IntelliJ IDEA 2021.1 Help

Source code navigation

You can quickly navigate through code in the editor using different actions and popups. For the detailed information on navigating between the editor and tool windows, check the editor basics.

You can start with watching a video tutorial to check what navigation options are available in IntelliJ IDEA.

Navigate with the caret

  • To navigate backwards, press Ctrl+Alt+Left. To navigate forward, press Ctrl+Alt+Right.

  • To navigate to the last edited location, press Ctrl+Shift+Backspace.

  • To find the current caret location in the editor, press Ctrl+M. This action might be helpful if you do not want to scroll through a large file.

    However, you can press the Up and Down arrow keys to achieve the same result.

  • To highlight a word at the caret you are trying to locate, select Edit | Find | Next Occurrence of the Word at Caret from the main menu.

  • To see on what element the caret is currently positioned, press Alt+Q.

  • To move caret between matching code block braces, press Ctrl+Shift+M.

  • To navigate between code blocks, press Ctrl+[ or Ctrl+].

Move the caret

You can use different actions to move the caret through code. You can also configure where the caret should stop when moved by words and on line breaks.

  • To move the caret to the next word or the previous word, press Ctrl+Right or Ctrl+Left.

    By default, IntelliJ IDEA moves the caret to the end of the current word.

    When you move the caret to the previous word, the caret is placed in the beginning of the current word. You can configure the position of the caret when you use these actions.

    In the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General. In the Caret Movement section, use the When moving by words and Upon line break options to configure the caret's behavior.

  • To move the caret forward to the next paragraph or backward to the previous one, press Ctrl+Shift+A and search for the Move Caret Forward a Paragraph or Move Caret Backward a Paragraph action.

    You can also select a text and then move the caret forward or backward to a paragraph. Press Ctrl+Shift+A and search for the Move Caret Forward a Paragraph with Selection or Move Caret Backward a Paragraph with Selection action.

    If you need, you can assign shortcuts to these actions. Refer to Configure keyboard shortcuts for details.

Find recent locations

You can also check your recently viewed or changed code using the Recent Locations popup.

  • To open the Recent Locations popup, press Ctrl+Shift+E. The list starts with the latest visited location at the top and contains code snippets.

    Recent Locations popup
  • While in the popup, use the same shortcut or select the Show changed only checkbox to see only the locations with changed code.

    Show changed only option
  • To search for a code snippet, in the Recent Locations popup, start typing your search query. You can search by the code text, filename, or breadcrumbs.

    Search locations
  • To delete a location entry from the search results, press either Delete or Backspace.

    Keep in mind that the deleted location is also removed from the list of entries that you access with the Ctrl+Alt+Left shortcut.

Use bookmarks for navigation

  • To create an anonymous bookmark, place the caret at the needed code line and press F11.

  • To create a bookmark with mnemonics, place the caret at the needed code line, press Ctrl+F11 and select a number or a letter for the mnemonics.

    bookmarks with mnemonics

  • To show the next or the previous bookmark, in the main menu select Navigate | Bookmarks | Next Bookmark or Navigate | Bookmarks | Previous Bookmark.

  • To open the Bookmarks dialog, press Shift+F11. You can use this dialog to manage bookmarks, for example, delete, sort bookmarks, or supply them with a brief description.

    Bookmarks dialog

  • To navigate to an existing bookmark with letter mnemonics, press Shift+F11 and then press a letter you need. IntelliJ IDEA returns you to the editor and to the corresponding bookmark.

  • To navigate to an existing bookmark with number mnemonics, press Ctrl and the bookmark's number.

  • Every created bookmark is reflected in the Favorites Alt+2 (View | Tool Windows | Favourites) tool window which you can also use for navigation to your bookmarks.

    Favorites window

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Down/ Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Up.

  • From the main menu, choose Navigate | Next / Previous Change.

  • Click a change marker, and then click the Previous Change button or the Next Change button.

See recent changes

You can use the Recent Changes popup to see a list of files that were changed either locally or externally in your project. If necessary, you can revert those changes.

  1. From the main menu, select View | Recent Changes Alt+Shift+C.

    the Recent Changes popup

  2. In the Recent Changes popup, select a file you need and press Enter to open it in a separate dialog where you can check what was changed and revert those changes if necessary.

You can navigate to the initial declaration of a symbol and symbol's type from its usage.

Go to declaration and its type

  • Place the caret at the desired symbol and press Ctrl+B.

    Go to Declaration
  • For a type declaration, press Ctrl+Shift+B.

Go to implementation

You can keep track of class implementations and overriding methods either using the gutter icons in the editor or pressing the appropriate shortcuts.

  • Click one of the the Implemented method icon/ the Implementing method icon, the Overridden method icon/ the Overriding method icon gutter icons located in the editor and select the desired ascendant or descendant class from the list.

    Gutter icons

  • To navigate to the super method, press Ctrl+U.

  • To navigate to the implementation, press Ctrl+Alt+B.

Show siblings

You can view the implementations of methods in the neighboring classes in a separate popup.

  1. In the editor, place the caret at the method's name.

  2. From the main menu, select View | Show Siblings.

    IntelliJ IDEA opens a popup where you can browse through the implementations, navigate to source, edit code, and open the list in the Find tool window.

    Show siblings

You can automatically locate a class in the Project tool window.

  1. If the class is opened in the editor, press Alt+F1 to open the Select In popup.

    Select in popup

  2. In the popup, select Project View and press Enter. IntelliJ IDEA locates your target in the Project tool window.

Locate a file in the Project tool window

You can use the Open Files with Single Click (previously called Autoscroll to Source) and Always Select Opened Files (previously called Autoscroll from Source) actions to locate your file in the Project tool window.

  1. In the Project tool window, right-click the Project toolbar and from the context menu select Always Select Opened File. After that IntelliJ IDEA will track the file that is currently opened in the active editor tab and locate it in the Project tool window automatically.

    Context menu

  2. You can also select the Open Files with Single Click option. In this case, when you click a file in the Project view, IntelliJ IDEA will automatically open it in the editor.

  • To jump to the next or previous found issue in your code, press F2 or Shift+F2 respectively. Alternatively, from the main menu, select Navigate | Next / Previous Highlighted Error.

    IntelliJ IDEA places the caret immediately before the code issue.

  • Configure the way IntelliJ IDEA navigates between code issues: it can either jump between all code issues or skip minor issues and only navigate between detected errors. Right-click the code analysis marker in the scroll bar area and choose one of the available navigation modes from the context menu:

    • To have IntelliJ IDEA skip warnings, infos, and other minor issues, choose Go to high priority problems only.

    • To have IntelliJ IDEA jump between all detected code issues, choose Go to next problem.

Locate a code element with the Structure view popup

You can use the structure view popup to locate a code element in the file you are working on.

  1. To open the structure view popup, press Ctrl+F12.

  2. In the popup, locate an item you need. You can start typing a name of the element for IntelliJ IDEA to narrow down the search. Press Enter to return to the editor and the corresponding element.

    While in the popup, you can sort file members, see anonymous classes and inherited members.

    Structure View popup

Browse through methods

  • Press Alt+Down or Alt+Up.

  • To visually separate methods in code, in the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General | Appearance and select the Show method separators option.

    Method Separators in Editor
  • To open the Structure tool window, press Alt+7.

Use the Lens mode

The lens mode lets you preview your code without actually scrolling to it. The mode is available in the editor by default when you hover your mouse over the scrollbar. It is especially useful when you hover over a warning or an error message.

Lens mode
  • To disable the lens mode, right-click the code analysis marker located on the right side of the editor and in the context menu clear the Show code lens on the scrollbar hover checkbox.

  • As an alternative, in the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General | Appearance and clear the Show code lens on the scrollbar hover checkbox.

Use breadcrumbs for navigation

You can navigate through the source code with breadcrumbs that show names of classes, variables, functions, methods, and tags in the currently opened file. By default, breadcrumbs are enabled and displayed at the bottom of the editor.

  • To change the location of breadcrumbs, right-click a breadcrumb, in the context menu select Breadcrumbs and the location preference.

  • To edit the breadcrumbs settings, in the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General | Breadcrumbs.

Use the Navigation bar as a handy tool to find your way across the project.

  1. Press Alt+Home to activate the Navigation bar.

  2. Use the arrow keys or the mouse pointer to locate the desired file.

  3. Double-click the selected file, or press Enter to open it in the editor.

    You can click a Java class or an interface in the navigation bar to see the list of methods. Click one of the listed methods to quickly navigate to the method in the editor.

    Navigation bar: list of methods

Find a line or a column

  1. In the editor, press Ctrl+G.

  2. In the Go to Line/Column dialog, specify a line or column number, or both, separating them with : and click OK.

    Go to line/column dialog

  3. If you don't want to see the line numbers in the editor, in the Settings/Preferences dialog Ctrl+Alt+S, go to Editor | General | Appearance and clear the Show line numbers checkbox.

Find a file path

  1. In the editor, press Ctrl+Alt+F12 or in the context menu, select Open in | Finder.

  2. In the Reveal in Finder popup, select a file or a directory to open in a path finder and press Enter.

    File path finder

Find recent files

You can search for the recent and recently edited files with the Recent Files popup.

  • To open the Recent Files popup with the list of recent files, press Ctrl+E.

    Recent files
  • To see only the recently edited files, press Ctrl+E again or select the Show changed only checkbox.

  • To search for items in the popup, use the Speed Search functionality. Just start typing a search query, and the Search for field appears. IntelliJ IDEA displays the results based on your search query, the list shrinks as you type.

    Recent files search
Last modified: 15 June 2021