Tutorial: Get started with Visual Basic in Visual Studio

In this tutorial for Visual Basic (VB), you'll use Visual Studio to create and run a few different console apps and explore some features of the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) while you do so.

If you haven't already installed Visual Studio, go to the Visual Studio downloads page to install it for free.

If you haven't already installed Visual Studio, go to the Visual Studio downloads page to install it for free.

Create a project

First, we'll create a Visual Basic application project. The project type comes with all the template files you'll need, before you've even added anything!

  1. Open Visual Studio 2017.

  2. From the top menu bar, choose File > New > Project.

  3. In the New Project dialog box in the left pane, expand Visual Basic, and then choose .NET Core. In the middle pane, choose Console App (.NET Core). Then name the project WhatIsYourName.

    Console App (.NET Core) project template in the New Project dialog box in the Visual Studio IDE

Add a workload (optional)

If you don't see the Console App (.NET Core) project template, you can get it by adding the .NET Core cross-platform development workload. You can add this workload in one of the two following ways, depending on which Visual Studio 2017 updates are installed on your machine.

Option 1: Use the New Project dialog box

  1. Click the Open Visual Studio Installer link in the left pane of the New Project dialog box.

    Click the Open Visual Studio Installer link from the New Project dialog box

  2. The Visual Studio Installer launches. Choose the .NET Core cross-platform development workload, and then choose Modify.

    .NET Core cross-platform development workload in the Visual Studio Installer

Option 2: Use the Tools menu bar

  1. Cancel out of the New Project dialog box and from the top menu bar, choose Tools > Get Tools and Features.

  2. The Visual Studio Installer launches. Choose the .NET Core cross-platform development workload, and then choose Modify.

Note

Some of the screenshots in this tutorial use the dark theme. If you aren't using the dark theme but would like to, see the Personalize the Visual Studio IDE and Editor page to learn how.

  1. Open Visual Studio 2019.

  2. On the start window, choose Create a new project.

    View the 'Create a new project' window

  3. On the Create a new project window, enter or type console in the search box. Next, choose Visual Basic from the Language list, and then choose Windows from the Platform list.

    After you apply the language and platform filters, choose the Console App (.NET Core) template, and then choose Next.

    Choose the Visual Basic template for the Console App (.NET Framework)

    Note

    If you do not see the Console App (.NET Core) template, you can install it from the Create a new project window. In the Not finding what you're looking for? message, choose the Install more tools and features link.

    The 'Install more tools and features' link from the 'Not finding what you're looking for' message in the 'Create new project' window

    Then, in the Visual Studio Installer, choose the .NET Core cross-platform development workload.

    .NET Core cross-platform development workload in the Visual Studio Installer

    After that, choose the Modify button in the Visual Studio Installer. You might be prompted to save your work; if so, do so. Next, choose Continue to install the workload. Then, return to step 2 in this "Create a project" procedure.

  4. In the Configure your new project window, type or enter WhatIsYourName in the Project name box. Then, choose Create.

    in the 'Configure your new project' window, name your project 'WhatIsYourName'

    Visual Studio opens your new project.

Create a "What Is Your Name" application

Let's create an app that prompts you for your name and then displays it along with the date and time. Here's how:

  1. If it is not already open, then open your WhatIsYourName project.

  2. Enter the following Visual Basic code immediately after the opening bracket that follows the Sub Main(args As String()) line and before the End Sub line:

    Console.WriteLine(vbCrLf + "What is your name? ")
    Dim name = Console.ReadLine()
    Dim currentDate = DateTime.Now
    Console.WriteLine($"{vbCrLf}Hello, {name}, on {currentDate:d} at {currentDate:t}")
    Console.Write(vbCrLf + "Press any key to exit... ")
    Console.ReadKey(True)
    

    This code replaces the existing WriteLine, Write, and ReadKey statements.

    Code window showing the What Is Your Name code

  3. Use the green Start button, or press F5 to build and run your first app.

  4. When the console window opens, enter your name. Your console window should look similar to the following screenshot:

    Console window showing What Is Your Name, the time and date, and Press any key to continue message

  5. Press any key to close the console window.

  1. In the WhatIsYourName project, enter the following Visual Basic code immediately after the opening bracket that follows the Sub Main(args As String()) line and before the End Sub line:

    Console.WriteLine(vbCrLf + "What is your name? ")
    Dim name = Console.ReadLine()
    Dim currentDate = DateTime.Now
    Console.WriteLine($"{vbCrLf}Hello, {name}, on {currentDate:d} at {currentDate:t}!")
    Console.Write(vbCrLf + "Press any key to exit... ")
    Console.ReadKey(True)
    

    This code replaces the existing WriteLine, Write, and ReadKey statements.

    Code window showing the What Is Your Name code

  2. Use the green Start button, or press F5 to build and run your first app.

  3. When the console window opens, enter your name. Your console window should look similar to the following screenshot:

    Console window showing What Is Your Name, the time and date, and Press any key to continue message

  4. Press any key to close the console window.

Create a "Calculate This" application

  1. Open Visual Studio 2017, and then from the top menu bar, choose File > New > Project.

  2. In the New Project dialog box in the left pane, expand Visual Basic, and then choose .NET Core. In the middle pane, choose Console App (.NET Core). Then name the file CalculateThis.

  3. Enter the following code between the Module Program line and End Module line:

    Public num1 As Integer
    Public num2 As Integer
    Public answer As Integer
    Sub Main()
        Console.WriteLine("Type a number and press Enter")
        num1 = Console.ReadLine()
        Console.WriteLine("Type another number to add to it and press Enter")
        num2 = Console.ReadLine()
        answer = num1 + num2
        Console.WriteLine("The answer is " & answer)
        Console.ReadLine()
    End Sub
    

    Your code window should look like the following screenshot:

    Code window showing the CalculateThis code

  4. Click CalculateThis to run your program. Your console window should look similar to the following screenshot:

    Console window showing the CalculateThis app, which includes prompts on which actions to take.

  1. On the start window, choose Create a new project.

  2. On the Create a new project window, enter or type console in the search box. Next, choose Visual Basic from the Language list, and then choose Windows from the Platform list.

  3. After you apply the language and platform filters, choose the Console App (.NET Core) template, and then choose Next.

    Then, in the Configure your new project window, type or enter CalculateThis in the Project name box. Next, choose Create.

  4. Enter the following code between the Module Program line and End Module line:

    Public num1 As Integer
    Public num2 As Integer
    Public answer As Integer
    Sub Main()
        Console.WriteLine("Type a number and press Enter")
        num1 = Console.ReadLine()
        Console.WriteLine("Type another number to add to it and press Enter")
        num2 = Console.ReadLine()
        answer = num1 + num2
        Console.WriteLine("The answer is " & answer)
        Console.ReadLine()
    End Sub
    

    Your code window should look like the following screenshot:

    Code window showing the CalculateThis code

  5. Click CalculateThis to run your program. Your console window should look similar to the following screenshot:

    Console window showing the CalculateThis app, which includes prompts on which actions to take.

Quick answers FAQ

Here's a quick FAQ to highlight some key concepts.

What is Visual Basic?

Visual Basic is a type-safe programming language that's designed to be easy to learn. It is derived from BASIC, which means "Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code".

What is Visual Studio?

Visual Studio is an integrated development suite of productivity tools for developers. Think of it as a program you can use to create programs and applications.

What is a console app?

A console app takes input and displays output in a command-line window, a.k.a. a console.

What is .NET Core?

.NET Core is the evolutionary next step of the .NET Framework. Where the .NET Framework allowed you to share code across programming languages, .NET Core adds the ability to share code across platforms. Even better, it's open source. (Both the .NET Framework and .NET Core include libraries of prebuilt functionality as well as a common language runtime (CLR), which acts as a virtual machine in which to run your code.)

Next steps

Congratulations on completing this tutorial! To learn even more, see the following tutorial.

See also