Create programs easily with this free training software
Scratch 2 Offline Editor—or simply the Scratch 2 app—is a free educational program that enables you to easily code and develop your own software. A project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch 2 Offline Editor is designed for any programming beginners, teaching and training them on how to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations by using simple coding blocks to start.
Program development is easy
Scratch 2 is a programming language and online community. It allows you to create your interactive programs and share them with others, so everyone interested can learn further. The app was designed with children ages 8 to 16 in mind. However, anyone can use it for whatever purpose, and there’s the simplified ScratchJr for ages 5 to 7. This program is completely free, and you can donate to support it. You can play other users’ projects, read comments and forums, and create your projects without getting an account.
This isn’t just for students—as parents, educators, and developers are all encouraged to join in on the fun. What’s great about the application is that it can run on most browsers so you can easily share your projects. The code of all shared projects can be seen by curious users, helping in further teaching them on how to execute tricky but cool coding. You can even copy projects by “remixing” them and making your own changes to foster creativity, which is allowed as long as you credit the sources.
If you don’t want others to copy your work, you can just avoid sharing it with the community. Another way is by using Scratch 2 Offline Editor, the native app for computers that allows you to create Scratch projects without an internet connection. This is downloadable for free on the official website. It’s great for when you simply want to practice coding without interacting with the community. However, installing it also requires Adobe AIR in your system first. Fortunately, the website also provides a link for that.
Just like the browser version
The Scratch 2 app works similarly to its web counterpart. Instead of lines of codes, you have to input like other programming languages. This software offers graphical blocks as codes and their functions labeled on them. You simply have to drag and drop them on the workspace to apply them and click on them to execute the command. The preview page will show whatever object or sprite you have doing the action if it’s for them. All blocks can be connected and rearranged like puzzle pieces.
To make it easier for creating complicated programs, the blocks are all color-coded based on their function, such as blue for motion commands and purple for sound commands. Their duration and special fields can also be edited. Aside from the Codes tab, however, there’s the Costumes and Sounds tabs available. The Costumes tab displays a simple graphics editor, allowing you to work on the visual side of your project. The Sounds tab works the same way, displaying a simple audio editor.
There are still a few minor differences between the two versions, though. The File menu has different options like “Check for Update.” You can share your work by uploading it to your Scratch account—though you still have to manually share it there. The tips menu also shows in full-screen mode in the offline editor. Cloud variables are not available, however. Nevertheless, you can use the app without an account, just like in the web version.
Perfect for offline use
All in all, Scratch 2 Offline Editor is pretty handy when you don’t have any connection while working. It works seamlessly with the web version, so you can switch your projects around whenever you like. Unfortunately, getting the app means having to install another program, and you can’t directly interact with the community using the PC version since you can’t log into it.