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Library Subject Guides

Coding: a Practical Guide

Processing and p5.js

Processing and p5.js

How can you get creative and visual with coding?

We're going to take a look at how the coding language Processing is great for creating visualisations, art, and interactive media, and how you can use the JavaScript version p5.js to make cool things that are easy to share.

What are Processing and p5.js?

Processing is a coding language designed for working visually and used by a range of artists and data scientists for a variety of things. It is based on the coding language Java in terms of its syntax and features. is the official site for the language and has more about what you can do with it.

p5.js is a version of Processing that is based off JavaScript rather than Java (despite the name similarities, they are completely different coding languages). It is actually a JavaScript library, which means that it is some bonus functionality you can add to JavaScript code (see our JavaScript page for more on libraries and JavaScript in general). You can read more about it at

Get started with p5.js

Here are the resources for our introductory session focused on getting started with using p5.js.

Full Introduction to coding slides on Google Slides


If you want to have a go with p5.js, check out the slides and cheat sheet on this page to get some pointers on where to start.

You might also want to try p5.js' own get started page for suggestions on what to do.

Once you've had a play with p5.js, you might want to learn some JavaScript if you don't know it already, to help you develop your projects further.