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Author's profile photo Joachim Rees

AdT (and other editors) – more general keyboard navigation

When I wrote about [AdT keyboard shortcuts](, some parts didn’t make it to the blog.
I didn’t want to include them to no lose focus to much. But I didn’t want to throw them away completely.
So I use those side-notes here.

Common Editor patterns that are helpful to me

Some of those are (probably) not special to eclipse, many editors or word processor should work like that.
Still very useful/good to know!
I use them regularly, without even noticing

pos1 = start of line
end = end of line

ctrl+pos1 = start of file
ctrl+end = end of file

arrow keys = move cursor
strg + left/right = move word-wise

shift in combination with the above = select/highlight text

ctrl+a = select all.

ctrl+c = copy
(ctrl+x = cut)
ctrl+v = paste

alt+up/down = move line(s) up/down

context-menu-key (not sure if that’s the name – right next to the right ctrl-key) = open context menu similar to mouse right-click.

Meta / dogfooding

I wrote this text as a plain .txt-file (with some markdown syntax) in standard windows notepad.exe. (Sometimes I also use notepad++.).
So now that it’s finished, I’ll ctrl+a, ctrl+c, alt+tab to the browser, ctrl+t for a new tab,, tab, tab, tab […] to “create blog post”, tab to the edit-area and ctrl+c there.
Nice and easy.

Finishing thoughts

Well that was short but hopefully still useful to some.
Your feedback – be it on the content or on the form – is very welcome.


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      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees
      Blog Post Author

      Note: I actually managend to publish this blog (and now this comment!) without touching the mouse.

      Just like it should be! ...still a positive surprise to me.

      Tab-order is fine, only thing is that for this comment, I had to tab a lot to get to the button; and there was some guessing, until I actually hit it (tab twitter-link, tab linked-in-link, [...], tab [not any link in browser-status-line shown] is this it? -> yes! ).

      Maybe ther's a shortcut for it?

      So great kudos towards who designed this system!


      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      Crazy person.  Don't worry, I think everyone who works in IT is crazy.  (Me included)  I honestly don't mind touching the mouse.  I don't have to remember ALL of the shortcuts that way.

      But it is always nice to have the option of not using it.

      This is helpful.   I'll cut and paste to save the cheat sheet.

      Thank you!

      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for your feedback!
      Hopefully not to crazy, but trying to be more consequent:

      I think, when we use and build software, we should also take care of accessibility. And being able to go keyboard-only is one aspect towards that.

      Author's profile photo Michelle Crapo
      Michelle Crapo

      Excellent thought.  Now I'll think about what I design a little differently.  Most of the time it's easily done.  (Cut/paste)  Some of the others, it will make me think more.  That's always a good thing.

      Not too crazy - HA!  I believe developers / analyst / or basically anyone in the business are crazy.  We are the perfect example.  Balancing user needs, common sense, management requirements - which are not the same as the user - well usually, time we need, goals to learn more,  need I continue?  That's just a normal part of our job.

      And you even go one step further and ask for consistency.   I totally agree by the way.

      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees
      Blog Post Author

      Please note: Comments are a bit tricky - writing them is just fine, but how about submitting?!

      It's a single tab, but you have to know that. There's no visual feedback at all, showing that the focus now indeed is on the "Submit Comment" button.
      Once you hit enter you see the button being pressed, ok; but I would wish to not having to guess where the focus is, but to know!

      ( If you try hitting tab twice, you'll probably end up on the cancel button, rendering your previous Typing useless )

      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees
      Blog Post Author

      Uhm, who is doing "diversity" at SAP Community nowadays? As far as I remember, last time I came across it, it was Jamie Langskov ( ), but I cant seem to even @ mention her? (and there's a INACTIVE flag next to her SAP-tag).

      This is what I would have liked to write towards here:

      @ Jamie, are you still doing diversity? If so, you're very close to the accessibility people, right? Could you point them towards this little critique and the big praise I gave above?
      Or recommend someone to me who I can address directly? Much appreciated!

      Hi Audrey Stevenson  and Jerry Janda , I've seen you being active recently - can one of you pass that message on?

      Author's profile photo Mike Pokraka
      Mike Pokraka

      Another one I use is alt+ctrl+up/down to duplicate a line.

      And IMHO one of the killer features is alt-shift-a to toggle block mode. Yes SE80 also has it, but it is not as good.

      I also use alt-left and alt-right a lot => navigate back/forwards. E.g. F3 to open that method, alt+left to go back to where you were.

      But there are two keyboard shortcut I'm sorely missing:

      1. navigate between subtabs - i.e. between local classes, test class, global class.
      2. To navigate to the current editing object in the project explorer. I usually have the automatic link off (otherwise I just end up with a ridiculously large tree after a little while), and always have to click the little "Link with Editor" icon on and off to focus the project explorer to the current object.
      Author's profile photo Joachim Rees
      Joachim Rees
      Blog Post Author

      Hey Mike,

      thanks for sharing you AdT key features! (pun intended!)

      Interesting that you like the block-edit mode! I don't! (I compared it to e.g. Notepad++ which I like much better!).
      But maybe I should re-evaluate it at some time, thanks for the inspiration!

      > To navigate to the current editing object in the project explorer.

      I might have just the right tip for you:

      alt+shift + w (-> "open in")
      arrow down (to highlight "project explorer)


      Author's profile photo Mike Pokraka
      Mike Pokraka

      Yesssss!!!! That's exactly what I want, thanks, I've been after that feature for years.

      I also use Notepad++ on Windows, but can't say I've found it to have much different block editing capabilities. The only thing I'm aware of is that Eclipse will add things to the end of a line if you mark a vertical column beyond it, but I prefer that most of the time.

      e.g.: if I have lines of varying length and I mark a column like so:

      var           |
      anothervar    |
      thisvar       |

      and then I type a comma, I will get:

      var           ,
      anothervar    ,
      thisvar       ,



      Author's profile photo Sandra Rossi
      Sandra Rossi

      Just found now: keep "Link with Editor", and when you want to compress everything, select the node of the package explorer and press Shift+minus on Numpad to compress all its child nodes.

      Author's profile photo Mike Pokraka
      Mike Pokraka

      Thanks, but that doesn’t fit into how I like to work. The link stays firmly off. I don’t like the constant updating, and I use the project explorer mainly for reference.

      For example, I am working with a table and want to see the names of related tables. Or other function modules in the function group of an SAP Function Module etc.

      quick way to see what else is in the package as an object is to F3 over to the object, then expand it in the project explorer, alt-left to go back to where I was and continue. Now I have a handy list of all the function modules/classes/tables in the same package as a reference on the side of my screen.

      Author's profile photo Mike Pokraka
      Mike Pokraka

      Aaaand I've just answered my own question.

      Since ctrl-pgup/down switches tabs, I tried alt-pgup/down and lo and behold it switches between subtabs. Yay!

      Author's profile photo Mike Pokraka
      Mike Pokraka

      And just by accident I found Alt-F7 pops up a menu of subtabs to switch to.