The Best IDE’s for Working With C++ Code

If you want to try a different approach to working with your C++ code, then there are plenty of options available to you. Windows is the most prolific platform for C++ IDEs but there are plenty for Mac and Linux users too.

Here are ten great C++ IDEs that are worth looking into. You can install one or all of them, to find the one that works best for you.

Eclipse

Eclipse is a hugely popular C++ IDE that offers the programmer a wealth of features. It has a great, clean interface, is easy to use and available for Windows, Linux and Mac. Head over to www.eclipse.org/downloads/ to download the latest version. If you’re stuck, click the Need Help link for more information.

GNAT

The GNAT Programming Studio (GPS) is a powerful and intuitive IDE that supports testing, debugging and code analysis. The Community Edition is free, whereas the Pro version costs; however, the Community Edition is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and even the Raspberry Pi. You can find it at www.adacore.com/download.

CodeLite

CodeLite is a free and open source IDE that’s regularly updated and available for Windows, Linux and macOS. It’s lightweight, uncomplicated and extremely powerful. You can find out more information as well as how to download and install it at www.codelite.org/.

NetBeans

Another popular choice is NetBeans. This is another excellent IDE that’s packed with features and a pleasure to use. NetBeans IDE includes project based templates for C++ that give you the ability to build applications with dynamic and static libraries. Find out more at www.netbeans.org/features/cpp/index.html.

Visual Studio

Microsoft’s Visual Studio is a mammoth C++ IDE that allows you to create applications for Windows, Android, iOS and the web. The Community version is free to download and install but the other versions allow a free trial period. Go to www.visualstudio.com/ to see what it can do for you.

QT Creator

This cross-platform IDE is designed to create C++ applications for desktop and mobile environments. It comes with a code editor and integrated tools for testing and debugging, as well as deploying to you chosen platform. It’s not free but there is a trial period on offer before requiring purchasing: www.qt.io/qt-features-libraries-apis-tools-and-ide/.

Dev C++

Bloodshed Dev C++, despite its colourful name, is an older IDE that is for Windows systems only. However, many users praise its clean interface and uncomplicated way of coding and compiling. Although there’s not been much updating for some time, it’s certainly one to consider if you want something different: www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html.

Anjuta

The Anjuta DevStudio is a Linux-only IDE that features some of the more advanced features you would normally find in a paid software development studio. There’s a GUI designer, source editor, app wizard, interactive debugger and much more. Go to www.anjuta.org/ for more information.

MonoDevelop

This excellent IDE allows developers to write C++ code for desktop and web applications across all the major platforms. There’s an advanced text editor, integrated debugger and a configurable workbench to help you create your code. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux and is free to download and use: www.monodevelop.com/.

U++

Ultimate++ is a cross-platform C++ IDE that boats a rapid development of code through the smart and aggressive use of C++. For the novice, it’s a beast of an IDE but behind its complexity is a beauty that would make a developer’s knees go wobbly. Find out more at www.ultimatepp.org/index.html.

 

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David Hayward

David has spent most of his life tinkering with technology, from the ZX Spectrum, getting his hands on a Fujitsu VPP5000/100 supercomputer, and coding on an overheating Raspberry Pi. He's written for the likes of Micro Mart, Den of Geek, and countless retro sites and publications, covering reviews, creating code and bench testing the latest tech. He also has a huge collection of cables.

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