Finding your way around the Arduino IDE

These two lectures are a sample from our course “Arduino Step by Step Getting Started.” This course provides a gentle way to learn about the Arduino as a prototyping platform, and how to use it to create simple gadgets while you build up your skill in programming and electronics.


To program the Arduino, we use a free tool called the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

The Arduino is both a software and hardware open-source prototyping platform, and there are many different ways to program it. You can, for example, use your favorite text editor, or you can use a combination of a text editor and a command line, or you can use a variety of IDEs.

In other words, you can choose a convenient way to program the Arduino. In “Arduino Step by Step Getting Started,” and “Arduino Step by Step Getting Serious,” we will be working exclusively with the standard Arduino IDE, which is an application offered by the Arduino development team for free.

The Arduino IDE is very simple compared to other popular IDEs; the design allows you to write relatively small programs quickly without having to first learn about complex functions that are more useful to developers of large applications. Still, it does pack in a lot of useful features that even beginners should spend a few minutes learning. These features will save you a lot of time and make your work with the Arduino much more comfortable.In these two lectures, I dig into the Arduino IDE and explain what all the various buttons and settings do.

Part 1: Learn about the Arduino IDE menu items

Part 2: Learn about the Arduino IDE Preferences

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