IntelliJ IDEA 2019.3 Help

Configuring Scopes and File Colors

A scope is a filtered subset of files, packages and directories in your project. When you enable a scope view, you limit operations like search and code inspection to the selected scope. This section describes how to configure scopes and coloring of the files belonging to these scopes.

Create a new scope

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Appearance & Behavior | Scopes.

  2. Click Add scope (Insert) icon, select Local or Shared from the list, and specify the name of the scope.

    • Local scopes are intended for personal use only and are stored in your workspace. Default location: the *.iws file in the file-based project format, or %HOMEPATH%\\.<product><version>\config\projects\<project_name>\.idea\workspace.xml

    • Shared scopes are defined for the current project and accessible for the team members via VCS. Default location: %HOMEPATH%\ \.<product><version>\config\projects\<project_name>\.idea\scopes\

Configure a list of items in a scope

  1. In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Appearance & Behavior | Scopes and select the scope that you want to configure.

  2. To define a pattern for the scope, perform one of the following actions:

    • To include files and directories in the scope, select files and directories and press Include or Include Recursively (with subdirectories) buttons. To exclude a file or a directory, use Exclude or Exclude Recursively. IntelliJ IDEA creates an expression and displays it in the Pattern field.

    • Specify a pattern in the Pattern field manually, using the scope language syntax .

  3. Click Apply.

Associate file color with a scope

Files that belong to different scopes can be highlighted in different colors throughout the IntelliJ IDEA'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.

Scope highlighting in the editor tabs and search results

Associate file color with a scope

  1. Navigate to File | Settings | Appearance & Behavior | File Colors.

  2. Click Add Add icon.

  3. In the Add Color Label dialog, select a scope and pick a color for it.

  4. Click OK.

  5. Define the area where you want to use scope colors. To define the area, select Use in Editor Tabs or Use in Project View checkboxes.

  6. Select the accessibility level of the scope color association. To share the color association, click the Share icon (Share icon).

    The default location for file color associations is %HOMEPATH%\ \.<product><version>\config\projects\<project_name>\.idea\fileColors.xml

  7. Apply changes.

Arrange the order of scopes

If some file is included into several scopes, the order of the scopes becomes important: IntelliJ IDEA 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.

Arrange the order of scopes

  1. Navigate to Files | Settings | Appearance & Behavior | Scopes.

  2. Select a scope that you want to move.

  3. To change the order, click the Move Up button (Alt+Up) or the Move Down button (Alt+Down).

  4. Click Apply.

Last modified: 26 April 2020