Hi All,

I am starting out with learning the basics of C. Once i have learned that i would like to know how to make the programs look visually better. Things like drawing coloured boxes/ windows etc.

One of my learning programs is a simple calculator. If i want to make it into an application with boxes you can click on to do certain things (like the ms windows calculator etc)

Whats the best way to do this? do i have to use C++ or visual C++?



10 Years
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Last Post by ~s.o.s~

i am also a newbie in programming.But from what i 've learned so far, if you want to use graphics you have to use either win32 api directly either a framework that will make your job easier....One framework like this is MS Visual C++ with MFC{microsoft foundation classes} or Winforms{if you use C++/CLI and .NET}.Another framework is QT which is both for windows and for linux{Opera web browser uses Qt}

hope i helped ,and that i didn't make any mistake...


First of all, don't you think you're jumping a bit ahead of yourself? You've barely learned C++ when you want to go on to creating fancy GUIs and stuff. GUI programming is another whole can of worms which should probably not be opened until you're confident with the basic concepts of C/C++.

You write GUIs with an API. In Windows you have the plain WinAPI; Visual C++ however comes with class wrapper called MFC. Then there's the whole .NET framework and C++/CLI which Microsoft created, all to help speed up development. Do you really need such tools? For a simple interface, not really. Something more complex will need a faster way to create GUIs, and it's usually then that you dump the free compilers and splurge for Microsoft's Visual Studio. Assuming of course, that you're using Windows.

On other platforms, such as Linux or Mac OS X, you use APIs such as QT, GTK (Linux), Cocoa, Carbon (Mac OS X). If you want to write multiplaform GUIs with an API, check out wxWidgets. There's also a free .NET clone for these platforms (as well as Windows) available as Mono.

> Whats the best way to do this? do i have to use C++ or visual C++?

Visual C++ is not a language, it's a tool. You don't need Visual C++ to write programs that use the WinAPI; any standard Windows compiler will suffice.


One of my learning programs is a simple calculator.

Though doable, doing this in C or C++ requires expertise or atleast a firm understanding of the concepts. This is the very reason RAD languages like C# and VB exist, to ease the task of GUI rich application development.

If you still want to get your hands dirty with GUI programming along with learning the basics of the langauage, I would recommend you [search]Python[/search].

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