Applications Launcher Plugin in the MPLAB® X IDE

Last modified by Microchip on 2024/06/24 06:32


The App Launcher plug-in provides the ability to launch any application within MPLAB® X IDE. The App Launcher contains default applications but you can configure any number of applications. 


Launching the App Launcher Plug-in

First, install the App Launcher plug-in under MPLAB X IDE. See MPLAB X IDE Plugins for installation instructions.

Then, navigate to Tools>Embedded>App Launcher to open the App Launcher. The App Launcher opens in a tabbed window in MPLAB X IDE.

On Windows® systems, the App Launcher window contains several default applications, i.e., MPLAB IPE, Notepad, MS-Paint, and Calculator. On Linux® and macOS® systems, the launcher is pre-populated with only the MPLAB IPE.

App Launcher Main Window

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Using the Application Manager

You can configure any number of applications in the App Launcher. Begin by right-clicking anywhere on the App Launcher window to display the App Launcher Configuration button. Click on this button to proceed.

Accessing the Application Manager

The App Launcher Configuration window opens. Expand the "Basic" folder to display the default applications. The window also contains options for configuring applications and categories.

App Launcher Configuration Window

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Adding and Deleting Applications

To add an application, click Add App (see Figure 3). The Add new application window opens for you to select a category from a list, browse for an application (.exe file), browse for an optional icon (.png file), and edit an application name. Click Add when done.

Add New Application Dialog

Adding the Beyond Compare (BC2) Application

The application is added under the category selected. You may need to expand the category to see the new application.

Displaying New Application in App Launcher Configuration Window

New applications are added to both the App Launcher Configuration and the App Launcher windows.

Displaying New Application in App Launcher Window

To remove an application, select the application and click Delete App.

Deleting an Application

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Importing and Exporting Settings

You can import and export all App Launcher settings (applications and categories) via a .zip file.

  • To import the settings from an existing .zip file, click Import in the App Launcher Configuration window. A browser window opens for you to select the file you wish to import. When you import a file, all existing files in the App Launcher Configuration window (applications and categories) will be replaced.
  • To export the settings, click Export in the App Launcher Configuration window. A browser window opens for you to specify a file to save. Type in a file name. Leave the default file type as .zip files. Click Save. A .zip file will be saved with all the App Launcher settings.

Importing and Exporting Settings

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Adding and Deleting Categories

To add a new category, click Add Category to display the New Category dialog. Type in a name for the new category.

New Category Dialog

New Category Added

To remove a category, select the category and click Delete Category.

Deleting a Category

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Resetting the App Launcher Configuration

To reset the App Launcher Configuration applications and categories to the default settings, click Reset. The App Launcher Configuration window reverts back to the default items. Here are views of before and after a reset.

Example View Before Reset

View After Reset

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Closing the App Launcher Configuration Window

When you are finished configuring the App Launcher with applications and categories, click Close to close the App Launcher Configuration window. All the applications and categories are saved and are available in the App Launcher window the next time it is opened.

Launching an Application

Applications can be launched from the App Launcher window by double-clicking the application. Expand the category folders to see all the applications.

Loading the App Launcher

Upon launching the MPLAB X IDE, the App Launcher window is loaded with the saved applications as shown in the accompanying example. Expand the category folders to see all the applications.

App Launcher with Saved Apps

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