Lab Exercise 18: Enumerations


This demo illustrates the use enumerations to create a list of constant labels that may be used in conjunction with variables declared with the enum’s type. The primary purpose of enumerations is to make your code more readable and easier to maintain.

Software Tools

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Integrated Development Environment
C Compiler

Exercise Files

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Project and Source Files



Open the Project

Start MPLAB® X IDE, then click on the Open Project Main_Open_Project.png icon on the main toolbar

Navigate to the folder where you saved the exercise files for this class.

Click on the Lab18.X folder.

Select Open Project OpenProjectButton.png.


Debug Project

Click on the Debug Project Main_Debug_Project.png button. This will build and send the program to the simulator.
Click on the Continue Debug_Continue.png button. This begins the simulation.Wait for the UART 1 Output window to finish printing.
Click on the Halt Debug_Pause.png button.



End Debug Session

End the Simulation Session by clicking the Finish Debugger Session Debug_Finish_Debugger_Session.png button.

Clear out the UART 1 Output window (Ctrl + L)

Close the Project.


Enumerations provide a means to associate a list of constants with one or more variables. Theoretically, these constants represent the entire range of valid values for the variable. Some compilers will enforce this range (compile time only - runtime checking is up to you). However, even if the compiler doesn’t do any checking, by sticking to the list of valid constants it becomes more difficult to accidentally assign an invalid value.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of using enumerations is that they make your code more readable by replacing “magic numbers” and that it becomes much easier to maintain. If you need to add additional valid values, you need only add them to the enum list. If the value of some of the labels change, you may not have to change the rest of your code to reflect the changes (depending on how you have written your code).

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