When you start PowerBASIC, you'll see the following single window. The PowerBASIC IDE does not display the windows of the application being created - it shows only the source code for the application.

A separate tool, PowerBASIC Forms, is available which does provide a visual rendition of an applications windows (similar to the Visual Basic IDE).

This window is the PowerBASIC IDE - Integrated Development Environment. It consists of a combination source code text editor that is integrated with the PowerBASIC compiler. The editor creates/modifies source code and the compiler converts the code into an executable (EXE) file or a dynamic link library(DLL).

The 4 lines of code you see in the editor are a template for a basic EXE application, provided by default when PowerBASIC is opened. Other templates are available, including one for DLLs. You saw this code as part of the sample applications in an earlier page of this tutorial.

The IDE consists of four sections.

Each of these is discuss in more detal below.

File Menu
This is where programs are loaded and/or saved.

Edit Menu
This menu provides various features for making changes to the source code.

Run Menu
Use these menus to create EXEs or DLLs.

Tools Menu
The COM browser is the only automatic entry here. An entry also appears for PowerBASIC Forms is that application is installed.

Window Menu
These are standard Windows MDI application submenus, plus the Options submenu.

Debug Menu
PowerBASIC provides a complete set of tools with which to identify execution/logic errors within the source code. Programs can be walked through line by line and variables watched for value changes. Several settings are available to automate or otherwise make the process simple for the programmer to use.

Help Menu
PowerBASIC offers standard Help menu options, providing both local and web-based help. The context help feature is especially useful, where the Help file is opened to the entry corresponding to the keyword at the location of the cursor in the source code editor.

Additionally, users can access SDK help and custom help files which have been installed as part of a third-party vendor's add-on tool installation process.

Context Menu
The following context menu (right mouse click) is available from within the PowerBASIC IDE.

Here is a short description of what each of these submenu items provide.

Hot Keys
Like most Windows applications, PowerBASIC provides keyboard options for accessing the various features that are normally accessed using the mouse. The supported Hot Keys include:

If you have any suggestions or corrections, please let me know.