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Arduino IDE 2 – What You Need To Know

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Welcome To Arduino In Zimbabwe
Arduino IDE v2 overview
Arduino IDE V2 Overview

The Arduino IDE 2 is a major leap forward from the v1.x.x series. In addition to IDE 2 having a slick new User Interface. Arduino has also introduced awesome new features that will drastically improve your coding experience on the platform.

The basic features of the IDE v2 are more or less the same as those of IDE v1. As such, I will be focusing mainly on the new features. If you haven’t used Arduino IDE v1 before, then you can check out this easy to disgust article to get a feel of the IDE’s basics features.

That said, here are some the new features you need to know before you get started with IDE 2.

The Arduino IDE 2.0’s New Sidebar – More Accessibility

The sidebar is a game changer. It brings accessibility in Arduino IDEs to a whole new level. As far as functionality is concerned, it seems to be an extension of the tool bar that we are familiar with from the v1.x.x IDE. The sidebar gives us quicker access to more of the commonly used tools. That is, in addition to the ones already provided by the toolbar.

Arduino IDEv2 Sidebar
Arduino IDEv2 Sidebar

The sidebar gives us the following new options.

Arduino IDE v2 sidebar options

  • Sketchbook – The sketchbook option gives us access to all of the projects/sketchs saved on our computer. Moreover, you can sync with Arduino cloud. This will allow you to get your sketches/ projects from the online environment.
  • Boards Manager – This option allows you to browse through Arduino and Third party packages for different boards. For instance, suppose you want to use Arduino Ethernet. You will need the package ‘Arduino AVR boards’ by Arduino to be installed on your IDE in order to use it. The Boards Manager option makes this installation process unbelievably simple to do.
  • Library Manager – Here you can install and manage your libraries. What’s more is that it gives you easy access to libraries made by the Arduino community.
  • Debugger – You will use this to test and debug programs in real time.
  • Search  – The search option will allow you to quickly search for keywords in your code.

Integrated Serial Monitor

Integral Serial Monitor On Arduino IDE v2
Integral Serial Monitor On Arduino IDE v2

Historically the serial monitor has been displayed in a separate window from the main IDE. However, with the IDE v2, it now comes as an integral part of the IDE. It is now located at the bottom part of the IDE, where it shares the space that was originally occupied by just the console. The text console is still there, but now it is seems to be called ‘Output’. It can be accessed via a tab with the same name that is located besides the serial monitor tab.

Serial plotter

Serial plotter demo (Credit:

The plotter comes in handy when we need to display data visually using graphs. I will do a separate article on this one, so you can look forward to it.


Perhaps, one of my favourite features that came with IDE v2 is the auto-completion feature. This feature has been present in most of the popular code-editors for some time now. Basically, it saves you key strokes by completing code for you as you type.

A small ‘gotcha’ is that you have to first select the board your are using before you can use auto complete, other wise it won’t work.

Final thoughts

The Arduino v2 is truly the IDE we have all been waiting for and we are happy that it is finally here. You can take advantage of the features mentioned in this article almost immediately to improve your Arduino experience. If you need a deeper dive into any of these features I have mentioned. You can let me know about them in the comments or you can checkout the Arduino website.

Also, do not forget that if you are looking for an Arduino board or Arduino sensors and modules. You can get in touch with us at KagwereTech on Whatsapp on 0780 323 655. We will be delighted to assist you as best as we can.

Series Navigation<< Fantastic way to talk to your Arduino: The Arduino SoftwareThe Arduino Sketch: Humble but Powerful >>

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