Tech Blog

Quick Eclipse Tip

Posted by Jim Kiley

Mar 13, 2013 4:29:28 AM

Thanks to tabbed web browsers and Office, I am in the habit of using control-tab (and its spouse, control-shift-tab) to switch between tabs in applications.

I want to use these bad boys to flip through my editors in Eclipse. Does anybody know the default keybinding for “next editor” and “previous editor” in Eclipse? Anybody? It’s control-F6 and control-shift-F6. I can do control-tab without moving my hands from the keyboard, but control-F6? F6 is a full astronomical unit*† away from my fingertips.

If I’m using a highly-customizable tool like an IDE, I make a point of figuring out how to fix anything that annoys me. So here’s how to fix this keybinding issue in Eclipse. It’s super easy.

Go to Windows > Preferences > General > Keys

Click on the text box near the top, and search for "next editor". Eclipse narrows down its results set as you type, so as soon as you see the "next editor" row in the result set, click on it.

Now, in the "binding" text area, click the mouse, then hit backspace to delete the mapping that's already in there (ctrl + F6). Then hit ctrl + tab, and click Apply.

Next repeat the above process to replace ctrl + shift + F6 with ctrl + shift + tab:

In the search area search for "previous editor" and click on the result row when it comes up. In the "binding" text area, click the mouse, then hit backspace to delete the mapping that's already in there (ctrl + shift + F6), then hit ctrl + shift + tab, and click Apply.

Then click OK.

And your life improves just a little bit.

* Approximately 93 million miles
† It isn't actually that far

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