How to run Processing Python Mode in Atom?

I have searched for five hours trying to find a good tutorial on how to use in atom. I’m finally creating this topic so that someone who does know how to do it can help anyone else that has this problem. Specifically, I’m looking for a solution where you don’t have to manually write your file path each time.

The types of answers that I’m am hoping for are the kinds that involve screenshots, and are easy to follow. Too many times I came across a post that assumed other knowledge. For this topic it would be great if you could pretend that we knew only the basics of how to use a computer. You don’t have to include everything like how to set environment variables because I will leave some links to people that need to know how to do that. If anyone reading this comes across anything that I didn’t include leave a response and I’ll add it, also feel free to tell me edits I should make to this post because there is definitely (probably) things wrong with this post.

Notice: A really easy solution to this is to have a package that automatically runs the command:

java -jar processing-py.jar <get file name>.py

However, I don’t know how to get the file name.

Thanks for the great answer!


How To Set Environment Variables: Click on the windows icon and type “control panel”, click on control panel. Click on the “System and Security” text that is green. Next, click on the piece of green text three down, it says “System”. On the left of your screen click “Advanced system settings”, next you should have a popup window that says things like “Performance”, “User Profiles”, etc. Click on the button that says “Environment Variables…” Now click on path:

You can see Path on the left side of the screen the second option up from the bottom.

Next click “Edit…” on the bottom side (there are two edit buttons). Finally, click new and add the path on your computer to the file that an answer says to add. To end it all off, click “OK” as many times as needed to close all of the windows, now you are done.

How to install packages in Atom: To install packages in Atom; open Atom and click “Ctrl+,” then hit install on the left side of the Atom window. Next type in any package that you need to install into the text box that will appear in the top middle of your screen and hit enter. Now you can click install under the package name and you are done.

How to go to settings for a package in Atom: To go to settings for a certain package follow all of the steps of “How to install packages in Atom” and then click settings under the name of the package

How to use a package in Atom: To use a package in Atom click tools on the top of your screen, then on the drop down that appears click on the package you want to use. This will either:

  1. Run the package’s action immediately
  2. Open another drop down where you can choose from multiple actions where you can then choose one to use

Then you are done, those are both of the cases and will both run your package.


Have you looked at the build system for atom (atom-build)? Using that might be a way to not have to write your own package…


Thanks for the response! I haven’t been able to try that because I am unsure of how to download packages from github into Atom. If you know how, could you help me with that?

It looks like the atom-build page has a quickstart section and recommends using apm to install it.

I believe that is Atom’s built-in package manager. Info here:

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I can install atom-build just not the build-processing-py package

You can use apm to install from a GitHub url – either https: or guthub:. If that does not work for you then you can download, navigate the directory, and apm install from there. For details see:

Unfortunately it is not working, it is however in my .atom/packages folder. But, it doesn’t show up in the packages drop down, it also does not work to compile a .pyde file or .py file.