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Hassan Graves
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How to Download and Install Code Blocks: A Free, Open-Source, and Cross-Platform IDE for C/C++/Fortran

How to Use Code::Blocks: A Beginner's Guide

If you are looking for a free and easy-to-use IDE for C, C++ or Fortran programming, you might want to try Code::Blocks. Code::Blocks is an open source project that aims to provide a consistent and user-friendly environment for developing software across different platforms. In this article, I will show you how to install Code::Blocks, create your first project, and explore some of its features.

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What is Code::Blocks and why use it?

Code::Blocks is an integrated development environment (IDE) that supports multiple compilers, such as GCC, Clang, MSVC++, Borland C++ and more. It also has a custom build system that allows you to configure your project settings and dependencies easily. Code::Blocks has a plugin framework that enables you to extend its functionality with various plugins, such as code completion, class browser, debugger, etc.

Some of the advantages of using Code::Blocks are:

  • It is free and open source, so you can use it without any restrictions or costs.

  • It is cross-platform, so you can run it on Windows, Linux or Mac OS X.

  • It is fast and lightweight, so it does not consume too much memory or CPU resources.

  • It is flexible and customizable, so you can tailor it to your preferences and needs.

  • It is well-documented and supported by an active community of developers and users.

How to download and install Code::Blocks on Windows, Linux or Mac

The easiest way to install Code::Blocks is to download the binary release from its official website: [1]( There are different versions available depending on your operating system and compiler choice. For example, if you are using Windows and want to use GCC as your compiler, you can download the package that includes MinGW (codeblocks-20.03mingw-setup.exe). If you already have a compiler installed on your system, you can download the package that does not include any compiler (codeblocks-20.03-setup.exe).

Once you have downloaded the installer file, run it on your computer and follow the instructions on the screen. The installation process is straightforward and should not take more than a few minutes. After the installation is complete, you can launch Code::Blocks from the Start menu or the desktop shortcut.

If you are using Linux or Mac OS X, you can also install Code::Blocks from the source code or from the nightly builds. The source code allows you to build Code::Blocks yourself with your preferred compiler and settings. The nightly builds are more recent versions of Code::Blocks that include bug fixes and new features. However, they may also be less stable or compatible with some plugins. You can find more information on how to install Code::Blocks from the source code or from the nightly builds on its wiki page: [2](

How to create a simple "Hello World" program in C++

Now that you have installed Code::Blocks, let's create your first project and write a simple "Hello World" program in C++. A project in Code::Blocks is a collection of files that belong to a specific application or library. A project can have multiple targets, which are different configurations or versions of the same project. For example, you can have a debug target and a release target for your project.

To create a new project in Code::Blocks, follow these steps:

  • Go to File > New > Project or click on the New Project icon on the toolbar.

  • Select Console application from the list of project templates and click on Go.

  • Choose C++ as the language and click on Next.

  • Enter a name and a location for your project and click on Next.

  • Select the compiler you want to use for your project and click on Next.

  • Review the project summary and click on Finish.

Code::Blocks will create a default "Hello World" program for you and open it in the editor. The program consists of a main.cpp file that contains the main function, which is the entry point of your application. The main function prints "Hello World" to the standard output using the cout stream. The code looks like this:

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using namespace std; int main() cout

To run your program, you can either press F9 or go to Build > Run or click on the Run icon on the toolbar. Code::Blocks will compile your code and execute it in a console window. You should see something like this:

Hello World! Process returned 0 (0x0) execution time : 0.016 s Press any key to continue.

Congratulations! You have just created and run your first C++ program using Code::Blocks!

How to use some of the main features of Code::Blocks

Code::Blocks has many features that can help you write, debug and optimize your code. Here are some of the most useful ones:

Code completion

Code completion is a feature that suggests possible words or symbols as you type, based on the context and the syntax of your code. Code completion can save you time and prevent errors by reducing the amount of typing and spelling mistakes. Code::Blocks has a built-in code completion plugin that supports C/C++ and Fortran languages. To use code completion, you can either press Ctrl+Space or start typing a word and wait for a pop-up window to appear with suggestions. You can then use the arrow keys or the mouse to select the desired suggestion and press Enter or Tab to insert it into your code.

Syntax highlighting

Syntax highlighting is a feature that colors different parts of your code according to their meaning and function, such as keywords, variables, comments, etc. Syntax highlighting can make your code more readable and easier to understand by highlighting its structure and logic. Code::Blocks has a built-in syntax highlighting feature that supports many languages, such as C/C++, Fortran, Java, Python, etc. You can customize the colors and styles of syntax highlighting by going to Settings > Editor > Syntax highlighting.


A debugger is a tool that allows you to inspect and modify the state of your program while it is running, such as variables, memory, registers, etc. A debugger can help you find and fix errors in your code by letting you execute it step by step, set breakpoints, watch expressions, etc. Code::Blocks has a built-in debugger plugin that supports various debuggers, such as GDB, CDB, LLDB, etc. To use the debugger, you need to switch to the debug target of your project by going to Build > Select target > Debug or clicking on the Debug icon on the toolbar. Then you can go to Debug > Start/Continue or press F8 to start debugging your program. You can also use other commands from the Debug menu or the toolbar to control the execution of your program, such as Step into, Step over, Step out, Run to cursor, Toggle breakpoint, Add watch, etc. Code formatting

Code formatting is a feature that adjusts the indentat


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