CLion 2020.2 Help

LightEdit mode

When you need to edit just one file without creating or loading the whole project in CLion, you can use the LightEdit mode.

Keep in mind that the LightEdit mode works as a text-like editor, and it doesn't support the usual IDE editor features such as code completion, code navigation, or the autosave functionality. However, you can navigate to a specific line of code (Ctrl+G), fold or unfold parts of code, check, and change file encoding.

Open a file in the LightEdit mode

You can use several ways to open a file in the LightEdit mode.

Open a file from the local file system

  1. Locate the file you need in your file system, right click it and select Open With.

  2. Select the version of CLion with which you want to open a file and click Open.

Open a file from the command line

  1. If you don't have the CLion launcher configured, you need to configure it before you can open a file.

  2. Depending on your OS, open the file as you usually do when in command line.

Open a file from the CLion welcome screen

  1. On the welcome screen, click Open or Import.

  2. Select the file you need and click Open.

Open a file inside the opened project

You can open a non-project file in the already opened project.

  1. If you don't have the CLion launcher configured, you need to configure it before you can open a file.

  2. Depending on your OS, open the file adding the --project command before the name of your file.

    For example, for macOS the syntax would look as follows:

    clion --project myfile.txt

Work with code in the LightEdit mode

Even though the LightEdit mode doesn't support all of the CLion editor coding assistance, you can still use basic editing features and basic menu options.

  • Use the main menu to open recent files, show the line numbers, whitespaces, extend the code selection, and so on.

    When you select File | Open, CLion opens the Open File or Project dialog where you can quickly navigate to the opened file in the project's root directory. Click the Select opened file icon on the toolbar. Note that for macOs, the native dialog will open.

    When you edit a file, the blue color indication on the tab shows that the file content was changed.

  • Use the context menu for pasting or folding your code as well as switching to column selection mode.

  • Use the status bar to go to the line you need, check the VCS, or toggle the Autosave mode.

Turn on autosave

  • Click Autosave: off on the Status bar and select the Save changes automatically in the popup that opens.

Exit the LightEdit mode

You can quit the LightEdit mode and switch from editing a single file to working on the entire project.

  • Press Alt+Enter and select Open file in project.

  • Alternatively, select File | Open File in Project from the main menu.

Last modified: 16 September 2020