Turing Put Command

Turing Put Command

One of the most important components of any program is the user interface. How well information is displayed on a screen will determine whether or not a program works correctly. So, the first command most programmers learn is how to put something on the computer screen. Turing’s put command is the first step in coding.

How Can We Output Text?

Each language has a different command to do this. “put” is the Turing command that outputs data. You can put any printable keyboard characters on the screen – but there are some important rules to learn along the way!

Turing Put Command: The First Step in Coding

This command really does make a lot of sense to a new coder: put “something” on the computer:


The first line outputs the string “Hello world!”, whereas the second line calculates the math equation 5 * 5 and outputs the answer 25. (The window in the background shows the coding, and the internal window shows the output of the two commands.)

How about:


These lines would output the math statement on one line and the result on the next. We probably wouldn’t write it that way on paper.

So, a coder’s next task is to learn how to manipulate the output to make it more user-friendly. And, of course, Turing has a command to do just that!


That’s more like it! Learning a bit more about Turing’s put command can make a big difference!


Now they are both on the same line, and it looks right.

How does it work?

The most important part of coding is understanding how and why things work the way they do. Kids need to be asked the right questions to help them understand how a command works.


The best part about Turing is that it’s so easy, and anyone can learn how to code or how to teach coding to a kid.

Oh no – There’s an Error!

They also have to find out why it won’t work, and this means testing ‘bad’ code to understand the code rules.  Errors can be very frustrating, but they are the best way to understand how something works.


Error messages aren’t always clear, but Turing does its best to show you where the error is.  Turing won’t run the program unless the error has been corrected. This means that the coder has to learn how to troubleshoot and problem-solve coding issues.


Turing won’t run the program unless the error has been corrected. This means that the coder has to learn how to troubleshoot and problem-solve coding issues.

Designing Output

Turing’s put command can be used to create interesting designs on the screen. 


Kids can explore their creativity as they use grid paper to design their output.

Turing Put Command

I have a resource if you’re interested in teaching the Turing put command as your first step in coding. It includes answer keys as well as lessons with teacher notes. Click here.

You can also buy the full unit (which includes a test) here.

More Resources

If you want to learn more about Turing, here’s a great post about its graphics capabilities.