The Python Shell
There are different ways we can use Python, depending on what we want to do. One of these ways is the shell.
When we use the Python shell, each command is run as soon as we finish typing them.
Try opening the shell to see how it looks.
Opening the Shell
Option 1: Click Start, then find Python in the start menu
Option 2: Open a command prompt, then type python
Open a terminal, and then type python3.
Note: If you run python (without the ‘3’) Python version 2 will open
If you look at the shell, one of the lines starts with three ‘greater-than’ symbols (>>>). This is called the prompt. The prompt is where you type your command.
I understand if you’re thinking “this shell thing looks really boring”. I get it. It’s just a blank screen that we type in. It will get more interesting as we learn more, I promise. We’ve got to start with the basics before we move on though.
We’ll start with something simple. Type in a number. Any number will do. Then press enter. The shell will write that number on the screen on the next line. Please try to contain your excitement.
You can try some basic math too if you want to. For example, type in 6 + 6 and press enter. The shell will write the answer on the screen.
You can try addition (+), multiplication (*), division (/), subtraction (-), brackets, or a combination of all of them.
Give it a try now and see what happens.
Python 3.10.1 (tags/v3.10.1:2cd268a, Dec 6 2021, 19:10:37) [MSC v.1929 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> 6 6 >>> 6+6 12 >>> 12*(3+7)-(8/2) 116.0
Next, we’re going to use the shell a bit more, and write (print) text to the screen.