When comparing PyCharm vs Spyder, the Slant community recommends PyCharm for most people. In the question“What are the best Python IDEs or editors?” PyCharm is ranked 1st while Spyder is ranked 8th. The most important reason people chose PyCharm is:
PyCharm has CVS, Git, Subversion and Mercurial integration.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Version control integration
PyCharm has CVS, Git, Subversion and Mercurial integration.
Pro Catches run-time information when running the code
PyCharm can leverage run-time information when running your application with the built-in debugger to figure out what types can possibly be passed to which functions, etc.
Pro One of the best autocompletion engines around
PyCharm has two types of autocompletion: structural completion and word expansion.
Both types of autocompletion work extremely well, have little to no problems and are quite fast even when loading suggestions on the go.
Pro Free version available
There's a community edition (with limited features) that's free to use. You can also get a 30-day trial of the Professional edition.
Pro Excellent refactoring support
There are many refactoring options including renaming and changing signature across entire projects. It also includes the an ability to preview changes before committing and exclude anything unwanted.
Pro Great pip support
PyCharm offers great pip integration. When opening a project it automatically checks for a
requirements.txt file in the root of the project. If it's found, it checks if all the libraries are available in the interpreter. If one or more libraries are missing, it issues a warning and asks whether you want to install any missing libraries.
Pro Automatically figures out what test to run based on the method the cursor rests at a given time
PyCharm, based on what method or class the cursor rests, can figure out what tests to run and perform them with a keyboard shortcut or two, without breaking up the flow and need to switch to a command line interface.
Pro Supports installing third party libraries
No need to go to the command line to download a new package, PyCharm has an easy system to browse, download, and update third party packages.
Pro Great for navigating large codebases
PyCharm has amazing code navigation implementations. It supports both goto symbol and goto declaration. The former finds classes, variables, functions, etc by name. While the latter is used by moving the cursor on top of a symbol and by using the mouse or a keyboard combination it finds the declaration of that symbol and takes you there.
Both of these features are extremely helpful when consulting large code-bases and when trying to understand an API written by someone else.
Pro Excellent integration with debugging tools
All the debugging can be done inside the IDE. Breakpoints in the code can be added using keyboard shortcuts or the mouse. When the code is executed through the debugger a toolbar pops up with all the relevant context needed for the debugging process.
The whole process is smooth and painless and you don't even have to switch windows to do the debugging.
Pro Sophisticated static analysis tools
Pro Remote debugging over ssh coupled with automatic deployment creates a streamlined workflow
The professional version allows remote debugging over ssh, which together with automatic deployment creates a streamlined workflow.
Pro Built-in Django support
Pycharm has excellent django support, from templating to management commands, it has it all.
Pro Free student access to Professional Edition
With a valid .edu address students can register to use the Professional edition and enjoy all the perks of the full paid version for free.
Though it should be mentioned that the with the free student acess you cannot use PyCharm for any commercial purposes, even accepting donations for an open source project.
Pro Vim mode for people used to Vim commands
IdeaVim supports motion keys, insert mode commands, marks, registers, visual mode commands, vim regexps, key mapping, macros, digraphs, some ex and :set commands. You can find a full comparison in the IdeaVim reference manual.
Pro Powerful autocompletion
Spyder's autocomplete features are made possible by a library called rope which gives Spyder powerful autocompletion.
Pro Free and open-source
Released under the MIT license.
Pro Graph plotting support
Spyder can plot graphs and provide the list of all variables.
Pro Has cross platform support - Linux, Mac, and even Windows
Spyder (formerly Pydee) has support for all of the major operating platforms - Linux, Mac, and even Windows.
Pro Relatively lightweight
Pro Helps you to use documentation
Pro Enables to write consistent code
Pylint integration enables to check the code for PEP8 style guide and detect errors.
Pro Has support for Vim bindings via plugin support
Aside from being an open sourced, actively developed IDE, vim key-binding support is also available. If you remember Pydee - this is it, albeit with a new name.
Pro Good GitHub project
Pro Excellent variable explorer
Dynamic variable explorer with editor and visualizer
Pro Completely Python
Con Very high memory usage
Con Does not support inline plots
Spyder supports the inline plot function of matplotlib, not the case for PyCharm.
Con Vim mode is limited
Con Not suitable to edit project's files written in other languages
Con Some relatively basic functionality requires paid license
Con Rendering is awful
Con Odd Autosave "feature", can't be disabled fully
PyCharm automatically saves your files for you, always, without telling you. You can't disable this. There's a way to indicate if a file has been modified via an indicator in the tab (not enabled by default - why?).
If you exit it won't ask you if you want to save the modified file. Totally unintuitive and contrary to all other established workflows. It's ok to try something new, but give users the option to have the "normal" behaviour of any other IDE/editor out there. Can be a deal breaker for those that need to know/have control over when they save their files. (PyCharm offers a history to undo the automatic save, but why force a user to undo something with extra steps that shouldn't have happened in the first place?)
Con Can not be integrated with external linters, like Pylint, Flake8, etc.
Sublime Text has SublimeLinter, Vim has Syntastic, PyCharm has nothing.
Con Not possible to run scripts in a single console
Con The documentation is poor when it comes to debugging
Not a lot of information about debugging is available in the documentation.
Con Not beautiful
The default theme is not beautiful. And there are not many themes.