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8 Most Useful Keyboard Shortcuts For

Beginner Eclipse IDE Users

Jessica Cam Wong

On 22nd May, 2012
The Internet

I recently had two pair assignments

gnments for class, each of which had to be with a different classmate.
With the object of programming for Java, we utilized Eclipse as our IDE simply because that
was what we were taught to use. I tried learning VIM editor keyboard shortcuts, but I have not
been using it daily so I was fine with using Eclipse, which seemed to make everything
erything a lot
easier. You can see a list of all the files in your Java (or Android for that matter) project in the
package explorer, easily navigate to the desired function with the outline window, get
suggestions for functions, imports, and more.
Anyhow, since my partners and I worked with Eclipse,, my first partner taught me a few
keyboard shortcuts, which I then taught to my second partner, whom did not use sysout or any

Eclipse shortcuts (if you do not know what sysout means, youre reading the right article!).
Thus, the reason for this post was born to go over some very useful keyboard shortcuts for
actions youll probably perform often.
If you are a frequent reader of this post and have contemplated programming for a little while,
ponder no longer. We at MakeUseOf have compiled a few lists to websites that will guide you
through Java (or C++) lessons and examples. What if youre unsure of what language to start
with? We also have you covered with suggestions for web and software development. So once
youre done browsing through our development collection, feel inspired to start programming,
and have Eclipse installed, you might want find the following tips useful.

Control + Shift + O: Import

If youre going to use ArrayList, LinkedList or any other such data structure class from the Java
Collections Framework, you will need the following lines above your class declaration and
import java.awt.List;
import java.util.ArrayList;
public class Hello {
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Hello World!");

Instead of having to type the import lines, you could just write your code first in the editor and
whenever you see red squiggly lines signaling that you need to import a specific class, all you
have to do is press Ctrl + Shift + O and ALL the unknown types will be imported. No more
going into the focus popup and pressing Import for each class.

Control + I: Indent
Is your code looking like this at times?

Simply highlight the code portion that looks hard to read, press Ctrl + i to indent everything

Control + D: Delete Line

If you need to delete a line, you might usually highlight the entire line with your mouse (or with
the Home or End buttons) and delete the new line character every time. Try Ctrl + D for quick
whole-line deletion. It will be like the line was never even there, no final new line character
touchups necessary.

Control + Space: Auto-Complete Variable Or Function

If you have declared and initialized at least one variable or even function or method, you can
type the first few letters of the variable or function name, hit Ctrl + Space to auto-complete it.
This will work well if you have very unique variable or function names, because otherwise,
youll have to choose among the distinct names in a focus popup window.

Sysout + Control + Space: Puts System.out.println()

If you ever need to type out a print statement, in particular, System.out.println(), theres a
shortcut for this: Simply type out the word sysout and then hit Ctrl + Space.

Control + H: Search Your Entire Project

When youre working on projects with numerous classes that rely on each other, sometimes you
might forget where it was you declared a specific function or variable. If thats the case, Ctrl + h
will come in handy as it lets you search through not just the class youre working on, but the
entire project folder.

Control + F11: Run

If youre constantly pressing on Run As > Java Application, you can instead press on Ctrl + F11
to run your program.

Alt + Shift + R: Rename

When you want to rename a variable or a function, you dont have to re-type every single
instance of the old variable or function name, nor do you have to right-click on the name and
select Refactor > Rename when you can simply press Alt + Shift + R to rename ALL the

What other handy tips do you have for beginners? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 Comments 0 votes

May 22, 2012
Control + L is Go To Line Number
F3 takes you to the declaration of a function or variable

0 votes

Oded Arbel
May 22, 2012
Oh, and so much more! (and some more useful, IMHO):
- CTRL+SHIFT+T : open fast type browser start typing your class name to filter the list (also
accepts wildcards, like *StuffFacade) then use the up-down cursor keys to open the type.
- CTRL+SHIFT+R : open fast file browser like the above, but for files, so its useful when
developing non-Java code.
- CTRL-O : fast outline browser to jump to a method, hit they keys then start typing the
method name until the list is small enough so you can up-down to the required method.
- ALT-F8 : switch between perspective in a LRU manner (like ALT-TAB for applications)
- F12 : go to editor if your keyboard focus is in any other view, move the keyboard to the editor
view. Also, ALT-SHIFT-Q opens a fast list of all viewes you can access with a keyboard
shortcut (that is in the default form of ALT-SHIFT-) so you can easily switch to the required
view without remembering the actual shortcut.
- CTRL-E : open a fast list of editor tabs (including those not visible in the tab bar, which are
marked in bold) to easily find the editor tab you need. This list also supports type-to-filter.
- ALT-Up/ALT-Down : move the current line (or lines selected) in the editor up or down one
line while fixing indentation (so moving the line into an indented block will indent the line
correctly). Very useful for quick refactoring.
- F2 : Quick Javadoc opens a floating dialog with the javadoc for the symbol the cursor is on.
Use up-down to browser the documentation and ESC to dismiss.

0 votes

October 18, 2012
Highlight block of code then Ctrl-/ to comment it out.

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