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== Put Python on the PATH ==
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== Required step: Put Python on the PATH ==
  
You might have noticed that you typed a "full path" to the Python application above when launching Python (<code>python.exe</code> is the application, but we typed <code>\Python27\python.exe</code>). In this step, you will configure your computer so that you can run Python without typing the ''Python27'' directory name.
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You might have noticed that you typed a directory name above when launching Python. In this step, you will reconfigure your computer to put Python on the system PATH so that you can run it without typing the ''Python27'' directory name.
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'''This will take about 5 extra minutes''', and it is ''essential'' to an easy life using Python down the road.
  
 
=== Get to System Properties ===
 
=== Get to System Properties ===
  
 
# Open up "My Computer"  by clicking on the Start menu or the Windows logo in the lower-left hand corner, and navigate to "My Computer" (for Windows XP) or "Computer" (For Vista and Windows 7).
 
# Open up "My Computer"  by clicking on the Start menu or the Windows logo in the lower-left hand corner, and navigate to "My Computer" (for Windows XP) or "Computer" (For Vista and Windows 7).
# ''Right-click'' on the empty space in the window, and choose ''Properties''.
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# ''Right-click'' on the empty space in the window, and choose ''Properties''
  
 
==== If you're using XP ====
 
==== If you're using XP ====
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# A window labeled "System Properties" will pop up.
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#* Click the "Advanced" tab.
  
A window labeled "System Properties" will pop up.
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==== If you're not ====
 
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# A window labeled "View basic information about your computer" should appear
# Click the "Advanced" tab.
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#* In this window, click "Advanced system settings"
 
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#* A window should appear whose title is "System Properties".
==== If you're not using XP ====
 
A window labeled "View basic information about your computer" will appear.
 
 
 
# In this window, click "Advanced system settings"
 
 
 
A window with the title "System Properties" will appear.
 
  
 
=== Edit the Path ===
 
=== Edit the Path ===
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# Within System Properties, make sure you are in the tab labeled "Advanced".
 
# Within System Properties, make sure you are in the tab labeled "Advanced".
 
# Click the button labeled "Environment Variables".
 
# Click the button labeled "Environment Variables".
#* A window labeled "Environment Variables" will appear.
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#* A window labeled "Environment Variables" should appear.
 
# In this window, the screen is split between "User variables" and "System variables". Within "System variables", scroll down and find the one labeled '''Path'''. Click the "Edit..." button.
 
# In this window, the screen is split between "User variables" and "System variables". Within "System variables", scroll down and find the one labeled '''Path'''. Click the "Edit..." button.
#* A window with the "Variable name" and the "Variable value" should appear. The "Variable value" will already have some text in it; click in the box to unhighlight it (we don't want to accidentally delete that text).
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#* A window with the "Variable name" and the "Variable value" should appear. If you have some words listed in the "Variable value", then click in the box to unhighlight it. Make sure that the current path listed in the box is '''NOT''' highlighted! 
# In the "Variable value" box, scroll to the end. Add the following text, and hit OK. Make sure to include the semicolon at the start! <pre>;c:\python27\;c:\python27\scripts</pre>
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# In the "Variable value", scroll to the end. Add this text, and hit OK. Make sure to include the semicolon at the start! <pre>;c:\python27\;c:\python27\scripts</pre>
 
# Hit "OK" to close out the system properties changes.
 
# Hit "OK" to close out the system properties changes.
# Test your change:
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# Test it:
## Open up a <b>new</b> command prompt: you do this the same way you did above when installing python. This needs to be a new command prompt because the changes you just made didn't take affect in prompts that were already open.
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#* Open up a <b>new</b> command prompt: you do this the same way you did above when installing python. This needs to be a <b>new</b> command prompt or you won't have the shorter paths available for your use!
## Type <code>python</code> into the command prompt to start Python
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#* Type just "python" into the command prompt
## Notice that you now get a Python interpreter, indicated by the change to a <code>>>></code> prompt.
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#* Notice that you now get a Python interpreter.
## Exit the Python prompt by typing <pre>exit()</pre> and hitting enter. Now you're back at the Windows command prompt (<code>C:\</code>).
 
  
 
== Success! ==
 
== Success! ==

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