MPLAB is a Windows program package which enables easy program writing as well as easy program development. It is best to describe it as development environment for a standard program language designed for PC programming. MPLAB technically simplifies some operations consisting of a lot of parameters, which, until the IDE environment* appeared, were executed from the command line. However, tastes are different and there are some programmers who prefer standard editors and command line compilers. Every program written in MPLAB is clear, but there are also help documentation- just in case.


MPLAB consists of several parts:

  • The program which sorts data files of the same project into one group (Project Manager);
  • program for text generating and processing (Text Editor); and
  • simulator used to simulate the operation of a program loaded into the microcontroller.

Besides, there are also built in programmers such as PICStart Plus and ICD (In Circuit Debugger) that can be used to program software into PIC microcontroller device. Since not being the subject of this book, they are mentioned as options only.

In order to start MPLAB, your PC should contain:

  • PC compatible computer belonging to class 486 or better;
  • Any Windows operating system;
  • VGA graphic card;
  • 8MB memory (32MB recommended);
  • 200MB available hard disc; and
  • A mouse.

MPLAB installation comes first. Data files from MPLAB CD should be copied to a hard disc. The process of installation is similar to almost all other Windows program installations. First of all a welcome window appears, then options to select and at last installation itself. A message notifying that the program is successfully installed and ready for use appears. Are you ready?

Steps to follow prior the installation:

  1. Start Microsoft Windows;
  2. Insert the CD into CD ROM;
  3. Click START and select option RUN;
  4. Click BROWSE and select CD ROM drive; and
  5. Find folder MPLAB on CD ROM.

Everything is ready now to start installation. The following pictures describe the installation steps.


Click on this icon to start up the process...


Something is going on... The picture coming up indicates that the process of installation has just started!


Next window contains the word "Welcome". Need explanation?

Actually, the program reminds you to close all active programs in order to not interfere with the installation process. Next- of course!


Prior to continue, you have to accept the MPLAB software license conditions. Select the option "I accept" and click NEXT.


Do you want to install the entire software? Yes. Next...


Similar to other programs, MPLAB should be also installed into a folder. It may be any folder on any hard disc. If it is not necessary to make changes, select the specified address and click Next.


Another license, another acceptance of options specified by the computer... Next, Next...

Be patient!


Finally! This is what you have been waiting for. Click Finish. The computer will be restarted along with the program saved on hard disc. Everything is OK!