IntelliJ IDEA 14.1.0 Help

User Interface

In this section:

No workspace

The first thing you'll notice when launching IntelliJ IDEA is that it has no workspace concept. This means that you can work with only one project at a time. While in Eclipse you normally have a set of projects that may depend on each other, in IntelliJ IDEA you have a single project that consists of a set of modules.

If you have several unrelated projects, you can open them in separate windows. At first you may find this an inconvenience, but, in fact, it works to your advantage helping you stay more productive as you're always focused on one project at a time.

If you still want to have several unrelated projects opened in one window, as a workaround you can configure them all in IntelliJ IDEA as modules.

No perspectives

The second big surprise when people are switching to IntelliJ IDEA is that it has no perspectives. It means that you don't need to switch between different workspace layouts manually to perform different tasks. The IDE follows your context and brings up the relevant tools automatically.

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Tool windows

Just like in Eclipse, in IntelliJ IDEA you also have tool windows. To open a tool window, simple click it in the tool window bar:

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If the tool window bar is hidden, you can open any tool window by hovering over the corresponding icon in the bottom left corner:

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If you want to make the tool window bar visible for a moment, you can press Alt (Cmd for OS X) twice and hold it.

If you don't want to use the mouse, you can always switch to any toolbar by pressing the shortcut assigned to it. The most important shortcuts to remember are:

  • Project: Alt+1
  • Changes: Alt+9
  • Terminal: Alt+F12

Another thing about tool windows is that you can drag, pin, unpin, attach and detach them:

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To help store/restore the tool windows layout, there are two useful commands:

  • Window | Store Current Layout as Default
  • Window | Restore Default Layout also available via Ctrl+F12

Multiple windows

Windows management in IntelliJ IDEA is slightly different. You can't open several windows with one project, but what you can do is detach any number of editor tabs into separate windows.

Auto-scrolling to/from sources

By default, IntelliJ IDEA doesn't change the selection in the Project tool window when you switch between editor tabs. However, you can enable it in the tool window settings:

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Enabling line numbers

Line numbers are not shown in the editor by default. To enable them, go to Settings | Editor | General | Appearance | Show line numbers. There you will also find other useful settings.

See Also

Concepts:

Web Resources:

Last modified: 14 July 2015