Arduino Tips Number 1: Using an External IDE

Arduino is a great resource, but I'm not a great fan of the Intergrated Development Environment (IDE) that it comes with. It can however be configured to work with an external IDE. I'm using the Atom IDE which has a few packages that can be installed to help with things like  code completion. To configure this follow these steps

  1. In the Arduino IDE click the File menu followed by Preferences. Check the box that says "Use external editor" and click on OK.
  2. In the Atom IDE click the Edit menu followed by Preferences. Click on the Install option and a search bar should appear. Type in Arduino. Hit the Install button for the the package "language-arduino"

My work flow for programming an Arduino now goes like this:

  1. Open a file in both the Atom and Arduino IDE's.
  2. Edit some code in Atom and save it.
  3. Alt-Tab to switch to the Arduino IDE.
  4. Either Ctrl-R to verify the code or Ctrl-U to download it to the chip
  5. Alt-Tab back to the Atom IDE and edit some more.

This give me the power and ease of using the same IDE for editing all my code, but takes very little time and faff to set up.

Update October 2017

I've now discovered PlatformIO which integrates very nicely with the Atom Editor and allows programming of many different microcontrollers directly from the editor.