You must use the Arduino IDE to write code for Arduino and Arduino-compatible boards. In our previous article, we downloaded Arduino software and set up the MediaTek LinkIt one board, an Arduino compatible board. Before running our first sketch, let’s get familiar with the development environment of Arduino IDE.
Arduino IDE is a development environment—a program where you write code, upload it to the board, and check for errors. If you open the Arduino IDE in Windows OS it will look familiar to this:
The Arduino IDE looks simple enough... here, I've provided a brief overview about it.
The IDE is split into the following four parts:
- File menu at top
- Toolbar just beneath it
- Code window
- Message window
The buttons of the toolbar provide easy access to most commonly used functions like Verify, New, Upload, Open, Save, and Serial Monitor.
- Verify: This is used to check that your code is correct before uploading to your board.
- Upload: Used to upload the code to your board.
- New: This button creates a completely new sketch with two default functions in another window. It is named with the current date by default, which you have to save before uploading.
- Open: Opens a sketch.
- Save: Save the current sketch.
On the File menu, you will get the option to Create, Open, Save, and Print a sketch. There is a sketchbook option where you can put some sample sketch and take a look at them.
Adding Sketchbook to the Arduino IDE:
- Open Arduino IDE.
View the “Sketchbook Location” field.
- Click “Browse” and copy the Sketches into the resulting folder and rename it to something appropriate.
With the Arduino IDE version 1.6.4 and greater you can easily add 3rd party boards directly from the stock IDE by adding the URL in Preferences under File menu.
In examples, you will find many sample programs that come with Arduino IDE.
In Sketch tab, you will find options to Verify, Compile, Upload Code, and an option to import a library.
In the Tools menu you will find an option to Auto Format your code and make it look nicer. Here you can select the COM port to which your board is connected, and you can choose your board from Board Manager.
The final option is the Help Menu where you can find information about the IDE and links to the Arduino website and other useful pages.
Now you have learned to use the Arduino IDE and its components and buttons. The Arduino IDE is pretty simple—you can easily get your hands on it by running just a few sketches. Now, you can make the hardware work with the software.