IntelliJ IDEA 14.0.0 Web Help

Live Templates

File | Settings | Editor | Live Templates


Use this page to create, manage, and edit live templates.

On this page:

List of available live templates

Item Tooltip and shortcut Description
By default expand with Use this drop-down list to specify the default invocation key for all templates. Individual expansion keys for the particular templates are defined in the editing area.

14.0+If the standard expansion keys (Tab, Enter, or Space) are not desirable, select the Custom option from this drop-down list.

When Custom is selected, the Change link appears next to the drop-down, leading you to the Keymap page.

Live Templates This list shows all currently available template abbreviations supplied with their descriptions. The abbreviations are grouped below nodes and sorted alphabetically within each group. To activate a template or an entire group, select the check box to its left.
add,png Add
Alt+Insert
Click this button to have a new template item added to the current group of template. You can define the template abbreviation, description, text, variables, expansion key, and context in the editing area below.
delete.png Remove
Delete
Click this button to have the selected live template removed from the list.
copy.gif Copy Click this button to create a new template based on the selected template. A new template item is added to the current node and the fields in the Template Text area show the definition of the selected template.

Context menu of a live template

Item Description
Move Choose a group to move the selected template to.
Change context Choose this command to modify the set of contexts where the current template is enabled. Upon choosing this command, a list of supported language contexts is displayed. To make IntelliJ IDEA consider a context sensitive to the template, select a check box next to the context name.

The available context types depend on the enabled plugins.

13.1+Restore defaults This command only appears on the context menus of the modified templates, marked blue. Choose this command to restore the default template settings.

Template editing area

The focus is moved to this area in the following cases:

  • When you click the Add add,png or Copy copy.gif button.
  • When you select a live template in the list.
  • When you select a fragment of code in the editor and choose Tools | Save as Live Template.

Use controls of this area to create new live templates and edit the settings for the existing ones.

You can navigate through the Template Text Area using the hot keys that are marked in the field labels.

Item Description
Abbreviation In this text box, specify the template abbreviation.
Description In this text box, provide optional description of a template or an example of its usage.
Template Text In this text box, type the template body that may contain plain text and variables in the format $<variable name>$.

When editing the live template variables, mind the following helpful hints:

  • If you need a dollar sign ($) in the template text, escape it by duplicating this character ($$).
  • To change the variables in a template, click the Edit Variables button and configure the variables as described in Creating and Editing Template Variables.

The Edit Variables button is enabled only if the template body contains at least one user-defined variable, that is, a variable different from $END$ or $SELECTION$.

IntelliJ IDEA supports two predefined live template variables: $END$ and $SELECTION$.

You cannot edit the predefined live template variables $END$ and $SELECTION$.

  • $END$ indicates the position of the cursor after the template is expanded. For example, the template return $END$; will be expanded into
    return ;

    with the cursor positioned right before the semicolon.

  • $SELECTION$ is used in surround templates and stands for the code fragment to be wrapped. After the template is expanded, the selected text is wrapped as specified in the template.

    For example, if you select EXAMPLE in your code and invoke the "$SELECTION$" template via the assigned abbreviation or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and selecting the desired template from the list, IntelliJ IDEA will wrap the selection in double quotes as follows:

    "EXAMPLE"
    .

Applicable in: This read-only field shows the languages and/or pieces of code where the editor should be sensitive to the template. Upon pressing Ctrl+J in such context, IntelliJ IDEA displays a list of templates that are valid for this context.
Change Click this link to modify the set of contexts where the current template is enabled. Upon clicking the link, a list of supported language contexts is displayed. To make IntelliJ IDEA consider a context sensitive to the template, select a check box next to the context name.

The available context types depend on the enabled plugins.

Edit Variables Click this button to open the Edit Template Variables dialog box, where you can define how IntelliJ IDEA should process template variables upon template expansion.

The Edit Variables button is enabled only if the template body contains at least one user-defined variable, that is, a variable different from $END$ or $SELECTION$.

The Edit Template Variables dialog box contains a complete list of available functions. See the list of predefined functions below on this page.
Options In this area, define the behavior of the editor when a template is expanded.
  • Expand with - from this drop-down list, choose the key to invoke the template.
  • Reformat according to style - select this check box to have IntelliJ IDEA automatically reformat the expanded text according to the current style settings, defined on the Code Style page.
  • Use static import if possible - select this check box to have IntelliJ IDEA add static import statements instead of inserting Class.methodName().
  • Shorten FQ names - select this check box to have IntelliJ IDEA truncate fully qualified names in the expanded template and add the corresponding import statements.

Predefined Functions to Use in Live Template Variables

Item Description
annotated("annotation qname") Creates a symbol of type with an annotation that resides at the specified location.
arrayVariable() Suggests all array variables applicable in the current scope. For an example, see Live Templates in the iterations group.
capitalize(<name>) Capitalizes the first letter of the name passed as a parameter.
capitalizeAndUnderscore(<String>) Capitalizes the all letters of a CamelCase name passed as a parameter, and inserts an underscore between the parts. For example, if the string passed as a parameter is FooBar, then the function returns FOO_BAR.
castToLeftSideType() Casts the right-side expression to the left-side expression type. It is used in the iterations group to have a single template for generating both raw-type and Generics Collections.
className() Returns the name of the current class (the class where the template is expanded).
classNameComplete() This expression substitutes for the class name completion at the variable position.
clipboard() Returns the contents of the system clipboard.
complete() This expression substitutes for the code completion invocation at the variable position.
completeSmart() This expression substitutes for the smart type completion invocation at the variable position.
componentTypeOf (<array variable or array type>) Returns component type of an array. For example, see the Live Templates in the iterations group in the other group.
currentPackage() Returns the current package name.
date() Returns the current system date in the specified format.

By default, the current date is returned in the default system format. However, if you specify date format in double quotes, the date will be presented in this format:

date_format
decapitalize(<name>) Replaces the first letter of the name passed as a parameter with the corresponding lowercase letter.
descendantClassEnum(<String>) Shows the children of the class entered as a string parameter.
enum(...) List of comma-delimited strings suggested for completion at the template invocation.
escapeString() Escapes the specified string.
expectedType() Returns the type which is expected as a result of the whole template. Makes sense if the template is expanded in the right part of an assignment, after return, etc.
fileName() Returns file name with extension.
fileNameWithoutExtension() Returns file name without extension.
firstWord(String) Returns the first word of the string passed as a parameter.
groovyScript("groovy code") Returns Groovy script with the specified code.
You can use groovyScript macro with multiple arguments. The first argument is a script text that is executed or a path to the file that contains a script. The next arguments are bound to _1, _2, _3, ..._n variables that are available inside your script.
Also, _editor variable is available inside the script. This variable is bound to the current editor.
guessElementType (<container>) Makes a guess on the type of elements stored in a java.util.Collection. To make a guess, IntelliJ IDEA tries to find the places where the elements were added to or extracted from the container.
iterableComponentType(<ArrayOrIterable>) Returns the type of an iterable component, such as an array or a collection.
iterableVariable() Returns the name of a variable that can be iterated.
lineNumber() Returns the current line number.
methodName() Returns the name of the embracing method (where the template is expanded).
methodParameters() Returns the list of parameters of the embracing method (where the template is expanded).
methodReturnType() Returns the type of the value returned by the current method (the method within which the template is expanded).
qualifiedClassName() Returns the fully qualified name of the current class (the class where the template is expanded).
rightSideType() Declares the left-side variable with a type of the right-side expression. It is used in the iterations group to have a single template for generating both raw-type and Generics Collections.
snakeCase(String) Returns snake_case string out of CamelCase string.
subtypes(TYPE) Returns the subtypes of the type passed as a parameter.
suggestIndexName() Suggests the name of an index variable. Returns i if there is no such variable in scope, otherwise returns j if there is no such variable in scope, etc.
suggestVariableName() Suggests the name for a variable based on the variable type and its initializer expression, according to your code style settings that refer to the variable naming rules.
For example, if it is a variable that holds an element within iteration, IntelliJ IDEA makes a guess on the most reasonable names, also taking into account the name of the container being iterated.
suggestFirstVariableName() Doesn't suggest true, false, this, super.
time() Returns the current system time.
typeOfVariable(VAR) Returns the type of the variable passed as a parameter.
underscoresToCamelCase Returns the string passed as a parameter with CamelHump letters substituting for underscores. For example, if the string passed as a parameter is foo_bar, then the function returns fooBar.
underscoresToSpaces(VAR) Returns the string passed as a parameter with spaces substituting for underscores.
user() Returns the name of the current user.
variableOfType(<type>) Suggests all variables that may be assigned to the type passed as a parameter, for example variableOfType("java.util.Vector"). If you pass an empty string ("") as a parameter, suggests all variables regardless of their types.
JsArrayVariable Returns JavaScript array name.
jsClassName() Returns the name of the current JavaScript class.
jsComponentType Returns the JavaScript component type.
jsMethodName() Returns the name of the current JavaScript method.
jsQualifiedClassName Returns the complete name of the current JavaScript class.
jsSuggestIndexName Returns a suggested name for an index.
jsSuggestVariableName Returns a suggested name for a variable.

See Also

Last modified: 12 November 2014
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