Visual Micro: Arduino & Visual Studio

One of the things that bothered me about the original Arduino IDE is it’s over-simplicity. Don’t get me wrong, when starting off with Arduino, it’s straightforward and easy to work with, but it lacks several features you come to take for granted compared to other programming IDEs such as code completion, jumping to code definitions and other kinds of helpers when programming. The Arduino IDE offers no help here and expects you to know the Arduino Reference documents by head it seems. When setting {cpp}pinMode(13, OUTPUT);{/cpp} I want to know what the accepted argument types are, see what {cpp}OUTPUT{/cpp} is defined as and expect a drop-down after having typed the word {cpp}pin{/cpp} suggesting {cpp}pinMode{/cpp}.

Arduino IDE

That’s where Visual Micro comes to the rescue. It is a free Arduino programming plugin that extends Microsoft Visual Studio 2012-2015 with a full Arduino compatible programming environment. Ide’s from various manufacturers such as,, intel, chipKIT, teensy are supported.

Install Visual Micro after installing the Arduino IDE and Visual Studio Community 2015 to add it as a plugin to Visual Studio. This way, you get the flexibility and power of Visual Studio as an IDE cooperating with the Arduino tools that came with Arduino IDE. I love it!


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1 Response

  1. Anton says:

    Thanks for the post Tom. Nice to know there’s an option to go with. I still code with original Arduino IDE and feel it’s not really enough.

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