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C++ Getting Started


C++ Get Started

To start using C++, you need two things:

  • A text editor, like Notepad, to write C++ code
  • A compiler, like GCC, to translate the C++ code into a language that the computer will understand

There are many text editors and compilers to choose from. In this tutorial, we will use an IDE (see below).


C++ Install IDE

An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is used to edit AND compile the code.

Popular IDE's include Code::Blocks, Eclipse, and Visual Studio. These are all free, and they can be used to both edit and debug C++ code.

Note: Web-based IDE's can work as well, but functionality is limited.

We will use Code::Blocks in our tutorial, which we believe is a good place to start.

You can find the latest version of Codeblocks at http://www.codeblocks.org/downloads/26. Download the mingw-setup.exe file, which will install the text editor with a compiler.


C++ Quickstart

Let's create our first C++ file.

Open Codeblocks and go to File > New > Empty File.

Write the following C++ code and save the file as myfirstprogram.cpp (File > Save File as):

myfirstprogram.cpp

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
  cout << "Hello World!";
  return 0;
}

Don't worry if you don't understand the code above - we will discuss it in detail in later chapters. For now, focus on how to run the code.

In Codeblocks, it should look like this:

Then, go to Build > Build and Run to run (execute) the program. The result will look something to this:

Hello World!
Process returned 0 (0x0) execution time : 0.011 s
Press any key to continue.

Congratulations! You have now written and executed your first C++ program.


Learning C++ At W3Schools

When learning C++ at W3Schools.com, you can use our "Run Example" tool, which shows both the code and the result. This will make it easier for you to understand every part as we move forward:

myfirstprogram.cpp

Code:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
  cout << "Hello World!";
  return 0;
}

Result:

Hello World!
Try it Yourself »