programs and carries out their instructions; you need it before you can do any Python programming.) See ["BeginnersGuide/Download"] for instructions for downloading the correct version of Python.

You'll want to select a [http://www.python.org/moin/PythonEditors text editor] that has support for Python.

Need to know how to run programs? See [http://www.python.org/doc/faq/windows.html#how-do-i-run-a-python-program-under-windows How do I Run a Program Under Windows] (Unix/Linux users are assumed, perhaps incorrectly, to be familiar with the necessary techniques).

Next, you're going to want to read a tutorial and try some simple experiments with your new Python interpreter.

Once you've read a tutorial, you can browse through [http://www.python.org/doc/ Python's online documentation]. It includes [http://www.python.org/doc/current/tut/ a tutorial] that may be helpful, [http://www.python.org/doc/current/lib/ a Library Reference] that lists all of the modules that come standard with Python, and [http://www.python.org/doc/current/ref/ the Language Reference] for a complete (if rather dry) explanation of Python's syntax.

Most Python books will include an introduction; see IntroductoryBooks for suggested titles.

Consult ["BeginnersGuide/Examples"] for small programs and little snippets of code that can help you learn.

Need help from a human? Read ["BeginnersGuide/Help"] for mailing lists and newsgroups.

Or, you can pay for a Python course; see ["BeginnersGuide/Courses"] for a list.

Teachers can join the [http://www.python.org/sigs/edu-sig/ EDU-SIG], a mailing list for discussion of Python's use in teaching at any level ranging from K-12 up to university.

Looking for a particular Python module or application?

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