Most hobbyist and commercial users, as well as some educational users, program the PICAXE chip using the easy to learn BASIC language. This language is designed to allow users without any formal programming experience to be able to quickly and simply develop PICAXE microcontroller programs. PICAXE BASIC is much simpler to learn (and to 'debug') than traditional microcontroller languages such as assembler code or 'C'. The software for BASIC programming is completely free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
- Windows users should select the PICAXE Editor
- Mac and Linux users should select Visual Studio Code, AXEpad or Blockly
- Chromebook users should use Blockly
- iPad and Android tablet users can use Blockly Cloud in their web browser
The PICAXE Editor software also includes a very useful on-screen simulation mode, where programs can be tested and ‘stepped through’ before downloading to the chip.
Most educational users in high schools use the Blockly or flowchart programming method. Using these systems, the command 'cells' are simply dragged on to screen and then graphically joined together to create the PICAXE program.
Circuit Simulation and PCBs
For fully animated electronic PICAXE circuit simulation using Berkeley SPICE models please see the PICAXE VSM software.
A number of third party companies also support PICAXE programming via their software titles. Please see the third party software page for more details.
If you have your own favourite third-party editor, as an example Kate under Linux, you can also use the command line compilers to integrate PICAXE development into your preferred software application.