Eclipse IDE Shortcuts: Speed Up Your Coding Workflow

Alexander Obregon
3 min readMay 1, 2023
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Introduction

When it comes to productivity in software development, nothing beats a streamlined workflow. One way to achieve this is by mastering your Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and knowing all its shortcuts. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most useful Eclipse IDE shortcuts that will help you speed up your coding process.

Quick Access (Ctrl + 3)

Eclipse’s Quick Access allows you to easily search for and execute commands, open views, or navigate to files. To use this shortcut, press Ctrl + 3 and start typing to search for any command, view, or file.

// Press Ctrl + 3 and type "Console" to quickly open the Console view.

Content Assist (Ctrl + Space)

Content Assist provides code completion suggestions as you type. Press Ctrl + Space to get a list of available options based on your current context.

public class HelloWorld {
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out. // Press Ctrl + Space here to get suggestions.
}
}

Organize Imports (Ctrl + Shift + O)

This shortcut automatically organizes and sorts your imports, removing any unused imports and adding any missing ones.

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Arrays;

public class MyClass {
public static void main(String[] args) {
List<String> myList = Arrays.asList("a", "b", "c");
// Press Ctrl + Shift + O to automatically add the necessary import for List.
}
}

Open Declaration (F3 or Ctrl + Click)

This shortcut helps you navigate to the declaration of a method, class, or variable. To use it, place your cursor on the element you want to navigate to and press F3 or Ctrl + Click.

public class MyClass {
public static void main(String[] args) {
sayHello();
}

public static void sayHello() {
System.out.println("Hello, World!");
}
}
// Place cursor on sayHello() in main method and press F3 to navigate to its declaration.

Find References (Ctrl + Shift + G)

Find all the references to a selected method, class, or variable across your project by pressing Ctrl + Shift + G.

public class MyClass {
public static void main(String[] args) {
sayHello();
}

public static void sayHello() {
System.out.println("Hello, World!");
}
}
// Select sayHello() method and press Ctrl + Shift + G to find all its references.

Refactor (Alt + Shift + R)

Refactor code easily by renaming elements, extracting methods, or introducing variables with Alt + Shift + R.

public class MyClass {
public static void main(String[] args) {
int a = 5;
int b = 3;
int sum = a + b;
System.out.println("The sum is: " + sum);
// Select the variable "sum" and press Alt + Shift + R to rename it.
}
}

Comment/Uncomment (Ctrl + /)

Quickly comment or uncomment a single line or a block of code by selecting it and pressing Ctrl + /.

public class MyClass {
public static void main(String[] args) {
// Press Ctrl + / with the cursor on this line to uncomment the code below.
// System.out.println("Hello, World!");
}
}

Conclusion

Mastering these Eclipse IDE shortcuts will help you work more efficiently and speed up your coding workflow. As you get familiar with these shortcuts, you’ll find yourself spending less time navigating through menus and more time focusing on writing and improving your code. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep using these shortcuts to become an even more productive developer.

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Alexander Obregon

Software Engineer, fervent coder & writer. Devoted to learning & assisting others. Connect on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-obregon-97849b229/