Set up Python on your windows 7 machine

This guide will set up python and the most basic components needed by scientists:

  • Pip – Best tool to install python packages
  • Matplotlib – For generating beautiful plots
  • Numpy – For all kinds of calculations
  • XLRD – To open and parse Excel files
  1. Install python 3.4 on your machine (Skip if you already have):
  2. Install Visual C++ Express: (needed for numpy)
    • Download it from CHIP or anywhere else.
  3. Set up pip: (By installing a recent version of python you do not need to install pip! You just have to set it up.)
    • Got to “Control Panel” -> “System and Security” -> “System” -> “Advanced System Settings” ->  “Environment Variables…” -> Scroll down to “PATH” and “double click” it -> At the very end of the line “Variable value:” enter the following:    ;C:\Python34;C:\Python34\Scripts
      • (Make sure you added a “;” at the beginning!)
      • See this youtube video for more detailed explanation:  Video
  4. Install all packages needed:
    • Download all of the following .whl files into one single folder:
    • Open the folder
    • Right click into the folder while pressing “Shift”
    • Click on “Open command window here”
    • Type the following commands into it and push enter after each one: (copy code, go into command window, “right-click” and paste) (Edit: If you have downloaded newer versions than given above, you have to update the names of the .whl files after the “pip install” command)
      • pip install six-1.9.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl
      • pip install pyparsing-2.0.3-py2.py3-none-any.whl
      • pip install python_dateutil-2.4.2-py2.py3-none-any.whl
      • pip install numpy-1.9.2-cp27-none-macosx_10_6_intel.macosx_10_9_intel.macosx_10_9_x86_64.macosx_10_10_intel.macosx_10_10_x86_64.whl
  1. Install xlrd:
    • Download the the following folder:
    • Extract the file and “double-click” the file.
  2. Install matplotlib:
    • Download the “.exe” file from the following link:
    • Install by “double-clicking”.
  1. That’s it! You have now installed all basic components of python. If you later want to install more python packages, just go to, search for the package, download the “.whl” file and proceed as described in 4. If no “.whl” file is present, download the “.zip” or “.tar.gz” file and proceed as described in point 5. That’s all!
  2. If you like python and want to learn all the basics and more for free:
    1. Free Python course