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Difference between source code and object code in the computer


In the developer’s environment, the terms source code and object code are often used. But for a beginner, it becomes challenging to differentiate the two of them. This might be a problem for you if you want to be an efficient developer. We need to make a clear distinction between both these terminologies so that there’s no confusion left.

The primary difference between source code and object code is that source code is composed by a programmer while an object code is created when a source code is compiled. Source codes are created with a text editor or a visual programming tool and then saved in a file. Object codes, on the other hand, are processed by the CPU in a computer and have machine-readable instructions. The source codes you write will not run unless you put these in object codes for them to process.


What is source code?

Source code is the set of instructions used to make a program run. It’s written by computer programmers so that other people can read and understand it. However, as you have already learned, machines don’t understand source code any better than we do so they can’t do anything with this code until the source is compiled by a special program into something that the machine can actually execute.

Computer code is a set of instructions written by a developer in a computer programming language, like C, Python or Java, and any other intermediate programming language. It’s a program that contains source code which is the source of the program. A computer programmer or software engineer writes source code for an application or website to run on a server or your computer. Any URL will have at least one HTML/CSS page containing “source code”, but may contain multiple other types of files as well. Our experts can help you learn what type of source code you need to know to get started with web development.

What is Object Code?

Object code refers to the low-level code that is comprehensible by computers. A compiler or a translator develops the object code from the source code. Object code is in an executable machine-readable format that contains a sequence of machine-executable instructions that the Central Processing Unit understands and can execute.

The object code is converted from the source code. Object code and source code are not in the same format, unlike source code which is in plain text and easy to understand, object code cannot be read by a normal programmer. The programmer must use other tools called “binoculars” to view the data related to any one of your source files. The binoculars will show how much of the program has been compiled per file.

The compilation is done by running a programmer-created or human-readable program (compiler) through the processing power of a computer to transform one kind of file into another. Different types of programming languages are used to create different kinds of files based on what the computer can run or execute. Prolog, PADL, and C++ are examples of programming languages that create executable files that run responsively in a virtual machine environment.

Source code vs Object code

In this segment, we’ll have a look at the difference between source code and object code by understanding their differences in an easy-to-understand manner. A lot of what has been discussed above will be incorporated into this segment.


As mentioned previously, source code is a type of programming language written by humans. Object code is also known as binary code which is generated by a translator like a compiler.


Source code is similar to something like a cookbook in that they both define the ingredients used to create certain menu items. It’s not just everyday language, though. Source code is designed so that it can be read and executed by anyone, even someone who doesn’t speak any programming languages as long as you have the correct tools at hand. Object code is similar to a restaurant menu because it shows what food dishes are available at any given time.


Source code is written in a language that can be directly understood by your processing unit’s CPU (eg. C, C++, Java, Python, etc.) and also contains special instructions for the compiler to turn into machine code of some sort (eg. Assembly language) having a format which can be understood by the processing unit’s CPU using its own built-in interpreter/compiler or simply fed through an assembler.



Once source code is modified by a programmer or developer, object code would have to be updated based on that modification. It is not recommended however that object code be modified unless it has been established under the architecture and design of the programming language being used.


Source code is written in programming languages such as C, C++, Java, and many more while object code is not. And source code interacts with users, input devices, output devices, and storage to produce meaningful output. In short, source code creates programs that can be run on computers while object codes cannot be executed at all.


Source code is more abstract compared to object code as the source code contains innumerable sets of commands that resemble machine language.


In a previous paragraph, you described the processes the compiler takes to translate the source code into the object code. Making it clear that those are technical terms should help everyone understand this concept better.

Code Compilation:- 

Source codes are assembled into object codes operating language translators or compilers. Object code is exactly the same as machine code and it doesn’t require any further compilation before it can be performed by the machines.

 Format difference of Source-code vs Object-Code:- 

Just as you might already know, all humans can understand is text. This is why if source code is written in a way that is understandable to most people, it’s written in text format. But computers only understand “ON and OFF” or 1s and 0s which are called binary code or binary language.

An example of source code and object code as discussed above. It is important for you to learn this information as it could help with your interview, even if you are not a developer or have all that much experience working in the tech field, let alone with code.


Advantages of Source code

  1. Source Code is adjustable to your unique requirements.
  2. Source Code supplies you with competitive business benefits.
  3. It is adaptable extra period.

Advantages of Object Code

  • Object code has several advantages for the programmer as well as the user.
  • Simple to partition the creation in a project based on an Object.
  • It provides a news passing technique for the contact between the object
  • It helps to decrease the complexness of the programs.

Conclusion: Source code and Object Code

It is deeply important for a programmer to know these things. If you’re a non-tech guy, you’ve also learned a lot about the work that goes into writing software. If so, share this knowledge with others.

This was our genuine effort to describe the difference between source code and object code. It was a basic understanding and differentiation between object code and source code. If you aim to become a prolific developer, it is extremely necessary to comprehend the basics.

If there are any doubts or queries with regards to object code vs source code. We would love to hear from you so we then can build a community of enthusiastic technocrats.

We wish that this blog allows you to upgrade your knowledge and function better as a developer. If you have any suggestions or you want to add anything to this guide, please use the comment box below.

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