Choosing the Ultimate: Best IDE for C++ Development in 2024

In the work of any modern C++ development company, some tools have become almost mandatory for everyday use. If we talk about programming in C++, this tool is an integrated development environment (IDE). An experienced programmer can code without using an IDE, but this will significantly affect aspects such as development speed, code quality, and the convenience of the coding process.

IDEs go beyond traditional text editors by combining compilation, code completion, syntax highlighting, debugging, profiling, testing, etc., into one comprehensive user interface. Without the IDE’s capabilities, you will use all these components separately in your development workflow. The others might lean toward the idea of a command line, but it can boost the programming pace and deliver a superior developer experience.

In case your project applies C# development the tools listed in this article can be utilized. These libraries across various domains offer the tools that will help your software development become much more efficient.

TOP 10 Best IDE for C++ in 2024

#1 Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a free IDE developed and managed by Microsoft. It contains many additional features, including resumable functions, addition expressions, lambda expressions, built-in variables, noexcept in the type system, constexpr and C++ extended attributes. 

In addition, the tooltips, the suggestions, the syntax highlighting, the class representation, as well as the call hierarchy unfold the possibilities for you to perceive this program. Besides, another platform priority is the analysis of your code for common bugs and then fixing them and you need also to refactor your code to your requirements.

And here, you can also add new extensions that offer themes, languages and also debuggers for the platform and also connect the platform to more services. The extensions I describe will be run separately and for this reason, you won’t experience any performance problems.

#2 Code:: Blocks

Code::Blocks is a cross-platform and free/open-source IDE for C/C++ development. It offers several advantages such as hands-on compilation along with code coverage, profiling and debugging which make it widely used by programmers. This IDE has its own plugin ecosystem built by the community and the Code:This can lead to the possible waste of funds, resources, and time in app development projects.

#3 CLion

CLion is a cross-platform IDE for C/C++ that includes code analysis, CMake support, and project modeling with intelligent code support. CLion is one of the few IDEs with local and remote (via SSH) support, allowing you to compile your local-written code on remote servers.

Although CLion is focused exclusively on C/C++, it is based on the JetBrains IDE with versions for the most popular programming languages.

#4 Eclipse

Eclipse is a free, open-source IDE which supports twenty-nine languages on different platforms. These features make this IDE most recognized for its simplicity in use and a large assortment of available support from the wider community. It has all the standard features as well, for example, code completion, compilation with debugging support, and static analysis, which helps users greatly to profile the code for it to be refactored.

#5 CodeLite

CodeLite is one more free, open-source IDE that supports C/C++, PHP, and JavaScript. It is built using the cross-platform wxWidgets toolkit, allowing developers to run this IDE on Windows, macOS, Linux, and FreeBSD.

CodeLite offers a plain, complete user interface functionality featuring project settings, module refactoring, code completion, text colouring, debugging with GNU GDB, and contour integration with source control systems just like Git and Subversion.

Such a basic interface comes coupled with the other exigent authoring tool which is wxWidgets which allows developers to create their graphical user interfaces of a cross-platform nature.

#6 Qt Creator

Qt Creator is designed for cross-platform development of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) utilizing the comprehensive Qt framework. Beyond the standard features expected from an IDE, like compiling, debugging, code completion, profiling, and refactoring, Qt Creator provides developers access to a suite of design and development tools. These tools are part of the Qt ecosystem and are known for their rich features for creating interactive and visually appealing applications.

#7 Dev C++

Dev C++ is a full-featured open-source IDE for C++. Although Dev C++ offers an impressive set of features, it only supports the Windows operating system. Despite this, this IDE supports GCC-based compilers such as Cygwin and MinGW.

Additionally, it has a built-in debugger (via GDB), international language support, code compilation, syntax highlighting editor, tool manager, find-and-replace options, CVS support, and code printing.

#8 C++ Builder

C++ Builder is a multiplatform IDE (with a 30-day trial) with a better Clang compiler providing scad access to Boost libraries needing no continuous integration, database management and a great count of plugins.

C++ Builder also has a fast compiling and cross-platform debugger besides the matching so that the development of mobile apps for iOS and Android would be done.

#9 Xcode

Xcode is an IDE for macOS and iOS developers that includes all tools needed to design, develop, and compile apps for Apple Silicon and Intel x86_64 systems.

Xcode offers a code editor and project management system, supports source code management, provides extensive built-in documentation, and includes an interface composer. Additionally, Xcode features a virtual environment for testing on iOS and macOS apps, a graphical debugging tool, continuous integration capabilities, and static analysis. It also supports C/C++ compilation through LLVM, making it a powerful tool for developers in these languages.

How to Choose the Best C++ IDE for Your Project

Here are some key factors you should consider while choosing an IDE for your project. 

  • Ensure the IDE supports your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
  • Consider your project size. Some IDEs are better suited for managing large-scale projects, while others may be more efficient for handling smaller ones.
  • Check if a chosen IDE performs well. This factor is crucial, especially for large projects.
  • Define the required tools for the project and choose an IDE based on these features. 
  • Choose the IDE that supports multiple languages if you work not only with C++.
  • Ensure the IDE is customizable. It can improve productivity and help you adapt the tool to your workflow.
  • Assess whether the IDE fits within your budget.
  • Ensure that the IDE you select integrates well with other tools you frequently use, such as build systems and version control systems, to maintain a smooth and efficient development process.

The Bottom Line

Many developers use multiple IDEs in different situations. Visual studio, being a Visual-Windows-focused development, can be most useful for a Windows development project, whereas a macOS app could be aided by Xcode more than other IDEs. The case for GUI projects with the wxWidgets toolchain that has been implemented by independent developers like CodeLite is that it could be very helpful.

If you are a JetBrains user, CLion is an obvious choice. It integrates well with other JetBrains tools and has a similar user interface and workflow. Qt developers will naturally gravitate towards Qt Creator.

Choosing the right IDE is a challenging task. We hope this list has given you the different options available.

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