Plugins extend the functionality of the IDE by giving it features and capabilities that are not part of the base program. Plugins are available directly from Microchip and from the community at-large. All plugin functions are managed from the Tools ▶ Plugins window, also known as the Plugins Manager.
Microchip supplied plugins may be selected from the Available Plugins tab where they may be downloaded and installed without ever leaving the IDE.
Community supplied plugins may be provided by third party partners or by other users and must be downloaded first, as you would any other file from the web. These plugins may be installed from the Downloaded tab.
The netbeans.org Plugin Portal is one good source of community supplied plugins (*.nbm files), most of which will be compatible with MPLAB® X IDE, though not all are suited for embedded development.
Another good source of plugins is the Microchip sponsored EmbeddedCodeSource.com. Most of the plugins on that site are provided by Microchip, though over time we hope that members of the community will contribute plugins as well.