Basic Example

Creating a Live Template to add a `private void method`

In this example, we're going to create a Live Template to insert the code construct for private void method:

private void <methodName>(<optional arguments>) {

  1. Open your Settings/Preferences ⌘, (macOS) / Ctrl+Alt+S (Windows/Linux).
  2. Search for "live templates":

Settings and Preferences

  1. The Live Templates are grouped by language. For this example, select the Java node.
  2. Select the new icon on the right and then 1. Live Template.

New Live Template option

  1. Enter an abbreviation of prvm. This is the characters that will trigger the Live Template when you type them in and press (macOS) / Enter (Windows/Linux).

  2. Enter a description of Creates a new private void method.

  3. In the Template text field, enter:

private void $METHOD_NAME$($ARGS$) {

Variables start and end with the $ (dollar) sign and are used to capture your input when you use the Live Template. You can name your variables in any way you like, however the $END$ variable is pre-defined in IntelliJ IDEA and determines where the caret lands at the end of your Live Template:

Code Meaning
$METHOD_NAME$ Variable for the name of the method
$ARGS$ Variable for method arguments
$END$ Variable for the carets final location
  1. Press Edit variables. Default values aren't mandatory, however they are helpful in some Live Templates to remind you what code to enter when you use the Live Template. Enter a default value for $METHOD_NAME$ of methodName.
  2. You can enter a default value for $ARGS$ if you want to, however we're going to leave it blank. The $END$ variable doesn't appear here because you can't edit it:

Edit variables

  1. Press OK and then select the Define link at the bottom of the dialog box to define the context in which this Live Template will be available.
  2. Select Java | Declaration:

Code for basic live template example

  1. Press OK and go back to your Java class. Remember the context for this Live Template is declaration so inside a class type prvm. This is the acronym we used when we created the Live Template:

Invoking the private void method live template

  1. Press (macOS) / Enter (Windows/Linux) to use the Live Template. The default value we entered for the variable $METHOD_NAME$ will be highlighted. Give your new method a name which overwrites the default value of methodName then press (macOS) / Tab (Windows/Linux).
  2. Enter any arguments you want to pass in to your method and press (macOS) / Tab (Windows/Linux) again.
  3. Your caret will now be in the correct location inside your new method to start typing code.

Private void method declaration

Congratulations, you've created a Live Template to insert a private void method! In the next example we will create a Live Template from an existing snippet of code and use Functions.