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How do I get started? Is there a free download of VB available somewhere?

I'm interested in Visual Basic development as a career. I can't afford Microsoft Visual Basic right now, but I'd like to learn the basics. Is there a shareware or freeware version of VB somewhere? I'd like to at least be able to create small, relatively simple applications for use at home (or until my wallet gets fatter). Thanks in advance for your help.

There's no free download of the current version (VB 6) of Visual Basic available, although there is a free version of Visual Basic 5 available for download from the Microsoft Web Site called the Control Creation Edition.

Here's the direct link:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/downloads/cce/

Once you have that version, you can find some good tutorials at a variety of Visual Basic Web sites. I would start with VBExplorer.

If you are interested in Visual Basic 6, many Visual Basic 6 books come with a version of Visual Basic 6 called the Working Edition, which is a full featured version of Visual Basic 6 that Microsoft licensed to publishers for inclusion in their books. As I mentioned, it's full featured -- although you won't be able to create a standalone Executable with it.

By the way, it's included with my book Learn to Program with Visual Basic 6 (ISBN: 1902-745-000), which is currently the best selling Visual Basic book for beginners.


Editor's Note: SearchVB provides a Tutorial Section listing free VB-related tutorials found on the web.

This was first published in March 2001

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