The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

Thanks to Brian Ghidinelli, I now have a new favorite Eclipse feature.

I know a lot of you probably know about this, but this could be one of the biggest time savers that doesn’t invovle actaully typing code. If you use ctrl+Shift+R (Sorry Mac users, I am not sure what you use in place of Ctrl, command maybe?) a window pops up that allows you to search for files in any open project. You just start typing and you will see the list of files that match what you typed, you can then select the file from the list to open it. This is a huge time saver if you are stepping into an application that you may not be familiar with, or you are working on a large application with a lot of directories and/or sub-directories.

As a runner-up , James Allen, told me of Ctrl+E, which will open a pop-up of all the open files and allows you to filter the list by entering the file name.

So, what is your favorite Eclipse feature or keyboard shortcut?

Comments on: "My new favorite Eclipse feature" (17)

  1. I haven’t tried the latest Eclipse but the way you describe it makes me moist.


  2. Jeff Coughlin said:

    On a Mac its command+shift+R

    Thanks for the tip. This is pretty cool.


  3. Dan Wilson said:

    My new favorite feature in Eclipse is the ability to select a working set in the project navigator.

    I find that when I work on certain client projects, I jump back and forth between 4 or 5 Eclipse projects. The other 50 projects merely annoy me.

    To fix this, go to the project navigator, find the down arrow icon on the top right hand side of the project navigator and click it. Choose Select Working Set.

    In that menu workflow you can designate one or more working sets. This is helpful to limit the projects shown, limit the search operations and a host of other useful operations.

    Thanks to my buddy Baz Karam for showing me that tip the other day.



  4. What I’d like to know is where folks find these shortcuts…. I can’t seem to find any documentation on them, but thats typical for OSS I guess…


  5. Scott Stroz said:

    @Dan – I discovered working sets a while ago and love them as well.


  6. James Allen said:

    Great tips Scott – especially the CTRL-E one.. πŸ™‚

    In terms of other Eclipse tips, I have just come up with a pretty useful way of organising projects with well defined sections – i.e MVC framework based projects. I was getting sick of having one editor window with 20 files open and clicking constantly to find the right file to edit (although CTRL-E – cough – certainly helps in that).

    So, here’s what I’ve done to help with this. By going to Window->New Window you can create a completely new Eclipse window (complete with project navigator etc). Surprisingly it only takes up about 4 or so meg more memory per window (or thereabouts).

    I currently have 3 windows open. One is my main editor for the model and views.
    One of them is there for XML config editing and the final one is for controller editing.

    By default I open up all of the controllers and XML files. I then work on my main editor for the rest. On my main, I have set the various sections like the navigator on my second monitor so I have a nice big editor window on my main monitor..

    Seems to be working a treat.

    Oh and to select a window quickly, on Windows use Alt-W then the number of the window you want..


  7. Russ Johnson said:

    I use working sets too. But I want a way to automatically create a working set when you create a project. Its annoying to have to create a working set manually for each project just so you can limit what you see in the project pane.

    Anyone know how to do that?


  8. Scott Stroz said:

    @Russ – I would prefer the option, when creating a project, to choose a working set to put it in, or create a new working set.


  9. Brian Kotek said:

    @TJ and others – The documentation fully explains how to look at and modify shortcuts. You can also go to Help > Key Assist and it will show you all current shortcuts. It’s really all right there you just need to take a little time to look at the documentation!


  10. Terry Schmitt said:

    This may be old news, but…
    Ctrl + mouse over a file name in an open file will turn it into a link. Clicking then opens the file.
    This is great when working with a circuit.xml Fusebox file.


  11. Russ Johnson said:

    @Scott – I agree, that seems like such a simple thing, I cant believe thats not there already as part of the new project wizard.


  12. I remember when someone first told me about this. It was a godsend. Especially on a ‘project’ that spans multiple projects in your workspace or when you have a project whose files are so numerous that you can’t see them all without scrolling several times.

    apple-h (ctrl-h on PC) is also another good one for searching your whole workspace for a particular string.


  13. Jim Priest said:

    RTFM πŸ™‚

    If you find something missing or incorrect – feel free to email me or login to the wiki and fix it.


  14. Jim Priest said:

    Oops. Just realized this was for Eclipse and not CFEclipse. πŸ™‚ I need to RTFT(itle).

    Here’s another list of shortcuts I had in my bookmarks – he keeps it updated:


  15. OMG this is awesome!

    * wipes keyboard *

    It’s like Textmate.


  16. Aaron Longnion said:

    an oldie but a goodie:

    ctrl + shift + N on a CF or HTML tag jumps to the matching beginning/ending tag


  17. Steve Brownlee said:

    I agree, ctrl+shift+R is one of the top keyboard shortcuts in Eclipse. Another one of faves is alt+/. I name Javascript and HTML unambiguously (a div that contains a list of patients is named patientListContainer). Further down the file, if I can’t remember the name and don’t want to scroll up to find it again, I can just type in ‘patie’ and use the shortcut to complete it.


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