PyCharm 5.0 Help

Tuning PyCharm

In this section:

Increasing Productivity

To increase the productivity of PyCharm, you can change settings that reside in the following locations (depending on your operating system) :

  • On Windows systems:
    <PyCharm installation folder>/bin/pycharm.exe.vmoptions
    <PyCharm installation folder>/bin/pycharm64.exe.vmoptions
  • On *NIX systems:
    <PyCharm installation folder>/bin/pycharm.vmoptions
    <PyCharm installation folder>/bin/pycharm64.vmoptions
  • On OS X: The file /Applications/ should be copied to ~/Library/Preferences/PyCharmXX/pycharm.vmoptions

    For the older versions, the settings are stored in /Applications/pycharm<version>.app/Contents/Info.plist.

Alternative ways for Windows and Linux platforms

PyCharm makes it possible to increase productivity without editing files in the PyCharm installation folder.

This is done in one of the two ways:

  • Specify PYCHARM_VM_OPTIONS environment variable. This variable should contain the path to the file with the settings.
  • Create $HOME/.PyCharmXX/idea$BITS.vmoptions (for *NIX) or %USERPROFILE%\.PyCharmXX\pycharm%BITS%.exe.vmoptions (for Windows) respectively.

    The value of the variable BITS:

    • For 32-bit systems it is empty.
    • For 64-bit systems it is 64.

    Finally, you have to create:

    • For *NIX 32-bit: $HOME/.PyCharmXX/pycharm.vmoptions
    • For *NIX 64-bit: $HOME/.PyCharmXX/pycharm64.vmoptions
    • For Windows 32-bit: %USERPROFILE%\.PyCharmXX\pycharm.exe.vmoptions
    • For Windows 64-bit: %USERPROFILE%\.PyCharmXX\pycharm64.exe.vmoptions

If PYCHARM_VM_OPTIONS environment variable is defined, or the file $HOME/.PyCharmXX/idea$BITS.vmoptions (for *NIX) or %USERPROFILE%\.PyCharmXX\pycharm%BITS%.exe.vmoptions (for Windows) exists, then this file is used instead of the file located in the PyCharm installation folder.

Thus, to avoid editing files in the PyCharm installation folder, one should:

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Copy <PyCharm installation folder>/bin/PyCharmXX.vmoptions to $HOME/.PyCharmXX/pycharm$BITS.vmoptions (for *NIX) or %USERPROFILE%\.PyCharmXX\pycharm%BITS%.exe.vmoptions (for Windows)
    • Copy <PyCharm installation folder>/bin/PyCharmXX.vmoptions somewhere and save the path to this location into the environment variable PYCHARM_VM_OPTIONS
  2. Edit the file in the new location.

Increasing the heap size

To increase PyCharm heap size, you should copy the original pycharm.vmoptions file from the /Applications/pycharm<version>.app/Contents/bin/pycharm.vmoptions to ~/Library/Preferences/pycharm<version>/pycharm.vmoptions, then modify the -Xmx setting.

Managing case of unicode literals

PyCharm allows defining whether non-ascii characters should use literals like '\u00AB' or '\00ab'.

This behavior is controlled by the system property idea.native2ascii.lowercase. By default, upper case characters are used.

If it is desirable to use lower case characters, do the following (depending on your platform) :

  • On Windows and *NIX: add the line

    to the bin/ file, located under the product installation folder.

  • On OS X:

    Copy the file /Applications/ to ~/Library/Preferences/PyCharmXX/, open it for editing, and add the line


    It is essential to create a copy, since the settings are replaced rather than added.

    For the older versions of PyCharm, open for editing the file /Applications/, and add the following code:

    <key>idea.native2ascii.lowercase</key> <string>true</string>

    to the section <key>Properties</key> <dict> ... <dict>

See Also

Last modified: 11 November 2015