Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Recently Used Files chooser for Eclipse

Back in March, I posted a Recently Used Files chooser as a possible enhancement to the Eclipse Workbench (aka Platform UI). It shows the 15 most recently opened files in a quick pop-up, similar to the Ctrl+O popup for the Java outline, and supports type-ahead filtering.

To install:
  • download the binary plugin,
  • ensure that it's named "org.eclipse.ui.recentfiles_1.0.0.jar" (I've seen the name get munged by the browser before),
  • put it in your eclipse/plugins directory, and
  • restart eclipse with -clean.
I typically bind it to Ctrl+E, replacing the existing binding to the editor list. See comment 4 for instructions on how to do this.

I use it on a day-to-day basis (currently on Eclipse 3.3 M5, but moving to M6 any moment now). It's particularly useful when you've just closed all your editor tabs (Ctrl+Shift+W) but then want to go back to a file you just had open.

It works well when your working set of files is smallish. If it grows beyond 15, then Open Type (Ctrl+Shift+T) is still your friend.

Note that the Workbench already maintained this list of recently used files. It's the same as shown in the File menu, though the File menu only shows 4 by default. This can be bumped up via the "Size of recently opened files list" entry under Window > Preferences > General > Editors. But I find the convenient Ctrl+E binding, the central location of the pop-up, and the type-ahead filtering make the chooser much more usable.

If you try it, let me know what you think, either here or in the bug report.

No comments: