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How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE

How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE

The C++ Builder CE Community Edition is a free version of professional C++ Builder that you can develop GUI based desktop and mobile applications in C++. The latest C++ Builder 11 CE was released in April 2023. If you are a start-up developer, student, hobbyist or just interested in learning to code then C++ Builder Community Edition may well be just the thing for you. Read the FAQ notes on the CE license and then simply fill out the form and download C++ Builder 11 CE.

In this post, we explain what is C++ Builder CE, how you can develop C++ FMX application for Windows, iOS or Android, how you can develop C++ VCL application for Windows, or how you can develop console applications in C or C++ languages.

First of all, you have to download and install C++ Builder CE.

Where can I download C++ Builder CE for free?

C++ Builder CE Community Edition is officially free and you can directly download it from the Embarcadero web site.

How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE The CE splash screen
DOWNLOAD C++ Builder 11 CE Community Edition now

What is the C++ Builder CE Community Edition?

The C++ programming language is a top 3 programming language and may be the one of the most popular languages in the world. The Embarcadero company (previously it was Borland) has developed compilers and IDEs for more than 30 years. Two of its great products are RAD Studio with Delphi and C++ Builder. They have many great features to develop amazing apps, often with low or no code. Here is how you can design your app and add your components.

How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE The C++ IDE
C++ Builder 11 CE Community Edition Light Mode GUI Designer

C++ Builder is compatible with C++17. You can create console application projects in C++, or you can create VCL GUI based Windows applications or if you want you can create FMX GUI applications for Windows, iOS or Android. You can create one UI design for your application and one code, both together may be compiled and run on 3 different operating systems with just a few clicks. You can build Windows, iOS, Android apps 10x faster with less code and with amazing GUI designs with many style options to really make your apps look great with a truly professional look and feel.

How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE The code editor window
C++ Builder 11 CE Community Edition Dark Mode Code Editing

If you don’t know anything about C++ or the C++ Builder IDE, don’t worry, we have a lot of examples on LearnCPlusPlus.org website and they’re all completely free. Just visit this site and copy and paste any examples there into a new Console, VCL, or FMX project, depending on the post example. We keep adding more C and C++ posts with sample code. In today’s round-up of recent posts on LearnCPlusPlus.org, we have new C and C++ posts with very simple examples that can be used with,

C++ Builder 11 CE which is the free Edition of C++ Builder has been recently released this year. Embarcadero has made available a Community Edition license for the most recent 11.3 release of Delphi and C++Builder. This is a free edition of either Delphi or C++Builder for students, hobbyists, and startups (as the license is revenue-limited).

How to Learn C++ with C++ Builder CE?

How to create a new Multi-Device C++ Project for Windows, iOS or Android?

RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs. Let’s start to develop a C++ app with GUI y using FireMonkey framework.

If you download C++ Builder Community Edition (or RAD Studio CE version) or any Professional, Architect, Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. Install it on your windows computer and run RAD Studio or C++ Builder. Beginners and students normally start to learn C++ with simple code. Let’s create a new Multi-Device (Cross-Platform) C++ application by using FireMonkey (FMX) framework.

Choose File->New-> “Multi-Device Application – C++ Builder” menu.

How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE Creating a new multi device application

This will create a New C++ Project for Windows and can be easily compiled for other operating systems like iOS , Android. This will allow you develop C++ apps with FMX UI elements. If you don’t need UI Elements, this means you don’t need VCL or FMX frameworks, you create a console application too. Modern applications have a GUI’s and skinned Styles. Note that VCL projects are Windows only and FireMonkey projects are Multi Device (multi-platform) applications that you can compile and run on Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android .

Save all Unit files and Project file to a folder.

How to design your first screen or form when you start programming in C++?

Simply drag and drop components from the Palette window on the right side; Memo (TMemo) and Button (TButton) to your form design. Arrange their width, height and position. You can edit each of their properties from the Object Inspector on the left side.

How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE Designing your first screen

How to add your C++ code to your first C++ program?

Note that you can switch between the GUI Design mode to Code Mode by pressing F12, or vice versa. If you want, you can switch to your header file (.h) of your cpp file (.cpp) from the button tabs. You can change your Build Configuration from the left Project window by setting it to Debug or Release mode.

Double click to Button1 to create OnClick() event for this button. Add these lines into Button1Click() event, between { and } brackets,

This example above is a modern “Hello World” example for Windows which runs with C++ Builder.

How to compile your C++ project?

Now you can compile this C++ code; just press the F9 key or just click the Run button in the center of top bar. This will let the IDE check your code and compile both the Unit and project files and link them together. You can also use the Run menu from the top to run your application. You should see this below as a form application

How To Start Learning C++ With C++ Builder CE Compiling the project

If you get an error, check your code – it’s easy to mistype or have the braces (“}” characters) in the wrong place. Note that C++ is case sensitive, so upper and lower characters should be also same. Then press the F9 key or just click the Run button again.

From this point, you can add more codes or you can switch back to design mode by pressing F12. And you can add more components, then more code. This is how modern C++ coding works with an UI Toolkit.

How to compile and run C++ project for iOS and Android?

In project window, go to Target Platforms and change it to iOS or Android. Then you can compile. Use PAServer to deploy your application or connect your device to run your application. Don’t forget that your iOS or Android device is in developer mode.

How to start VCL programming with C++ Builder CE?

If you succeed in the steps above in FMX app and want to know how to compile modern and visual application in VCL, you can do same with a VCL application. Note that VCL applications are only for Windows operating system, you cannot compile them for other operating systems (you can use FMX for that). There are slight differences between VCL and FMX components.

Now let’s create a Visual and Modern C++ example in C++ Builder,

  1. Open C++ Builder or RAD Studio IDE
  2. Create a new Windows VCL Application in C++ Builder from File->New menu. This will allow you develop C++ apps with VCL UI elements.
  3. Save all units and project files with “HelloWorld_” prefix in a HelloWorld folder.
  4. Add a Memo (TMemo) and a Button (TButton) from the Palette to your Form. TMemo component is good to display all outputs as in console applications.
  5. Double click the Button to create OnClick() event, inside that Button1Click event write lines as given in the example below,
  6. Run project by hitting F9 or click Run with Debugging
  7. If there is error, please check your lines
  8. If all is fine then save all project
  9. if you check your header file you will see all your objects (Memo, Button etc. ) are automatically defined as below. You don’t need to change anything here

If you are a beginner “Hello World” examples are good to understand features of that programming language. It is good to understand how to edit text, how to write in its format, how to compile and link, how to debug and execute, and how to deploy or release the finished program. This example below is a modern “Hello World” example on Windows which runs with C++ Builder.

Now, let’s use the most powerful print function in our modern C++ application. You can use the talented printf function as a method of string to print Pi number (M_PI) as below,

How to develop a C++ console app with C++ Builder CE?

If you download C++ Builder Community Edition (or RAD Studio CE version) or any Professional, Architect, Enterprise versions of C++ Builder, or Dev-C++, VC++, GNU C/C++ then we can start to code,

  1. Create a new Project (a console application, a solution)
  2. Start coding with very simple code with an easy example.

When you start coding, first of all, you should include libraries that you wish to use. The C++ language has many libraries and each of them has commands or functions for specific tasks. For example, the iostream library has standard input and output methods to display data and read from files and similar sources. Generally, for beginners, the iostream header is enough to enable you to create simple apps. We can include this library header as below,

Second, you should add a main procedure. This is the main part of the program – hence the name – and it is executed first. In the simplest sense, all other parts of your program are launched from the main section either directly or indirectly. Things get a little more complicated than that once you start to write more complex programs but for now you can think of the main section as the ‘main loop’ where things begin to happen in your program code.

After that you should write your lines of program code into this procedure, between the { and } brackets. Below is a “Hello World” C++ example that can be run with C++ Builder.

In C and C++, after every command you use you should put a semicolon “;”. In this example above we print a text with std::cout method and then we wait to get a character input (key press) with getchar(); functions, then we exit and return 0; which means our main app has run successfully and exits.

In this example above we define main() function as an integer (int) function, that means we should return an integer value. Here, we print a text with printf() function and then we wait to get a character input (key press) with getchar(); function, sometimes this is necessary to see results when running it. Then we exit and return 0; which means our main app successfully ran and exited.

You can write these C++ code above into the Dev-C++ code editor or you can copy and paste it. If you are a beginner, we highly recommend you write code. This will help you to understand how C++ works and you can see your first mistakes when you are coding.

After this step, you can compile by pressing F9 run your code by pressing F10, or you can use Compile and Run buttons. This will print out the “Hello LearnCPlusPlus”. C++ compilers support C language too, you can compile the C example below,

How to develop a C console app with C++ Builder CE?

In C++ Builder CE, you can develop C applications too. Just create a new C++ Builder Console application from File->New-> menu, in creation window select C or C++ Language and leave blank Target Framework (we don’t need VCL or FMX if we are developing console app, if you need any of them you can choose them too),

Here is Hello World C example as a console application,

You can find more details about printf() function and many other examples on LearnCPlusPlus.org.

Although the free C++ Builder Community Edition is extremely powerful it is intended for students, beginners, and startups. If you are a regular business or do not qualify for the free community edition, then you can download a free trial of the very latest full RAD Studio C++ Builder version.

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 35+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and some other operating systems. He graduated and received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University. He is the founder and CEO of ESENJA LLC Company. His interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Artificial Intelligence, 2D & 3D Designs, and high-end innovations.
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