Introduction

ABAP is quite different from many contemporary programming languages in several ways. Some aspects of ABAP would make us wonder why is it made this complex while some aspects are so awesome and more comfortable for a programmer than any other language can provide.

Two of those things that I find so cool are:

  • Its ingenuous IDE (ABAP Editor) and
  • Its cool Debugger

Eventhough the SAP IDE does not support some of the features which more prominent IDE’s like Eclipse etc have, I find it so comfortable to code in ABAP Editor compared to others. The reason is because of the below shortcuts and customizations available with it. I am listing the few which I use constantly and without which I cannot think of coding ABAP.

Most of the programmers even with a little bit of ABAP experience would have come accross the details listed here. If you have, please ignore and if you haven’t then the stage is yours..

Shortcut

What it does

Ctrl + D

Duplicate any line.

eg. i_vbap TYPE STANDARD TABLE OF vbap + Ctrl-D = i_vbap TYPE STANDARD TABLE OF vbap
i_vbap TYPE STANDARD TABLE OF vbap

Ctrl + /

Jump to the “command field” where we enter t-codes. This comes really handy and saves a jump from keyboard to mouse and back to keyboard just to click on the box.

Ctrl + J

Convert to Proper case where the first letter of every word becomes a capital letter. This is pretty useful when writing comments.

eg.  * this is a comment which will give absolutely no useful information will be changed to
* This Is A Comment Which Will Give Absolutely No Useful Information

Ctrl + I  &
Ctrl + Shift + I

Incremental search. This is a little improved ‘Find’ (Ctrl + F) function which searches as soon as you type. Useful for impatient people. Add shift to search backwards.

Ctrl + K

Toggle between Upper case and Lower Case.

Alt + Selection

This is useful in situation where you need to select only the field names of a particular table.

eg.

caufvaufnr,

caufvwerks,

caufvobjnr,

caufvplnbez,

caufvgamng,

caufvgasmg,

caufvgmein,

caufvplnnr,

caufvplnal,

caufvdispo,

caufvfevor,

caufvcy_seqnr ,

caufvaufpl,

caufvgstrp,

caufvgltrp,

caufvgstrs,

caufvgltrs,

caufvgstri,

caufvgltri,

In these values, u can select only the field names by pressing Alt key and get the clipboard filled like this.

aufnr,

werks,

objnr,

plnbez,

gamng,

gasmg,

gmein,

plnnr,

plnal,

dispo,

fevor,

cy_seqnr ,

aufpl,

gstrp,

gltrp,

gstrs,

gltrs,

gstri,

gltri,

Tab & Shift tab

Increase and Decrease Intend

Ctrl + O

Goto a particular line in the program

Ctrl + Shift + S

Save your program in Desktop in .abap format. I came know about .abap only after learning this short cut.

Ctrl + Selection

When you do a selection with **** + -> or <- hold on to Ctrl to jump every word in that direction.

Ctrl + . & Ctrl + ,

Comment and Un-Comment selected lines.

Ctrl+Alt+T

Swaps current line with the Upper Line.
eg. INCLUDE ZTEST_ABAP_HTTP_CLIENT_TOP.
     INCLUDE ZTEST_ABAP_HTTP_CLIENT_C01. becomes


INCLUDE ZTEST_ABAP_HTTP_CLIENT_C01.
INCLUDE ZTEST_ABAP_HTTP_CLIENT_TOP.

Ctrl+Shift+L/X Deletes the whole line
Ctrl + ] & Ctrl + [ Jump to previous or next paragraph.

A paragraph is created by leaving an empty line between statements.

Ctrl + Shift + Num8 &
Ctrl + Shift + Num2

Move the lines up and down in the editor window while the cursor stays in the same place.

This is similar to Page Up & Page Down but instead, it does not scroll an entire page but only one line.

Ctrl + Spacebar

Display options to complete a command.

Eg. After typing CREATE, Ctrl + Spacebar will show you the list to choose DATA or OBJECT..

More Editor Tools:

Apart from this, there are a few other things that can be set in Editor options

like,

Code Templates


Here I use a template for the text. This could be a text that is used for marking modifications or Defenition and implementation of local classes etc.


  * Begin of Insertion <SID>K12345 <username>
* End of Insertion   <SID>K12345  <username>

i.e when I press i* in the editor, it will prompt for code completion..

When I press Tab for completion, it pops up for TR Number…

The TR number that we give will be added in the comment.

Variable Name Suggestions

This is just a small setting but it will save you from Copy pasting or re-typing small words.

When you check this box, it will suggest even for variable names like…

Particularly useful for longer variable names.

Conclusion

Apart from the editor and debugger functions, the navigation and where used-list  are other funtionalities which we use more often. Especially the code maintenance and support activities are comparitively less hectic just because these features.

Another cool way to extend its core editor functionality for customizations could be by providing API’s even for the application programmers to code and customize the editor features. It will also add to the creativity aspect on SAP side since any third programmer could come with an awesome idea as an editor extension.

As far as I have explored, I havent found any BADI or classes which can be used to perform editor functions. May be I have to look more or wait…

Update: I got impressed with the response for this blog and it made me dig deeper inside the subject and came across this.

Programming Shortcuts – The GEEK Style:

Most of the shortcuts listed and not listed here can be seen from the SAP-GUI editor options.

Again, click on the editor options button in the bottom-right corner of the SAP Editor screen,

and choose…

Now.. Most of the shortcuts listed above are available in the above list.

We can re-assign any of the actions with any shortcuts we desire..

There are also cool actions which are not assigned to any shortcuts, Copy Append is one such shortcut which I find to be very useful, un-assigned.

I am assigning a new shortcut Ctrl + Alt + C for copy append..

Now by pressing Ctrl + Alt + C, I can append contents into my clipboard.

Eg.

 

+ Ctrl + Alt + C

+     =


 

Similarly you can set shortcuts for Cut Append, Navigating to Bookmarks, Formatting Selected text etc…


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125 Comments

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  1. Rudra Sonar

    Hello Yuvraj,

    It was nice reading but honestly it was nothing new.

    I am searching one thing from long back and use of it, if u know can u please post back a reply?

    What CTRL + SHIFT + F   OR    CTRL + SHIFT + G  —– is for???

    Automatically lines comes and number with them, they connects from each other from some points. But what are those???

    Never found any reason for it.

    (0) 
    1. Yuvaraj Shanmugam Post author

      Hey Rudra,

      Thanks for your honest comments.

      I know I m replying for your question really really late.

      But I have the answer and I cant stop myself from replying.

      The arrows you see are the visualization of tab orders in the screen where you can navigate using the TAB button.

      The red mark is the exit point and the green ones are the entry points.

      You can also define your tab order by clicking CTRL + Right click on any field in the form.

      More details on SAP GUI Help.

       

       

      (0) 
  2. Prashant Annaiahvondla

    I consider my self as a Part time abaper. I could find this a useful for my day to day work. How ever this can be segregated like Formatting, Help, Screen adjustments and presented as linked WIKI.

    Thanks for the info. was really helpful

    (0) 
    1. Manish Kumar

      There is a horizontal scroll bar at end of content which can be used to see cut off text.

      Alternatively, if you have clicked on any text of content, left+right keyboard arrow keys can be used to scroll left/right. Mouse drag also works.

      (1) 
  3. Jitendra Soni

    Nice Blog Yuvraj.

    I haven’t read all the comments but want to add 1 more shortcut πŸ˜‰

    Ctrl  Shift  +    => Open a New Session

    (0) 
    1. Yuvaraj Shanmugam Post author

      Thanks for the Ctrl + Shift + +.

      But opening a new session is a waste of time, it often irritates me when someone showing me anything by opening it in a new session (especially with mouse) and typing the tcode.

      Slash o it away for doing things faster.. πŸ˜‰

      (0) 
  4. Vishu Agarwal

    Hi Yuvaraj,

    I have one query regarding this. How can i know which database tables these templates are stored. I am working on some scenario where i need to access these entries.

    Can you please help me in this case.

    Regards,

    Vishu Agarwal

    (0) 
    1. Yuvaraj Shanmugam Post author

      I don’t think it is stored in database tables. It is stored as XML files in your local PC. You can find it in the same folder where your SAP GUI data is stored. All the customization that we do here is local to every workstation and is not added in server.

      (0) 
  5. Leena Ramachandran

    Hi Yuvaraj,

    Nice blog.. a very useful one.

    Here is one I would like to add which is useful while debugging when you need to go back to a line of code that you have already passed

    Place cursor on the line to which you need to go to and Shift+F12.

    Thanks,

    Leena

    (0) 
  6. Richard Harper

    You should’ve seen the previous editor.

    You could’ve said it was a direct copy (for commands etc) of the IBM S/370…Z/OS ISPF editor. Β  So for example to copy the line you would put Cx in the margin where x is the number of times you want it copied.

    To delete a range of lines you would enter DD on the first line and DD on the last line. Β Insert was Ix.

    Rich

    (0) 
    1. Yuvaraj Shanmugam Post author

      Just like how kids of these generations would ask us how we grew up without internet, I look at 90s and early 2000s ABAP programmers and wonder how did they even survived without the new editor.

      Also now the eclipse ADT has cooler features..

      (0) 

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