How to Install Pillow/PIL on PyCharm?

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The Python Imaging Library (Pillow) adds powerful image processing capabilities to your Python project.

Problem Formulation: Given a PyCharm project. How to install the Pillow library in your project within a virtual environment or globally?

Here’s a solution that always works:

  • Open File > Settings > Project from the PyCharm menu.
  • Select your current project.
  • Click the Python Interpreter tab within your project tab.
  • Click the small + symbol to add a new library to the project.
  • Now type in the library to be installed, in your example "pillow" or "pil" without quotes, and click Install Package.
  • Wait for the installation to terminate and close all popup windows.

Here’s the installation process as a short animated video—it works analogously for Pillow or PIL, just type in “pillow” or "pil" in the search field instead:

There are actually two versions of the library — Pillow and PIL — both cannot coexist! So, before installing Pillow make sure to uninstall PIL—or the other way round if you prefer to install PIL. More here.

Alternatively, you can run the pip install pillow or pip install PIL command in your PyCharm “Terminal” view. Any of the following lines will do:

$ pip install Pillow
$ python3 -m pip install --upgrade Pillow
$ pip install PIL
$ python3 -m pip install --upgrade PIL

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