I'm a beginner - what software should I use to type javascript into?

Hi, I can’t find somewhere (or software) I can use to try the coding skills that I’m learning in the javascript course. The course itself has a place to write code for each question (right pane), and in the bottom right is another pane where I can see the results by typing console.log(). I’ve tried to find some free software where I can try coding things in javascript, using the content from lessons, but can’t find something with the console panel so I can see the results of what I have tried to code. I’ve installed the free versions of RJ TextEd and Visual Studio Code (VSC), but can’t see the results of what I have coded, to see if the code works. VSC has a panel you can pull up that says “console” but it doesn’t show results of what I’ve coded when I return using console.log(). I’ve tried using the exact same code that has worked in answering the questions in freecodecamp course within the two software suites I’ve named above, but it doesn’t show if the code works.

Something simple like the page to answer each question on freecodecamp is all I’m looking for so I have somewhere I can practice.

I can’t think of a single text editor program that offers the kind of feature that you’re describing. VS Code is a great editor and I’d recommend using it to type & save your code, but if you’re looking for a more interactive tool, there are a few different options:

  • Online environments: JSFiddle (https://jsfiddle.net/), JSBin (https://jsbin.com/), or Repl.it (https://repl.it/)

  • Your Web browser (whether that’s Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or something else) has a Dev Tools area where you can bring up the browser console and type in JavaScript code. The keyboard key for opening the console is F12 in Chrome and Firefox (no idea about Safari).

  • Install Node.js on your computer: https://nodejs.org/en/download/ You can use Node.js to run any programs that you write.

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Hi astv99, a very warm heartfelt thank you for your great reply. I will try the options you kindly suggest.

  1. You can simply use your browser’s console. Open the developer tools by hitting F12 on your keyboard.
    screenshot of devtools console
  2. For online use, my favorite tool is repl.it. PythonTutor also has a JavaScript Tutor that will execute your code while explaining it. There are also good tools for tying together JavaScript, HTML, and CSS (like CodePen and JSBin) which can be used for just JavaScript if you like.
  3. If you want an environment on your computer, besides the browser console, you’re going to need to use NodeJS. Among other things, this is what will allow you to test JavaScript in an IDE (like VSCode).
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Thanks Ariel! I checked out the JavaScript Tutor you linked and it is really nice. Thanks so much for your assistance - really appreciate it.

Have a great day :smiley:

It’s not too bad running your code with Node.js from VS Code, you just have to (install Node then) type node followed by the filename in the terminal.

image

You will likely need to use Node.js eventually, so it might be worth trying to learn some basics now.

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Thanks Colin - perfect timing as I was just wondering what was involved with installing Node.js. I’ll try this out too. Thanks again! :smiley:

Let us in on your results!

Results are positive! After Steve’s message I tried out jsfiddle.net, jsbin.com, and repl.it and they all do what I was looking for, i.e. I can type code into one frame on the page and hit run and then see the result in another frame. I also tried the JavaScript Tutor as Ariel suggested, and that works great too. I like the visuals of jsfiddle so have been using that to practice the code from the course so far. After your message I downloaded and installed nodejs. Two things really really helped me - one was the direct link to the download that you provided, and secondly the screenshot. nodejs installed a ton of stuff so I was a bit worried about how I was supposed to use it all. But I just fired up VS Code and followed what you showed on your screenshot, and it worked! So 100% success. I couldn’t be happier! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Yay. I love a happy ending.