I've found the following free tools to be quite useful for developing in C (and occasionally C++): MinGW http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingw/files/ MinGW consists of GCC, G++, make, and other tools useful in creating applications in C and C++. In addition, MinGW contains a Java compiler. All of these tools are free and can be downloaded from the link above. GCC is a C compiler and G++ is a C++ compiler. Learning to use these tools in a Windows environment will also be useful should you choose to develop on Linux/Unix based machines. Dev-C++ http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html Another free tool is Dev-C++. This is an IDE that utilizes MinGW for compiling C and C++ applications. It contains a number of functions that make development easier to manage. Syntax highlighting is a useful aspect of this application. Gedit http://ftp.acc.umu.se/pub/gnome/binaries/win32/gedit/2.28/gedit-setup-2.28.0-1.exe If you're looking to write a simple one file application in any language, Gedit is great. It contains syntax highlighting for a number of languages, automatic indentation, the ability to set the indentation width, the ability to highlight your current line, bracket matching. It's Notepad on steroids. -- Although this is a trivial overview of these applications, knowing where to get them and what they do is the first step to mastering them. Documentation is plenty. Use these brief descriptions as a starting point, and ask questions in this forum if you run into issues.