CLion 2019.1 Help


A scope (the Scope icon) is a subset of files, and/or directories in your project, to which you can limit the application of specific operations, for example search, code inspection, etc. Besides, you can configure coloring for each scope to see at once what sort of file you are dealing with.

Scopes get more helpful as your project grows larger. There is a number of predefined scopes that cover basic cases. Additionally, it is possible to add custom scopes to your project. For example, you can create custom scopes for tests or for the files you are responsible for in your team.

Types of scopes

Scopes can be either shared or local:

  • Local scopes are intended for personal use only and are stored in your workspace in the workspace.xml file under .idea.

  • Shared scopes are accessible for the team members via VCS and are stored at the project level. in the scopes directory under .idea, as a file with the .xml extension, that is .idea/scopes/<scope_name>.xml.

You can quickly share a local scope (or make a shared scope local) by using the Share through VCS checkbox on the Appearance & Behavior | Scopes page of the Settings/Preferences dialog (Ctrl+Alt+S). For more information on managing scopes, see Scopes and File Colors.

Defining scopes

CLion provides a special language that enables you to flexibly define the sets of entities included in a scope.

See Scope Language Syntax Reference for details.

To create and edit scopes, use the Scopes page of the Settings/Preferences dialog.

Scopes are defined in the following modes:

  • Manually, by specifying file masks according to the scope language syntax in the Pattern field.

  • By selecting files and folders and clicking the buttons Include, Include Recursively, Exclude, and Exclude Recursively. Based on the inclusion/exclusion, CLion creates an expression and displays it in the Pattern.

    Refer to the section Scopes and File Colors.

To view the available scopes, click the the Down icon (next to the Project header of the Project Tool Window.

Scopes coloring

Files that belong to different scopes can be highlighted in different colors throughout the CLion's user interface: in navigation lists, in the editor tabs, in the Project Tool Window. This allows much faster and easier navigation in large projects.

If some file is included into several scopes, the order of the scopes becomes important: CLion uses the color of the uppermost scope (shown in the Scopes settings page) to highlight such file. Of course, you can change the order of the scopes, and thus the resulted highlighting.

For detailed instructions on how to configure the scope order and scope-color associations, see Scopes and File Colors.

Predefined scopes

CLion provides the following predefined scopes:

  • Problems. This scope includes files within the project content roots in which there were found syntax errors.

  • Project Files. This scope includes all the files within the project content roots. Libraries and frameworks, generally, are not included in this scope.

  • Project Source Files. This scope corresponds to the files with project sources.

  • Project Non-Source Files. This scope corresponds to the files other than source files.

  • Scratches and Consoles. This scope includes project scratch files and consoles content.

Predefined scopes cannot be edited.

Last modified: 24 July 2019

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