Configuring Eclipse for IntelliJ users

Written on November 20, 2014 |

There are a few things I’ve gotten used to in IntelliJ that require some customizations in Eclipse. The following steps will make Eclipse feel more familiar and ease the transition.

Key Bindings

You can get close to IntelliJ’s key bindings by installing the ideakeyscheme plugin.

Place the downloaded JAR in eclipse/dropins and unzip it into a subdirectory. Open Eclipse > Preferences > General > Keys and select the ‘IntelliJ Idea’ scheme.

The close window shortcut (Cmd + W) won’t work because it’s bound to the ‘Select Enclosing Element’ command. Manually remove the key unbinding to fix this.

Unbind the following:

  • Toggle Split Editor (Vertical): Cmd + Shift + [

Additional key bindings:

  • Next Tab: Ctrl + → and Cmd + Shift + [
  • Previous Tab: Ctrl + ← and Cmd + Shift + ]
  • Line Start: fn + ←
  • Line End: fn + →
  • References in Workspace: Alt + F7
  • Open Type Hierarchy: Ctrl + H


Install the LineCopyPaste plugin to mimick the behaviour of IntelliJ. For example, pressing Cmd + X when no text is selected will cut the entire line instead of doing nothing.

Color Theme

Grab it here.

Show print margin

Select Preferences > General > Editors > Text Editors > Show print margin and set the column size accordingly.

Disable automatic highlighting of usages

Preferences > Java > Editor > Mark Occurrences

I’m personally not a fan of things flickering on and off as I move my cursor around the screen, but Eclipse’s behaviour to highlight usages (equivalent of IntelliJ’s Cmd + Shift + F7) is very rudimentary and takes focus away from the edit window, requiring a mouse click to get back in.

Support .py files

Eclipse defaults to starting an external editor for Python scripts (Xcode on MacOS). Fix this by installing the PyDev plugin.

  • Help > Install New Software
  • Add as a new site.
  • Follow on-screen instructions to install PyDev.
  • Restart Eclipse.

Support .sh files

Unfortunately, Eclipse supports very little on a fresh installation and requires a plugin to support pretty much anything other than a .java or .xml file. Install ShellEd for shell script support.

This has a dependency that won’t exist on a fresh Eclipse installation, so first go to Install Software and install WST Server Adaptors, then restart Eclipse.

Use Eclipse’s Install Software interface by adding the software site:

Install ShellEd through the interface.

Autosave changes

Eclipse has some configuration options to automatically save changes when a build is triggered, but requires a plugin to save changes on a timed basis and when a file loses focus. Smartsave for Eclipse should do the trick.