Paradigm structured, imperative, procedural
Family BASIC
Designed by Fantaisie Software
Developer Fantaisie Software
First appeared 1998 (AmigaOS)
2000 (Windows)
Stable release
5.50, 5.43 LTS / July 25, 2016 (2016-07-25)
OS cross-platform: Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X (active)
AmigaOS (discontinued, open source)
License commercial
Filename extensions .pb .pbi .pbf, .pbp, .pbv
Website www.purebasic.com
Influenced by

PureBasic is a commercially distributed procedural computer programming language and integrated development environment based on BASIC and developed by Fantaisie Software for Windows 32/64-bit, Linux 32/64-bit, and Mac OS X. An Amiga version is available, although it has been discontinued and some parts of it are released as open source. The first public release of PureBasic for Windows was on December 17, 2000. It has been continually updated since.

PureBasic has a "lifetime license model". As cited on the website, the very first PureBasic user (who registered in 1998) still has free access to new updates and this is not going to change.[1]

PureBasic compiles directly to x86, x86-64, PowerPC or 680x0 instruction sets, generating small standalone executables and DLLs which need no runtime libraries beyond the standard system libraries. Programs developed without using the platform-specific application programming interfaces (APIs) can be built easily from the same source file with little or no modification.

PureBasic supports inline assembly, allowing the developer to include FASM assembler commands within PureBasic source code, while using the variables declared in PureBasic source code, enabling experienced programmers to improve the speed of speed-critical sections of code. PureBasic supports and has integrated the OGRE 3D Environment. Other 3D environments such as the Irrlicht Engine are unofficially supported.

Programming language


PureBasic is a native 32 bit and 64 bit BASIC compiler. The code is highly portable. Currently supported systems are Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. The AmigaOS version is now legacy and open-source. The compiler produces very fast and highly optimized executables and the syntax of PureBasic is simple and straightforward.[2] It can compile console applications,[3] GUI applications,[4] and DLL files.[5]

Hello World example

The following single line of PureBasic code will create a standalone x86 executable (4.5 KB (4,608 bytes) on Windows version) that displays a message box with the text "Hello World".

 MessageRequester("Message Box", "Hello World")

And the following variant of the same code, which instead uses an inline Windows API call with no need for declarations or other external references, will create an even smaller 2.0 KB (2,048 bytes) standalone x86 executable for Windows.

 MessageBox_(0, "Hello World", "Message Box", 0)

The following is a console version of the Hello World example.

 OpenConsole()          ; Open a console window. 
 Print("Hello, World!")

Procedural programming

PureBasic is a "Second generation BASIC" language, with structured conditionals and loops, and procedure-oriented programming supported. The user is not required to use procedures, so a programmer may opt for a coding style which includes Goto, Gosub Label, and Return.

Below is a sample procedure for sorting an array, although SortArray is now a built-in function of PureBasic.

 Procedure bubbleSort(Array a(1))
   Protected i, itemCount, hasChanged
   itemCount = ArraySize(a())
     hasChanged = #False
     itemCount - 1
     For i = 0 To itemCount
       If a(i) > a(i + 1)
         Swap a(i), a(i + 1)
         hasChanged = #True
   Until hasChanged = #False

Below is a sample program that displays a sizeable text editor with two menu items.

;Create Window:
OpenWindow(0, #PB_Ignore, #PB_Ignore, 800, 600, "Simple Text Editor", #PB_Window_SystemMenu | #PB_Window_MinimizeGadget | #PB_Window_MaximizeGadget | #PB_Window_SizeGadget)

;Add 2 menus:
CreateMenu(0, WindowID(0))
MenuItem(1, "&OK")
MenuItem(2, "&Cancel")

;Add Editor:
EditorGadget(0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
SetGadgetFont(0, LoadFont(0, "Courier New", 10))

;Process window messages until closed:
    Select WaitWindowEvent()
    Case #PB_Event_Menu
        Select EventMenu()
        Case 1: MessageRequester("OK clicked directly or with '&' mnemonic.", GetGadgetText(0))
        Case 2: Break
    Case #PB_Event_SizeWindow: ResizeGadget(0, 0, 0, WindowWidth(0, #PB_Window_InnerCoordinate), WindowHeight(0, #PB_Window_InnerCoordinate))
    Case #PB_Event_CloseWindow: Break

Note that PureBasic does not escape double quotes in strings so these must be concatenated with Chr(34).

Object-oriented programming

Fred, the developer of PureBasic, has stated that PureBasic will never be object oriented.[6] However, numerous users have created object oriented support systems.[7][8][9]

Data types

Variable data type specified when you first use it (and optionally - in the future), and is separated from the name of the point. There is a set of basic types - .f, .d (float and double numbers), .b, .c, .w, .l, .q (integers - from single-byte and 8-byte), .s - strings.

Type Suffix Memory usage Numerical range
Byte .b 1 byte (8 bits) −128...+127
Ascii .a 1 byte (8 bits) 0...+255
Character .c 1 byte (8 bits) (ascii) 0...+255
Word .w 2 bytes (16 bits) −32768...+32767
Unicode .u 2 bytes (16 bits) 0...+65535
Character .c 2 bytes (16 bits) (unicode) 0...+65535
Long .l 4 bytes (32 bits) −2147483648...+2147483647
Integer .i 4 bytes (32 bits) x86 −2147483648...+2147483647
Float .f 4 bytes (32 bits) Depending on the ratio of the decimal number.
Integer .i 8 bytes (64 bits) x64 −9223372036854775808...+9223372036854775807
Quad .q 8 bytes (64 bits) −9223372036854775808...+9223372036854775807
Double .d 8 bytes (64 bits) Depending on the ratio of the decimal number.
String .s String length + 1 byte No limit.
Fixed String .s{length} String length No limit.

Note Len(String) used to count the length of a string will not exceed the first null character (Chr(0)). In addition to basic types, the user can define the type of construction via

Structure type_name
   field_name.type ; Single field. Perhaps the structures attachment.
   field_name[count].type ; Static arrays.
   ; Optional construction StructureUnion .. EndStructureUnion allows you
   ; to combine multiple fields into one area of memory
   ; that is sometimes required for the conversion types.

Variables can be single (actually, standard variables), dynamic array (declared using the Dim var_name.type_name (size1, size2, ...), a linked list (List() var_name.type_name), an associative array (in new versions of language) (Map var_name.type_name())

Form Designer RAD

PureBasic has its own form designer to aid in the creation of forms for applications, but other third-party solutions are also available.[10][11][12] The original non-integrated Visual Designer was replaced with a new integrated Form Designer on 14 Feb, 2013.[13]

User community

PureBasic provides an online forum for users to ask questions and share knowledge. On 6 May 2013 the English language forum had 4,769 members and contained 44,043 threads comprising 372,200 posts since May 17, 2002.[14]

Numerous code sharing sites show PureBasic is used to create tools[15] and games in a fast and easy way,[16] and share large amounts of open-source code.[17]

Further reading



  1. FAQ, lifetime licence details
  2. , PureBasic home page
  3. , PureBasic - Console
  4. , PureBasic - Gadget
  5. , Building a DLL
  6. , PureBasic won't be object oriented
  7. , PureObject - PureBasic OOP support
  8. , OOP tutorial
  9. , Another OOP PreCompiler
  10. PureVision, Professional form design for PureBASIC.
  11. ProGUI>, DLL library comprising more than 100 well documented commands to quickly incorporate rich, customizable GUI components into your applications.
  12. PureFORM, Freeware form designer.
  13. , PureBasic 5.10 is released
  14. English forum, Official forum.
  15. Horst Schaeffer's Software Pages
  16. PureArea, PureArea
  17. CodeArchiv, Andre Beer's code archive.
Libraries and Open Source Code Archives
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