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5 Best IDEs for C++ on Mac

5 Best IDEs for C++ on Mac

best c++ ide mac

C++ is an essential language in the programming world. As one of the oldest programming languages that has existed for more than 3 decades, it remains popular and highly used worldwide. Every C++ programmer, however, needs the right IDEs for C++ as well. In this article, we’ll give our thoughts on the best IDEs for C++ for Mac users.

List of 5 Best IDEs for C++ on Mac

IDEs are an essential tool for any kind of programmer and developer. This is why it’s difficult to choose the right IDE that has the best features and interface. As a developer, you will have to use your IDE for hours on end when coding projects, so it’s important that the IDE you stick to is reliable. Some aspects that you have to take notice to when choosing an IDE is its user interface, its features, and its support or updates. Keep reading to see our top picks of the best IDEs for C++ developers on Mac.

1. Visual Studio Code

ide for c++ on mac

Our first pick is a program called Visual Studio Code. It’s a popular software for C++ developers, and for good reason, because it remains one of the best IDEs for Mac os x users. Visual Studio Code is an open-source IDE, which was developed by Microsoft. Not only is it available for MacOS, but it is also a cross-platform ide ideal for other devices such as Linux and Windows. Because of its modernity, the platform has an extensive number of features that is definitely helpful for any C++ developer. It has features such as a well-designed command line interface, and an integrated GitHub.

Visual Studio Code also allows you to use other features such as Annotations reporting, Autohide, debugging support, text editor, auto-code completion, code snippets, code refactoring, macro recording, and schemas support. If Visual Studio Code doesn’t already have the features you’re looking for, you can import other features by adding extensions.

Finally, Visual Studio code also has a reliable community of users. You can join numerous groups on social media to learn tips, tricks, and guides from other experienced Visual Studio Code developers. All in all, Visual Studio Code is one of the best IDEs because it has everything you need with a modern interface.

Download: Visual Studio Code for Mac

2. Eclipse

ide for c++ on mac

Eclipse is another open-source c IDE software that is not only free to use, but also feature-rich. It has all of the essential features that you would need and want from a C++ IDE, including c code compiling, profiling, refactoring, diffing files, autocorrection, and coding shortcuts. The eclipse IDE or compiler can run on Windows and is also available for Mac. There are other features that you can add to Eclipse as well through the use of plugins.

Eclipse is a beginner-friendly software that isn’t too intimidating to start off with. If you want a compact and simple IDE with all of the essentials you need, Eclipse might be the one for you.

Download: Eclipse for Mac

3. NetBeans

ide for c++ on mac

The third IDE on our list is a software called NetBeans. It is a C++ IDE available on platforms such as Mac, as well as Linux OS, and Windows OS. Netbeans has all of the popular features found in other IDEs such as automatic indentation, syntax highlighting, refactoring, bracket matching, code folding, and smart code editing. You can also make use of plugins to add other features to your interface.

Netbeans is a greatly reliable IDE because the company that developed it makes sure to update it regularly. So, when you use Netbeans, you can expect that you can experience more and more of the features you want from an IDE as time goes on.

Download: NetBeans for Mac

4. Sublime Text

ide for c++ on mac

Another popular C++ IDE among programmers and developers is called Sublime Text. Sublime Text C IDE provides support for multiple coding languages, including C++, making it suitable for expert programmers who want variety in their work.

The Sublime Text features a well-designed user interface that is easy on the eyes and makes it simple to use. Sublime Text also has features like Goto Definition, auto-completion, and a command palette. It also offers various customization options, which you can change using JSON settings files.

Sublime Text also has a feature called ‘Snippets,’ which allows users to save different blocks of code that can be used in other programs or projects. This feature makes it a game-changer for expert programmers who have a lot of work to be done. Overall, Sublime Text is another solid option for an IDE for the Mac users.

Download: Sublime Text for Mac

5. Atom

ide for c++ on mac

The last entry on our list for the best IDEs for C++ on Mac is a software called Atom. Atom is a modern approach to IDEs, and it is best suited for beginners to C++ programming. It features a compact package manager, and it also allows you to add other features into your program by using plugins. Its main features include autocomplete, multiple panes, and various customization options. Some users have experienced issues regarding Atom’s performance, but so far, it hasn’t been too much of a problem. If you want a lightweight IDE that’s easy to use and navigate, definitely consider using one of the best ide, Atom as your IDE for C++ programming!

Download: Atom for Mac

What makes the best C++ IDE?

The best C++ IDE is characterized by its robustness, efficiency, and user-friendly features. It should provide a comprehensive set of tools for developing, editing, and debugging C++ programs. Additionally, it should have good support for writing C code, as C++ is an extension of the C language. The availability of the IDE for multiple platforms is also essential, such as Mac and Windows, ensuring that developers can work seamlessly across different operating systems. A free and open-source IDE is highly advantageous, as it allows for customization and community contributions.

A good C++ IDE should have a powerful source code editor with features like syntax highlighting, autocompletion, and code refactoring tools to enhance productivity. Integration with a seamless build system is also crucial, enabling developers to compile and run their code effortlessly. Visual C++ is a popular choice among developers due to its extensive set of tools and ease of use. Lastly, an ideal C++ IDE should be written in C or a subset of C to leverage its performance and compatibility with the language.


1. What is an IDE?

An IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a software application that provides comprehensive tools and features for software development. It includes a code editor, a compiler or interpreter, a debugger, and other useful utilities to streamline the development process.

2. What are some popular IDEs?

Some popular IDEs include Eclipse, Visual Studio, Xcode, NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA, and CLion. There are several popular IDEs available for developers to choose from. One of the most well-known is Visual Studio Code, an open-source code editor developed by Microsoft. It is highly praised for its versatility and extensive range of features.

Another popular choice is Eclipse, an IDE developed by JetBrains that offers a wide range of tools and is compatible with multiple programming languages. Eclipse is known for its robustness and high level of customization. For those focused on developing in the C language, the Code::Blocks IDE is a great option. It is a free and open-source code editor that includes a C compiler and is compatible with Windows. Overall, there are numerous options available for developers when it comes to choosing an IDE, each with their own unique features and benefits.

3. What is the purpose of an IDE?

The main purpose of an IDE is to provide programmers with a unified platform that makes it easier to write, edit, compile, and debug their code. It enhances productivity by providing features such as code completion, syntax highlighting, and code analysis.

4. Are IDEs cross-platform?

Yes, many modern IDEs are cross-platform and can run on multiple operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. IDEs, or Integrated Development Environments, are software applications that provide comprehensive tools and features to programmers for developing and coding software. When it comes to the cross-platform compatibility of IDEs, it largely depends on the specific IDE that is available. For example, some IDEs are designed to work on both Mac and Windows systems, while others may only run on one platform.

If you are working with an extended version of C or have existing C code, it is essential to choose an IDE that supports the programming language. Fortunately, there are several IDEs available for programing in C. For those using C, one of the popular and free IDEs is Code::Blocks, which is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. Additionally, Xcode, the default IDE for Mac, is excellent for C programming. In conclusion, while not all IDEs are cross-platform, there are many viable options available for Windows, Mac, and even Linux systems when programming in C.

5. What is the difference between an IDE and a code editor?

An IDE is a complete software development environment that includes a code editor, compiler, debugger, and other tools. On the other hand, a code editor is a lightweight application that is primarily focused on providing a text editing feature for writing code.

6. Are there any free and open-source IDEs available?

Yes, there are several free and open-source IDEs available, such as Eclipse, Visual Studio Code, NetBeans, and CLion. Yes, there are several free and open-source Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) available. These IDEs offer various features to help developers write and test their code, making it easier to debug and enhance the functionality of their programs. They are available in different versions, supporting multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac.

For those who work with the C programming language, there are open-source IDEs available that allow them to compile C programs and debug the program in order to identify and fix any errors or defects. These IDEs provide a full-featured IDE experience, with powerful tools and features such as code completion, syntax highlighting, and integrated debugging capabilities. Developers can rely on these free and open-source IDEs to efficiently write, debug, and enhance their code, regardless of the operating system they are using.

7. Can I use an IDE for C programming?

Yes, there are specific IDEs designed for C programming, such as Eclipse IDE, CLion, Dev-C++, and Code::Blocks. Yes, you can definitely use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for C programming. There are several top C IDEs available, including Visual C++, Dev C++, and Eclipse IDE. These IDEs provide a comprehensive set of tools and features specifically designed for programming in C and C++. Visual C++ is widely regarded as one of the best IDEs for C programming on Windows, while Dev C++ is a popular and free IDE that supports both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Eclipse IDE is another free IDE used by many C programmers as it offers a user-friendly interface and a powerful compiler. These IDEs make it easier for developers to write, edit, debug, and compile C programs. With code completion, syntax highlighting, and other helpful features, IDEs greatly enhance the development experience. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced programmer, having a good IDE for C programming is highly recommended as it provides a convenient and efficient development environment.

8. What are the advantages of using an IDE?

Using an IDE provides several advantages, including code completion, syntax highlighting, debugging tools, automatic code analysis, and integration with version control systems. Using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) offers several advantages, especially when it comes to programming in languages like C and C++. One advantage is the availability of the best C IDEs for both Windows and Mac operating systems. For example, the Visual C++ IDE is a powerful IDE for Windows that offers features like debugging and code editing.

On the other hand, if you are using a Mac, there are several IDEs available for the Mac operating system, such as Xcode and Code::Blocks. These IDEs provide a user-friendly interface and support for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) to compile and run C and C++ code. Additionally, IDEs like Visual C++ also come with extensive libraries and frameworks that make it easier to develop complex applications. In conclusion, using an IDE not only simplifies the coding process but also provides advanced features and tools that enhance productivity and efficiency in programming.

9. Is Visual Studio an IDE?

Yes, Visual Studio is a popular integrated development environment developed by Microsoft. It supports various programming languages such as C#, C++, and Visual


And that rounds up our list of the best IDEs for C++ on Mac for 2022. These IDEs have proven to have the best features and interfaces for both beginner and expert C++ programmers. If you’re thinking about switching to a new IDE or trying new ones out to widen your choices for your go-to program, definitely refer to this list!