PyCharm Edu 3.5 Help


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Whatever you do in PyCharm Edu, you do that in the context of a project. A project is an organizational unit that represents a complete software solution. It serves as a basis for coding assistance, bulk refactoring, coding style consistency, etc.

Project files

A project in PyCharm Edu is represented in the Directory Based Format. A project directory is marked with /help/img/idea/2017.1/project_icon.png icon.

Such project directory contains the .idea directory, with the following files:

  • *.iml file that describes the project structure.
  • workspace.xml file that contains your workspace preferences.
  • A number of .xml files. Each .xml file is responsible for its own set of settings, that can be recognized by its name: projectCodeStyle.xml, encodings.xml, vcs.xml etc.

    Thus, for example, adding a new run/debug configuration and changing encoding will affect two different .xml files. This helps avoid merge conflicts when the project settings are stored in a version control system and modified by the different team members.

All the settings files in the .idea directory should be put under version control except the workspace.xml, which stores your local preferences. The workspace.xml file should be marked as ignored by VCS.

.idea directory is not visible in the Project view of the Project tool window.

Project types

The directory structure of each project contains the .idea directory for the PyCharm Edu-specific settings and the project file, and libraries.

PyCharm Edu suggests the following types of projects:

  • Educational project is intended for students, who want to learn Python.

    An educational project consists of the following entities:

    • Lessons, marked /help/img/idea/2017.1/lesson.png. When a lesson is completed, its icon changes to /help/img/idea/2017.1/lesson_completed.png.
    • Tasks, marked /help/img/idea/2017.1/task.png. When a task is completed, its icon changes to /help/img/idea/2017.1/task_completed.png.
    • Python files, marked /help/img/idea/2017.1/pythonScript.png, and all other file types, supported by PyCharm Edu.
    • Sandbox, where you can create files and folders of your choice.

    The process of creating such a project is described in the section Creating an educational project. Refer also the Student's Guide.

  • Course is intended for the educators.

    A course consists of the following entities:


    A course is just a project of a special type. It consists of lessons.


    A lesson is a directory where the task files are stored. Each lesson can contain several tasks.


    A task is a directory where the following files are stored:

    • Task description which you have to type in the Task Description tool window
    • The file with the extension .py, that contains the exercise code and can contain answer placeholders
    • the test file that helps you make sure that the students have fulfilled your task correctly.

    Also a task can contain more files required for fulfilling it.

    Answer placeholder

    An answer placeholder is a frame shown to the students that replaces and hides a part of your initial code. These placeholders should contain descriptions of actions to be taken by the students to complete the tasks. You have to create descriptions of these actions yourself.

    The first mouse click inside the answer placeholder selects the entire placeholder; the second mouse click removes selection.


    If the students are not sure of themselves, they can view hints. The hints are also created by the educators.

    Besides these groups of files, PyCharm Edu provides special file that contains useful functions, which a lecturer may use for writing tests.

    Refer to the sections Creating a course and Educator's Guide for details.

  • Empty project is intended for pure Python programming. The directory structure of such project contains the .idea directory for the PyCharm Edu-specific settings and the project file, and libraries.

See Also

Last modified: 31 July 2017