Pascal Open Source Books

Understand Pascal / Delphi Programming with Free Books

Pascal is an imperative and procedural programming language designed in the late 1960s by Niklaus Wirth to teach structured programming using subprograms called procedures and functions. The language is a direct descendant from ALGOL 60, and takes programming components from ALGOL 68 and ALGOL-W. Pascal was named in honour after the French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal who helped to pioneer computer development.

Pascal is a popular teaching language to introduce structured programming techniques to students. There are many benefits from this type of programming such as code reusability, partitioning code into readable modules and procedures, and help programmers work together on code simultaneously. The language also lends itself to teaching with its easy syntax. Pascal is a strongly typed language, procedural, case insensitive, with extensive error checking. It has built in data types such as arrays, records, files and sets. There are also user defined data types. Pascal supports object oriented programming.

This article selects the best open source books that’ll give readers a firm foundation in developing Pascal software.

We’ve published a series covering the best open source programming books for other popular languages. Read them here.

Essential Pascal

Essential Pascal (2nd Edition)

By Marco Cantù (16hh6 pages)

Essential Pascal is an online introduction to the Pascal programming language. This book has been written by Marco Cantù (the author of the best selling book, Mastering Delphi). It covers the language form the perspective of Borland’s Delphi development environment.

Chapters cover:

  • A Short History of the Pascal Language
  • Coding in Pascal – highlights elements of Pascal coding style: comments, use of uppercase, pretty-printing, syntax highlighting, code templates, language statements, keywords, and expressions and operators
  • Types, Variables, and Constants
  • User-Defined Data Types – define data types by means of type constructors, such as subrange types, array types, record types, enumerated types, pointer types, and set types
  • Statements – based on keywords and other elements to indicate to a program a sequence of operations to perform. The basic types of commands explored are simple and compound statements, assignment statements, conditional statements, case statements, loops, and the with statement
  • Procedures and Functions – introduces reference parameters, constant parameters, open array parameters, type-variant open array parameters, Delphi calling conventions, forward declarations, procedural types, function overloading, and default parameters
  • Handling Strings – types of strings, using long strings, looking at strings in memory, and formatting strings
  • Memory – looks at dynamic arrays
  • Windows Programming
  • Variants – discusses the Variant data type from a general perspective
  • Program and Units
  • Files in the Pascal Language

This book is not published under a specific license, but it’s sufficiently open to regard it as a free book.

Start Programming using Object Pascal

Start Programming using Object Pascal

By Motaz Abdel Azeem (150 pages)

Start Programming using Object Pascal is written for programmers who wish to learn Object Pascal. The book is also suitable as a first programming book for new students and non-programmers. It illustrates programming techniques in general in addition to the Object Pascal Language. Object Pascal is a general purpose hybrid (structured and object oriented programming) language.

The examples in the book make use of Lazarus and Free Pascal.

Chapters cover:

  • Language Basics – examines variables, sub types, conditional branching, the If condition, loops, for loop, repeat until loop, while loop, strings, copy function, insert procedure, delete procedure, trim function, stringreplace function. The chapter also covers arrays, records, files, text files, typed files, constants, sets, exception handling, and more. The chapter proceeds to illustrate what has been taught through a number of programs including a weight program, restaurant program, a keyboard program, a marks program, and a cars database program.
  • Structured Programming – write procedures that can be used in applications, introduces parameters, defining local variables, functions as input parameters, units, procedure and function overloading, default value parameters, sorting, bubble sort algorithm, selection sort algorithm, shell sort algorithm, and string sorting.
  • GUI – create GUI applications with Lazarus
  • Object Oriented Programing – a brief introduction into the type of programming where the entities of an application are described as objects

The book is licensed under the Creative Commons.

Essential Delphi

Essential Delphi

By Marco Cantù (156 pages)

This book is a gentle introduction to Borland Delphi. A lot of the material in this book featured in Mastering Delphi.

Chapters include:

  • A Form is a Window
  • Highlights of the Delphi Environment
  • The Object Repository and the Delphi Wizards
  • A Tour of the Basic Components
  • Creating and Handling Menus
  • Multimedia Fun

The author’s website does not currently offer a valid link to download the book, but it’s easily located on the net.

This book is not published under a specific license, but it’s sufficiently open to regard it as a free book.

Language Reference Guide

Free Pascal Reference Guide

By Michaël Van Canneyt (243 pages)

This book is a reference for the Pascal language as implemented by the Free Pascal compiler. It describes all Pascal constructs supported by Free Pascal, and lists all supported data types. The aim is to list which Pascal constructs are supported, and to show where the Free Pascal implementation differs from the Turbo Pascal or Delphi implementations.

This book does not aim to provide a detailed guide to Pascal.

This work is published under an open source license.

Pascal Programming

Pascal Programming

By Wikibooks (HTML)

Chapters cover:

  • Standard Pascal – explores variables and constants, input and output, boolean expressions and control flow, Pascal syntax and functions, enumerations, sets, arrays/lists, strings, records, pointers, and files
  • Extensions – units, object oriented programming, exporting to libraries, foreign function interfaces, generics, and other extensions
  • Preprocessor functionality
  • Syntax cheat sheet

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


Assembly, C, C++, C#, Clojure, CoffeeScript, ECMAScript, Go, Haskell, Java, JavaScript, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Python, R, Ruby, Scratch, Swift

Leave a Reply