Using Anaconda for numpy, scipy and matplotlib programming | applied electronics engineering


Using Anaconda for numpy, scipy and matplotlib programming

By Applied Electronics - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 No Comments
This tutorial guides you how to download and install anaconda for python, numpy, scipy and matplotlib in windows operating system. Using anaconda is perhaps the easiest way to get all these python and python package and other working facilities for free. Anaconda is for free download at The benefit of using Anaconda is that it contains all the required dependencies required to run the packages. Note that if you download and install anaconda you don't have to download python separately, that is, python comes with anaconda.

For those who does not know what python is see the beginning Python Programming Language blog post. And those who wants to know what numpy, scipy and matplotlib are see the the advantage of learning Numpy, Scipy and Matplotlib with examples blog post.

Anaconda is an open source platform to manage and deploy python packages and IDE. Anaconda is developed and meant for data analytics, processing, and scientific computing and it does so with the help of numpy, scipy and matlplotlib packages among others.

Here we show how to download/install anaconda and then show various ways of lauching Ipython and Ipython notebook so that you can start programming python with numpy, scipy and matplotlib.

Downloading Anaconda

Below is a picture that shows the download button in the anaconda website(

downloading anaconda for windows
To download just choose your operating system bit version and download by clicking on the corresponding button.

Anaconda Applications

Once you have downloaded and installed it, the anaconda application will be listed in the window start menu. This is shown below.

 There are different ways to start python programming. You can use Ipython or Jupyter or Spyder. This terms might be confusing to python beginners knowing not what is the difference between them.

Ipython is basically a an improved python interactive console. Python is a programming language while Ipython is a interactive command shell, called notebook, which was developed for python programming.

Jupyter is just the name given to ipython v3 but the people who developed and maintains anaconda. Jupyter is a web browser based python console.

Spyder is an open source integrated development environment for running and writing python codes. It supports the numpy, scipy, matplotlib, Ipython interactive notebook.

Whichever you choose, you can write python codes and run them in any of these. It is just matter of taste and matter of little difference due to added functionality.

Ipython console

To start with Ipython just click the Ipython console as shown within the anaconda3(32) bit folder.

 The Ipython console looks like the following.

Jupyter Notebook

There are two methods to launch Jupyter notebook. The first is to use the anaconda navigator and the second is to use the Jupyter notebook application directly. Both are equivalent.

First method launch

To start Jupyter you can use either the anaconda navigator or directly click the Jupyter notebook. If you happen to click on the anaconda navigator,

  you will see the following-

anaconda for python

As you can see anaconda navigator shows various applications and packages. To launch the Jupter notebook just click on Jupyter notebook launch button, and you will see the following.

jupyter in web browser
You will see a File, Running and Cluster tabs. On the right side you can see upload and New tab. From the New tab you can create a new Python3 notebook session. This is shown below.

jupyter notebook in web browser

Now you can start writing your python code that uses numpy, scipy or matplotlib.

Second method launch

Alternatively you can launch the same Jupyter notebook from the anaconda folder in the start up menu.

launching jupyter notebook

You will get the same interface as in the case when you launched Jupyter notebook from anaconda navigator.


The final method to launch Ipython for python programming with scipy, numpy and matplotlib is to use the Spyder IDE. In the anaconda3 folder in the start up menu, click on the Spyder application.

And you will see the following.

spyder ide

In the right bottom corner you can see the Ipython notebook interface where you would write the python codes.

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