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.
The Programming 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 flowchart programming method, using the award winning ‘Logicator for PICAXE’ flowcharting software. Using this system, the command 'cells' are simply dragged on to screen and then graphically joined together with lines to create the PICAXE program.
Logicator is also available as ‘shareware’ for individuals who wish to use it at home.
Circuit Simulation and PCBs
For fully animated electronic PICAXE circuit simulation using Berkeley SPICE models please see the PICAXE VSM software.
For PCB generation we recommend free software such as DesignSpark or Eagle. All our Circuit Creator files are available in DesignSpark format.
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.