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How to install Visual Studio 2017 Community edition

For a long time Visual Studio installation process was very painful. You needed to register Microsoft account, there were different versions of Visual Studio for different tasks (Visual C++, Visual Basic...). Now there is one installation file. But still three edition of Visual Studio exist. We'll work only with Visual Studio Community. It has less features, but it's free and it's enough for education. Current version of Visual Studio is Visual Studio 2017.

IDE Visual Studio

Visual Studio is an IDE. IDE means Integrated Development Environment. IDE combines different programs in itself. Without IDE you would need text editor, debugger, compiler and linker (in case of C/C++ language). Modern IDE's has much more features then just these. In this series of tutorials we'll learn how to work with Visual Studio. In this tutorial we'll learn how to install it and create first project with Hello World program in C++ language.

Install Visual Studio Community

Let's go to Visual Studio website and download Visual Studio Community.

Run the installation file after it's downloaded.

During installation process you'll need to choose the workload. Workload in Visual studio is a set of instruments that suited for development of specific application: .NET, web, C/C++... In next tutorials we'll work with C++ applications, so we need to choose Desktop Development with C++:

Then installation will be started. Then just click Launch or choose Visual Studio 2017 from Start menu. You'll see the Sign In window - it's optional in Visual Studio 2017. Click "Not now, maybe later". After that you need to choose color themer and development settings. We need Visual C++. And that's it. You'll see the IDE window.

Create first project in Visual Studio 2017 Community

Now we'll create our first project in Visual C++. Choose File -> New -> Project. In next dialog window choose Windows console application. Change the name of the project to Hello World. Leave other settings by default.

Visual Studio will create the standard console application with the following code:

// Hello World.cpp : Defines the entry point for the console application. // #include "stdafx.h" int main() { return 0; }

We'll start with console programs as they are much easier than standard windows. Now let's change the code so the program can output text in the console window:

// Hello World.cpp : Defines the entry point for the console application. // #include "stdafx.h" #include "iostream" using namespace std; int main() { cout << "Hello World\n"; return 0; }

Now press F5 and the code will be run in debugger. You'll see that console window opened with text "Hello World" and instantly closed. We'll discuss what this all means in next tutorials


In this tutorial we have installed Visual Studio 2017 Community edition and run the first program in C++ programming language. You need to remember that Visual Studio is just a tool - you can achieve same result with other IDE's or even with such simple programs as: any text editor and any C++ compiler/linker.


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