QBasic Documentation

QBasic stands for 'Quick Beginners All purpose Symbolic Instruction Code'. It is an integrated development environment and interpreter for a variety of BASIC programming languages, based on QuickBASIC.


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Code entered into the IDE (integrated development environment) compiles to an intermediate representation (IR), and the IDE immediately interprets this IR on demand. It can run under nearly all versions of DOS and 32-bit versions of Windows. On Linux, FreeBSD, and 64-bit versions of Windows, you can use an emulator like DOSBox/DOSEMU. (QBasic is a DOS program and requires DOS or a DOS emulator. Windows XP comes with an emulator called DOS Virtual Machine; subsequent versions of Windows require an emulator such as DOSBox.) For its time, QBasic provided a state-of-the-art IDE, including a debugger with features such as on-the-fly expression evaluation and code modification. It supports various inbuilt functions.
Like QuickBASIC, but unlike earlier versions of Microsoft BASIC, QBasic is a structured programming language, supporting constructions such as subroutines. QBasic supports line numbers, a concept often associated with BASIC, for compatibility, but are not considered good form, and descriptive line labels. QBasic has limited support for user-defined data types (structures), and several primitive types used to contain strings of text or numeric data.




QBasic 1.1

First Appeared in 1991
Paradigm: Procedural
Developer: Microsoft
License: Part of the operating system (a variety of closed-source licenses)
Influenced by QuickBASIC, GW-BASIC
Influenced: QB64, Small Basic
OS: MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, PC DOS, OS/2, eComStation

Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10

  • Download DOSBox
  • Install DOSBox
  • Download QBasic
  • Unzip QBasic in a new folder (for instance c:\qbasic)
  • Run DOSBox
  • Type 'mount c c:\qbasic'
  • Type 'c:'
  • Type 'qbasic'