Tim Boudreau is a noted technology consultant, evangelist and author. While perhaps most broadly known for his leadership on Sun Microsystems’ NetBeans, those who’ve worked with Tim remark most on his technical chops, passion for a great challenge and rare gift of great communication. And, as a former troubadour, he’s pretty tough when it comes to bad 70s rock lyrics too. A real renaissance programmer. Tim has posted 25 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Tim Boudreau: Frequently Undiscovered Features in NetBeans

08.23.2014
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Tim Boudreau is a noted technology consultant, evangelist and author. Most broadly known for his leadership in the NetBeans project while it was part of Sun Microsystems, those who’ve worked with him remark most on his technical chops, passion for a challenge, and rare gift of great communication. And, as a former troubadour, he’s pretty tough when it comes to bad 70s rock lyrics too. A real renaissance programmer!

Since I know the insides of NetBeans, and wrote a few of these, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a few small features that not everybody knows about - call these frequently undiscovered features (perhaps we can coin the acronym FUF?):

  • Shift-click the X button in an editor tab to close all files (including that one)

  • Alt-click the X button in an editor tab to close everything *except* that one

  • The mouse wheel scrolls the editor tabs

  • You can bind Alt-R (or whatever) to the Rebuild action (i.e., do whatever the last build action was again) in Tools | Options | Keybindings - this one binding saves a bunch of keyboard-to-mouse-to-keyboard switches when you're tweaking code

  • You can gain a row of screen real-estate by passing `-J-Dnetbeans.winsys.statusLine.in.menuBar=true` in
    $NETBEANS/etc/netbeans.conf, inside the "netbeans_default_options" variable (does not work on Mac OS due to the screen menu bar)

  • If subpixel antialiasing isn't working for you, try
    `-J-Dswing.aatext=true -J-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=lcd -J-Dorg.netbeans.editor.aa.extra.hints=true` in the same place in `netbeans.conf`

  • Line Tools - the ability to use alt-shift-up-arrow/down-arrow to move a line or group of lines up or down in a source file is a real time-saver.  You can also press ctrl-shift-up-arrow/down-arrow and duplicate lines.
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Tim Boudreau.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Venkat Akkineni replied on Wed, 2014/08/27 - 10:11am

 Thankyou for the great collection. I can't find a rebuild action when I search for it in Keymap. Wonder if you are referring to Repeat Build/Run which points to Ctrl+F11 by default. If you are, doesn't that action rebuild the Main Project and not repeat the last build action ?


Peter Kirkham replied on Fri, 2014/08/29 - 3:27pm

The line tools are definitely wonderful features. So good in fact that once I discovered them I then went on to find that you can do similar things in other programs such as Word. But it was NetBeans that opened my eyes. Thanks for sharing your tips.

Tim Boudreau replied on Fri, 2014/08/29 - 3:58pm in response to: Venkat Akkineni

Yeah, Repeat Build/Run is what I'm referring to.  The trick is to make it a key combination that can be done with just my left hand.  I also bind Remove Trailing Spaces to Alt-Shift-D since I use that routinely, and Insert Code to Ctrl-I (which is its binding on Mac OS, but not other platforms).


Esfandiar Bandari replied on Tue, 2014/09/16 - 2:21am

The line tools are indeed great shortcuts.  So is control / for commenting a bunch of lines in C++ and Java.  Or Ctrl space for command/variable name completion.

Everytime I get back into Netbeans, the first thing I do is Google a list of everyone's favorite shortcuts :-)  

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