IntelliJ IDEA 2016.1 Help

Using Help Topics

In this section:

Documentation structure

IntelliJ IDEA documentation has the following structure:

Meet IntelliJ IDEA

This part contains system requirements and installation information, quick start guide that helps you get a grip of IntelliJ IDEA, the section Discover IntelliJ IDEA that outlines the main features of IntelliJ IDEA, the section First Steps with the tutorials that help you perform the most basic actions - create and run your first application.

Migration Guides

This part is intended for Eclipse and NetBeans users, who are about to move to IntelliJ IDEA.

How to

This contains information related to the platform features (such as, for example, using the IntelliJ IDEA editor, tool windows, or version control), and language- and framework-specific guidelines.


This part contains the miscellaneous information, which includes the basic concepts, or essentials, dialogs reference, icons reference, and more.

Using built-in documentation

Built-in documentation enables you to browse through the topics using the table of contents, find occurrences in the Search tab, or use the detailed Index that contains all keywords from all topics.

To bring up help contents, do one of the following

  • On the main menu, choose Help | Help Topics.
  • Press F1.
  • Click Help button, if it is available.

To find a particular piece of information

  1. Click the Search tab of the help viewer.
  2. In the search field, type the search string and press Enter.
  3. In the list of topics that contain occurrences of the search string, select the desired one. Occurrences are highlighted in the right pane of the help viewer.

To find a keyword in the Index tab

  1. Click the Index tab of the help viewer.
  2. In the search field, type the desired keyword and press Enter. The caret rests at the first occurrence of the keyword. Every time you press Enter, the caret moves to the next occurrence of the keyword. To see the information about a keyword, select one of its sub-entries.

Online documentation

On the IntelliJ IDEA site, find online documentation:

IntelliJ IDEA web help

The online version makes it possible to find entries in the table of contents, browse documentation with the table of contents, rate topics and express your opinion. The layout of online documentation consists of:

Table of contents pane

This pane shows the table of contents.

  • Use this pane to browse through the topics.
  • Click hide_toc button to show or hide this pane.
  • If for some reason your browser fails to show actual table of contents, refresh the page.

Topics pane

This pane shows the topic that is currently selected in the table of contents.

  • In the Keymap drop-down list, choose the platform you want to view keyboard shortcuts in (Windows/Linux, OS X etc.)

Finding a piece of information in the table of contents

  1. Switch to the Table of contents pane.
  2. In the Search IntelliJ IDEA help field, type your query.
  3. Press Enter.

    The table contents shrinks to show the search results. Click the desired entry to show the corresponding page in the Topic pane.

Last modified: 13 July 2016