Programming Books

8 Excellent Free Books to Learn Fortran

Fortran (Formula translation) is a multi-paradigm programming language invented by John Backus of IBM in the 1950s. It is particularly notable for innovation; it was the first high-level language, using the first compiler.

The language is designed to be simple to understand, yet retains the efficiency in execution as assembly language – about 80% as efficient as assembly/machine code. Fortran is machine independent, and a problem oriented language. It is often used in the scientific community, particularly among physicists, and is designed for scientific numerical computing. Fortran allows for high parallelization, it’s easy to optimize, and lends itself particularly well to computationally intensive fields such as finite element analysis, numerical weather prediction, computational physics, computational chemistry, and computational fluid dynamics.

Fortran has evolved over time, with various standards including Fortran IV, Fortran 77, Fortran 90 and Fortran 95. More recent revisions are Fortran 2003, and Fortran 2008. Since Fortran 9x, it has many structured programming features, dynamic memory, operator overloading, and primitive objects. It is both the language of the past, the current, and the future (high-performance computing is unlikely to cast aside Fortran). Despite its age, Fortran is still very much alive and kicking. Fortran has a vast number of libraries of code.

Here’s our recommended books to master Fortran.


1. Interactive Fortran 77: A Hands on Approach by Ian D Chivers, Jane Sleightholme

Interactive Fortran 77: A Hands on ApproachInteractive Fortran 77: A Hands on Approach introduces the reader to the concepts and ideas involved in problem solving with Fortran 77.

The authors stress the first stages of good programming practice, the accurate specification of problems, and well-organized program plans. Once these principles are defined, the main features of Fortran 77 are introduced. The emphasis throughout is placed on the need for a rigorous approach to algorithmic problem-solving, and the practical benefits to be gained from the adoption of a structured modular methodology.

Read the book


2. Introduction to Programming using Fortran 95/2003/2008 by Ed Jorgensen

Introduction to Programming using Fortran 95/2003/2008Introduction to Programming using Fortran 95/2003/2008 provides an introduction to programming and problem solving using the Fortran 95/2003/2008 programming language.

This introduction is geared for non computer science majors. As such, this text is not a complete, comprehensive guide to the Fortran 95/2003/2008 programming language.

The primary focus is on an introduction to problem solving and algorithm development. As such, many details of the Fortran 95/2203/2008 language are omitted.

Read the book


3. Professional Programmer’s Guide to Fortran77 by Clive G. Page

Professional Programmer's Guide to Fortran77Professional Programmers Guide To Fortran 77 provides a comprehensive description of the features and implementation of Fortran 77.

Ideal as a text from which to learn a second language, or as a reference guide to a first or main language.

Chapters include:

  • Basic Fortran Concepts – presents some of the basic ideas of Fortran by showing some complete example. Statements, Expressions and Assignments, Integer and Real Data Types, DO Loops, Formatted Output, Functions, IF-blocks, and Arrays are explained.
  • Fortran in Practice – describes the steps required to turn a Fortran program from a piece of text into executable form. It covers creating source code, compiling, and linking.
  • Program Structure and Layout – explains the rules for program construction and text layout.
  • Constants, Variables, and Arrays – deals with the data-storage elements of Fortran: constants, variables, and arrays.
  • Arithmetic.
  • Character Handling and Logic – describes the facilities for handling non-numerical data in Fortran.
  • Control Statements – includes IF-Blocks, DO-Loops, Logical-IF Statement, and more.
  • Procedures – Intrinsic functions, Statement functions, External functions, and Subroutines.
  • Input/Output Facilities.
  • DATA Statement – used to specify initial values for variables and array elements.
  • Common Blocks – a list of variables and arrays stored in a named area which may be accessed directly in more than one program unit.
  • Obsolete and Deprecated Features.
  • Common Extensions to the Fortran Standard.

One of the attractions of using Fortran 77 is that Linux has an excellent open source compiler in the form of the GNU Fortran compiler, which is part of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC).

Professional Programmers Guide To Fortran 77 is published under the GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.1.

Read the book


Next page: Page 2 – Combinatorial Algorithms and more books

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Interactive Fortran 77: A Hands on Approach and more books
Page 2 – Combinatorial Algorithms and more books
Page 3 – User Notes on Fortran Programming and more books


All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
ClojureScriptCompiler for Clojure that targets JavaScript
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
CoqDependently typed language similar to Agda, Idris, F* and others
CrystalGeneral-purpose, concurrent, multi-paradigm, object-oriented language
CSSCSS (Cascading Style Sheets) specifies a web page’s appearance
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
DartClient-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms
DylanMulti-paradigm language supporting functional and object-oriented coding
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
JArray programming language based primarily on APL
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
KotlinMore modern version of Java
LabVIEWDesigned to enable domain experts to build power systems quickly
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
Objective-CObject-oriented language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to C
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
PostScriptInterpreted, stack-based and Turing complete language
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
PureScriptSmall strongly, statically typed language compiling to JavaScript
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
QMLHierarchical declarative language for user interface layout - JSON-like syntax
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
RacketGeneral-purpose, object-oriented, multi-paradigm, functional language
RakuMember of the Perl family of programming languages
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
VHDLHardware description language used in electronic design automation
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
Share this article

Share your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.