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Install python modules and libraries using IDLE on MAC

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Python can be a great tool for Search Marketers allowing us to automate repetitive tasks and work with large data sets to analyse trends. This is ideal for marketing industries such as automotive and retail due to it’s saturation. If you’re new to python, there are a number of different issues you might run into even when setting up your environments. Below is one of the most common, highly relevant if you’re working through a guide or textbook such as Automate The Boring Stuff

If you’d like to discover what else python can do for you, such as how to get root domain from URL, make sure to check out our blog.

Import module works in Terminal but not in IDLE

When using python in IDLE on Mac, each python installation has it’s own …/lib/site-packages for 3rd party modules. Depending on your installation method (using the regular pip install package-name) terminal won’t allow you to import them when using IDLE.

This isn’t ideal, as there are a number of different libraries you won’t be able to live without – luckily this is easy to solve.

How to import Modules to IDLE on MAC

  1. Locate the system path

  2. Enter “import sys; sys.executable” into your IDLE shell.

    #Copy the below
    import sys; sys.executable

    This will give you your file path which will be needed in terminal, see step 1 image below.

  3. Open Terminal and Enter…

  4. python-path -m pip install package-name

    #Copy the line below along with your file/Python path
    python-path -m pip install package-name
    #Example with Python path:
    /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.7/bin/python3.7 -m pip install matplotlib

    This, for example, will install the Matplotlib plotting library

  5. Test if working

  6. Terminal will now install, and your modules will work within IDLE. While this isn’t the most future-proofed way of doing things, it does allow you to get back to programming without having to worry.

Further information on IDLE

what is IDLE python?

IDLE stands for Integrated Development and Learning Environment. IDLE is essentially a simple IDE (Integrated Development Environment), suitable for Python novices and beginners, often used for educational purposes.

While IDLE is a great place to start, other IDEs offer far more functionality. My personal favourite is Pycharm made by JetBrain, I’d recommend giving it a try as it integrates tools and libraries such as NumPy and Matplotlib while also supporting other widely used programming languages.

Images for reference

Step 1

Honcho Python Screenshot: import sys; sys.executable

Step 2

Honcho Python terminal

*I already have the library installed so the requirements are already satisfied


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