The User Interface of Scratch.

Although Scratch is designed for people who are new to programming, it can still be hard to master. The Getting Started with Scratch tutorial helps individuals who are completely new to programming and looking to understand the concepts of Scratch.


Main article: Project
The stage and sprites pane.

Projects are animations, stories, art, pen, and games — and just about everything else made in Scratch. The Scratch project editor is used to make Scratch projects, which can be shared to the world using the Scratch Community. In other terms, a project is the created coding in Scratch.

Offline Editor vs. Online Editor

Scratch offers two editors: an online one, and an offline one. Both are very similar, but have minor differences. It is easier to connect with the Scratch Community using the online editor, but it can only be used with an internet connection. The online editor can be accessed by clicking the Create tab on the website or by clicking here. The offline editor can be downloaded here. The current version of Scratch is Scratch 3.0.

The Interface

Main article: User Interface

The Scratch interface is divided into two sections: the running environment and the development section. At the top-right of the interface is the stage. The stage is where a Scratch project is physically run, so when one plays a game, the Stage is the window in which it is run. By default, the Scratch Cat is on the stage. The Scratch Cat is simply one of many sprites, or characters, buttons, etc. in a project. Characters are programmed to perform what a Scratcher desires them to do. The flexibility of Scratch allows the creator to be imaginative and actually make the desired project. That is when programming comes into place, as it "makes things do what they should".


Before getting more into the interface, the quickest way to understand how sprites are programmed in Scratch is by testing things out. Follow the steps below when the Scratch program is opened with a clean, new project.

1. Access this area of the Scratch program:

Block Pane.png

2. Select the blue "block" called move () steps, and drag it to the right.

Grab Block.png

3. Release the mouse to place the block; make sure the block is placed in the darker grey, technically called the scripts area.

Place Block.png

4. When done, click anywhere on the block except the white middle, and watch what happens to the Scratch Cat. It will move 10 steps.

Scratch Cat Move.png

5. Check out the other block categories and test out what blocks in them do.

Category Select.png


As shown above, blocks are the building "blocks" of a Scratch project. They have specific commands which function uniquely from one another. Some blocks can even fit inside other blocks, as shown below:
1. Assemble the following "script", or connection of blocks, by accessing the various blocks by color and category.

Scattered Blocks.png

2. Assemble the blocks into this formation:

Assemble Blocks.png

3. Grab the blue key sensing block that is still in the void and place it into the hexagonal input area of the orange "if" block:

Block Input.png

4. Click the Green Flag to run the project, and see what it does.

Click Flag.png

5. Unless you were holding down the space key, nothing should have happened. Take a look at the script again; remember, a script is a fully connected chain/stack of blocks.

when gf clicked
if <key (space v) pressed?> then
move (10) steps

The script begins with "when green flag clicked", which was done. When the green flag is clicked, it triggers the script beginning with the "when green flag clicked" block to run. When the script ran, it first detects if the space key is down, and if it is, then the sprite will move 10 steps. Run the project again while holding the space key down, and the sprite will move 10 steps.

Paint/Sound Editors

Main article: Paint Editor
Main article: Sound Editor

Scratch even includes its very own paint editor and sound editor. A paint editor is a program used for designing and editing images. The Scratch paint editor can be used to draw the images for sprites (the characters, buttons, etc.). The sound editor is used for importing, recording, and modifying sounds used in a project. To access these two editors, click on the tabs above the blocks palette:



Sprites are like the characters of a project. Each sprite has its own blocks, and they can communicate with each other using Broadcasts. Each sprite can do its own job. For example, in a game where a dinosaur chases the Scratch Cat, the dinosaur is programmed to chase the cat, while the cat is controlled by the player. These two sprites do different things. A project can have hundreds of sprites, each doing its own job.

Sprites Pane

The sprites pane of a user's project. The currently selected sprite is highlighted purple.

Accessing different sprites can be done in the sprites pane, located below the stage. The currently selected sprite always has a purple box around it; by simply clicking on a different sprite, its data can be accessed. The sprites pane is shown in the image to the right.

Creating New Sprites

Most projects on Scratch have more than one sprite. At the bottom-right of the sprites pane is a button for creating a new sprite. Hovering over it opens up four options:

3.0 New Sprite Buttons.png

With these buttons, a new sprite can be imported as either a plain image or one that already has scripts. The buttons, going from bottom to top, do the following:

  • Selecting a sprite from the sprite library,
  • Opening the Paint Editor to draw a sprite,
  • Getting a surprise sprite,
  • and uploading an image from the computer using Scratch.


The background of a project can also do a job as well. Backdrops cannot move, but they can play music, send broadcasts, and much more. Like sprites, they also have a picture that can be edited using the Paint Editor. Below the backdrop, there is a button to create a new backdrop.

Project Sharing

To learn more about sharing projects, see this article on sharing projects.

Online Editor

Note Note: You must confirm your email address in order to share.

Users can share a project from either the unshared project's page or directly in the editor.

From an unshared project page, a user can click the "share" button in an orange bar above the project, as shown: Orange share bar on project page.png

In the project editor, in the top-middle next to the project name, there is a "Share" button which appears for an unshared project. Clicking this will share the project, opening the project page as well. Green shared bar.PNG

Offline Editor

In the offline editor, to share a project, open an empty project online and select File > Load from your computer. Your project should appear in the editor. Then, share it using the steps above.


Main article: Remix

The Scratch Website is filled with many projects, and Scratchers are able to remix any project they consider interesting or well-made. This can be accomplished by clicking the "Remix" button located at the top right corner of any project's project page next to the "See Inside" button, and then changing the project in the editor to personalize it. The edited project is now owned by said Scratcher, who can then share it to the Scratch Website.

Note Caution: Noticeable changes should be made when remixing a project. If no changes are present within a remix, this is considered plagiarism and the project can be reported by another Scratcher.

What Now?

One possible way to advance a beginner's knowledge with Scratch is by playing around with it. Trying out different blocks, testing tools in the paint editor, and seeing all the nifty sound editor features can help one learn more about the program. Resources such as the Scratch Forums and other articles on Scratch Wiki can be utilized as help when necessary. Creating many quality, hard-worked projects is arguably the best way to learn about Scratch.


Main article: Project Tutorials

Tutorials can be checked out in Scratch. In the project editor, click the Tutorials button on the top purple bar. Choose a tutorial, and start creating using it.

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