Converting An MPLAB® 8 Project To MPLAB X


If you have a project from in MPLAB 8, in most cases it can easily be converted to the new MPLAB X format. There are however a few things you can do first to help ensure that the process goes smoothly.

  • From time to time, the project file format of MPLAB 8.x and earlier has changed. To ensure that you are using the latest project file format before attempting the conversion, first save your project with MPLAB 8.14.03A or later.
  • If your project #includes files that are not in the project tree (other than those that install with the compiler or assembler), include them in the header folder of the project tree so that the conversion utility can find them. (Required for beta versions of MPLAB X)
  • If your project uses relative paths for its files, ensure that all required files are still present in their relative locations.

Also, if you are planning on running MPLAB on Linux or a Mac, there are a couple other items you need to consider:

  • Linux and Mac file systems are case sensitive. Header file names must match the case of the actual files. For example: #include "p24fj128ga010.h" will not work. The file will not be found because the actual file name is p24FJ128GA010.h, where all letters except the initial 'p' and final 'h' are capitalized.
  • Relative paths must use forward slashes '/' which work on all operating systems rather than back slashes '\' which work only on Windows. For example, #include "Graphics\Graphics.h" needs to be changed to #include "Graphics/Graphics.h".

Step-by-Step Tutorial


Open the New Project Wizard

From the menu, select File ► New Project… or click on the New Project icon Main_New_Project.png on the toolbar.


Choose Project Type

From the Categories list, choose Microchip Embedded and from the Projects list, choose Existing MPLAB IDE v8 Project. Click Next > when done.

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Locate MPLAB 8 .mcp File

Click the Browse… button and select the *.mcp file for the project you wish to convert. Click Next > when done.

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Select Device and Header

The project's target device should be automatically detected from the *.mcp file, so just click Next >. You may however change to a different device if you know the older project supports it. After hitting next, IF your device required a debug header you will be prompted to select the header. If the device you are using does not require a debug header you will proceed to Tool Selection

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A header interface provides debug capability with no pin loss to the target application. Headers are required for most low pin-count devices and are available as an option for some high pin-count devices. See the main website for more details.
An example of a low pin-count device's header is shown below.
HeaderTop.png HeaderBottom.png
  • If you are using a debug header, check the box. Otherwise leave it unchecked.
  • Click Next >


Select Tool

Choose the debug/programming tool you wish to use with the new project. Click Next > when done.

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Select Compiler

Choose the compiler or assembler you wish to use with the new project. Click Next > when done.

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Select Project Name and Folder

By default, the MPLAB X project directory will be created inside the MPLAB 8 project's directory. Here, you can change the location and/or name of the new project and its directory. Click Next > when done.

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This slide simply shows you what the converter will do and where it will do it. Click Finish when done.

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Your project has now been converted. You should see all of the files from the MPLAB 8 project tree in the new MPLAB X project tree. You should now be able to successfully build your project by clicking the build button Main_Build_Project.png on the toolbar without any further changes. If you get any messages about a compiler not being found you may need to configure your compiler for MPLAB X.

If you are converting a project to run on a Mac or under Linux, you may also have to change the names of header files to ensure that they are properly capitalized (e.g. p24FJ128GA010.h instead of p24fj128ga010.h) and change any back slash characters '\' in relative paths to forward slash characters '/'. (e.g. "graphics/graphics.h" from "graphics\graphics.h")
Failing to correct either of these situations will result in "file not found" errors when the compiler looks for the header files.

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