The latest expert opinions, articles, and guides for the Java professional.

Top Java IDE Keyboard Shortcuts for Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA & NetBeans

Introduction to your next generation Text Editor

We believe that smart tools enable creative work with any project, no matter how big or small it is, be it a fresh startup or something that’s been in development for a long time.
– Max Shafirov, CEO of JetBrains, makers of IntelliJ IDEA

Brief Overview of the IDE landscape

If you’re just joining the conversation, then you probably know quite well that IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment, and is most likely one the first tools you learned how to use (unless vi was more your style). IDEs emerged in order to give developers working on more complex applications more of a feature-rich experience. At least, more than a glorious notepad capable of opening multiple documents at the same time.

Top Java IDE keyboard shortcuts for Eclipse, Intellij IDEA and Netbeans Java Tools and Technologies Landscape for 2014 reportAs you can see in the image from Java Tools and Technologies Landscape 2014 (below), in Java we have about a dozen (or maybe more) options for developers to give their gorgeous code life: Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans, Spring Tool Suite, IBM RAD, MyEclipse, JBoss Dev Studio and Codenvy (formerly “eXo IDE”) are some products designed to fulfill our IDE requirements, but predecessors to what many consider “modern IDEs” – such as vi/vim, Emacs and Notepad++ – are still in use by small segments of hardcore fans.

Top Java IDE keyboard shortcuts for Eclipse, Intellij IDEA and Netbeans Java Tools and Technologies Landscape for 2014 report IDE used most often

These days, IDEs are more or less ubiquitous, with 97% of developers surveyed in a 2013 RebelLabs survey reportedly using one. In modern IDEs, opening multiple projects, figuring out dependencies between them, integrating the build systems, navigating type systems, and even the plain automatic compilation on save is something so common in the Java world that we don’t even consider these actions as features. They are must-haves that are basically non-negotiable. Indeed, many developers don’t even consider using a programming language for any serious work if the IDE support for it is lacking.

Considering that over 90% of Java devs out there are using Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA or NetBeans, and Spring Tool Suite is an implementation of Eclipse with mostly the same shortcuts, we’ve decided to focus on these three IDEs.

Top Java IDE keyboard shortcuts for Eclipse, Intellij IDEA and Netbeans report

This report is ultimately a quick guide for learning the shortcuts and, to an extent, a bit more about the features, of Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA and NetBeans. Our goal here is to help you learn your current IDE better, so that you can be more fluent or learn new features. We also hope you’ll get a decent snapshot of other IDEs and how things are done elsewhere, in case you decide to ever switch some day.

So, let’s find out a little bit more about each of them, starting with our market leader, Eclipse…


Responses (7)

  1. Avatar  

    Aleksey Zhidkov

    November 12, 2014 @ 6:10 am

    There is list of mistakes in IDEA shortcuts (edit: for Windows), which i found:
    – Open resource / Navigate to file – Ctrl + Shift + N instead of Ctrl + Shift + O
    – Open type – Ctrl + N instead of Ctrl + O
    – Go to Symbol – Ctrl + Alt + Shift + N instead of Ctrl + Alt + G
    – Go to line – Ctrl + G instead of None
    – Tab / File switcher – Ctrl + Tab instead of Ctrl + Left/Right
    – Next view (editor) – Alt + Rigth/Left instead of Ctrl + Left/Right
    – Quick switch editor – Ctrl + Tab or Ctrl + E instead of None
    – Select identifier – don’t understand what do you mean, but your’s Alt + Shift + Up is move lines (appears in same table)
    – Correct indentation – it’s not working on linux and i can not find this functionality in IDEA
    – Inspect code hierachy – don’t understand what do you mean, but your’s Ctrl + Alt + H is callers hierarhy
    – Open / Navigate to declaration – Ctrl + b instead of F3

  2. Avatar  


    November 12, 2014 @ 8:17 am

    Those aren’t mistakes actually. It seems the shortcuts were recorded from Mac OS X 10.5+, which is default in IDEA for Mac. So Ctrl+Shift+O is correct, as well as others.

  3. Avatar  

    Aleksey Zhidkov

    November 12, 2014 @ 8:25 am

    But they are in Windows column, so this cheatsheets are useless for non-Mac users.
    Anyway, I know all this shortcuts and just wanted to help:)

  4. Avatar  


    November 12, 2014 @ 8:43 am

    Hehe, I think Oleg has to re-check his tables now :) Thx!

  5. Avatar  

    Oleg Šelajev

    November 12, 2014 @ 11:53 am

    Thanks, Aleksey, for your eagle eyes and the patience to write it down.

    This was a honest mistake on my part, I have no idea why these incorrect shortcuts propagated to the result.

    However, after you mentioned it, we’ve come back to the tables and rechecked them. And verified it. And checked the other shortcuts in the tables, not just the wrong ones. Hopefully there are much less errors now.

    Currently the updated version of the pdf is uploaded and the images in the html version are fixed as well.
    Thanks again! I like that the report is better now.

  6. Avatar  

    Oliver White

    November 18, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    Alright, all tables rid of human error by superior robot beings. Enjoy the cheatsheets folks! And share with colleagues :-)

  7. Avatar  


    November 21, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

    “Scala – Scala is the most desired Object Oriented and Functional JVM language, and very popular among IntelliJ IDEA users.”

    pretty sure you’re misinterpreting this one. the eclipse plugin is horribly broken. i actually remember switching to intellij for a project because eclipse was so unusable.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment