Development tools for PIC Microcontroller Systems: MPLAB IDE

Programming MICROCHIP PIC® microcontrollers is an easy 3 steps process:

    A) writing the code
    B) compiling/debugging the code
    C) uploading the code to the microcontroller

Development tolls and cycle
Figure: Development tools and cycle.

The software and hardware components:

Different tools involved in the microcontroller development cycle. To begin programming and building PIC microcontroller based projects you will need:


You can watch a quick video-tutorial on how to create, build and assemble your project in the following video

MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a FREE, integrated toolset for the development of embedded applications employing Microchip's PIC® and dsPIC® microcontrollers. MPLAB IDE runs as a 32-bit application on MS Windows®, is easy to use and includes a host of free software components for fast application development and super-charged debugging.

MPLAB IDE also serves as a single, unified graphical user interface for additional Microchip and third party software and hardware development tools. Moving between tools is a snap, and upgrading from the free software simulator to hardware debug and programming tools is done in a flash because MPLAB IDE has the same user interface for all tools.
Some of the MPLAB IDE features include:

  • Recordable macros
  • Context sensitive color highlighting
  • Drag and drop variables to watch windows
  • Full featured debugger
  • Third Party tools

source :

Download MPLAB IDE and use the tutorial in the MPLAB IDE User’s Guide to explore how easy it is to create a project.