Getting Started with CE C Coding

by Everyday Code
Contributors: epsilon5, Jeffitus, erentar

Building Your First Program (Locally) - Windows

Download and install the CE C SDK following the directions on GitHub. Once you have this installed, find the CEdev folder and go to examples. You will find many different examples to get you started with graphics, keypad inputs, and more. Once you find an example that you would like to start with, open the folder. You will not be able to send these files to the calculator at first, you will need to compile these programs.

To Edit the Example Programs

Click on the source folder in the example folder. Click on main.c and open it within a text editor of your choice. I use Visual Studio Code, but any other IDE or even a simple text editor should work.

To Compile the Example Programs

Go to the example folder that you are editing (.../debugging) for example. On Windows, shift and click, then open Windows Powershell. Type “make” and hit enter. If the program successfully compiles the first time, a bin folder with the 8xp file will be created. If not, go back and check your code.

To Make Your Own Programs

While you can just edit the example programs, if you want to write your own program you will want to create a separate folder for it. The easiest way to do this is by copying the template folder found in examples/, and paste and rename it to the name of your project. Follow the instructions above to compile the program.

To Test Your Own Programs

You can send your program straight to your calculator using TI-Connect CE (not suggested) or by downloading CEmu. You will also need the C libraries on your calculator or on CEmu, they can be found here.

Using CEmu

CEmu is a TI-84 Plus CE emulator that lets you dump your ROM and emulate the calculator. For legal reasons, dumping your ROM is the only way to use this.

In CEmu, click on the Variables tab and click “Send files to calc” select the 8xp that you just created within the example folder, and click open. You will also need to send the C Libraries to your calculator. This should only need to be done one time because these libraries will automatically be archived.

On the emulated calculator, press program, find your program, which will be named DEMO by default, and press enter.

In your first few programs, there is a high chance that you will cause a RAM reset. That is why it's best to debug in CEmu.

If it does trigger a RAM reset in CEmu, hover over the Calculator tab at the top of the screen and click “Reset calculator”. This will reset RAM, but any archived programs/data will be fine.

Building Your First Program (Hosted)

The TI-Planet Project Builder is the next best option for CE development. It lets you collaborate on projects and take your project on the go. All you have to do is make an account with TI-Planet.

Once you write your program within the TI-Planet editor, send the appropriate C Libraries by clicking on “TI file(s)”. For this tool, you will also need to generate your own ROM image from a physical calculator (as with CEmu).


Welcome to the underground world of CE C programming. If you have more questions, feel free to read more articles and join our Discord server. You can also support me through Patreon.