Are you looking for a free C or C++ integrated development environment (IDE) with features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, debugging support, then you are at the right place. Below is the list of top five free C/C++ IDEs with all these features and more…
Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling)
The Eclipse CDT is an advanced C and C++ IDE based on the popular Eclipse platform. It features managed builds, various source knowledge tools, such as type hierarchy, call graph, include browser, macro definition browser, code editor with syntax highlighting, source code refactoring, code generation, visual debugging tools, including memory, registers, and disassembly viewers.
Bloodshed Dev-C++ or DevCPP in short, is a full-featured IDE for C and C++ programming languages. It uses Mingw port of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) as its compiler. Its features includes support for GCC-based compilers, integrated debugging using gdb, customizable syntax highlighting editor, automatic code completion, Profiling support, and much more.
Code::Blocks or Codeblocks is a free C++ IDE which can be used even in the most demanding situations. It is designed from the scratch, to be very extensible and fully configurable.
It features customizable and extensible syntax highlighting, code folding, tabbed interface, code completion, class Browser, multi user support and much more.
Code::Blocks also have a consistent look, feel and operation across all platforms, including linux and Windows.
Code::Blocks is built around a plugin framework so that it can be easily extended with hundreds of plugin developed by various third party developers.
You’ll be probably surprised to see Netbeans listed here, as its a popular Java IDE. But it can be used for C and C++ development as well. You can develop professional quality native applications in C, C++ using Netbeans IDE.
Its features include C and C++ unit testing, integrated profiler, packaging support, gdb integration, syntax highlighting and code assistance.
Microsoft Visual Studio Express
Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2010 Express is probably the best C++ IDE. Its free but you have to register your copy within 30 days of installation.