Quickly Access the NetBeans IDE's Windows

I'm probably really slow, but I've only now begun using the NetBeans IDE's cool sliding sides feature. What it is is this: Open any window from the Window menu or by using a shortcut. (Some windows are open by default, such as "Projects", "Files", and "Runtime".) Then hold your mouse down on the window's title bar. For example, click on the text "Projects" in the Projects window. Then drag it to the right edge, left edge, or bottom edge of the IDE. (Alternatively, click the window's Minimize Button, which is to the left of the little cross signifying the window's Close Button.) When you do that for several windows, you get a view similar to the following (click to enlarge and then look at the left edge, the right edge, and the bottom edge of the IDE in the screenshot):

Now, whenever you want to make use of one the minimized windows, just hover over it in the sidebar where you minimized it. Immediately, the window pops up and you can use it again. As shown in the illustration above, you can remove a window from the sidebar by deselecting the Minimize Window popup menu item. This means that your resources are much more quickly available to you than they are when you access everything via menus and shortcut keys -- and you can see what's available to you, because everything's neatly docked in visible sidebars.

(To find out how to do this in your own NetBeans plug-ins, see the draft version of the NetBeans Anagram Game Plug-in Tutorial. Note that this tutorial is incomplete, currently, because serialization isn't discussed yet so that, when you close the IDE, the position of the windows isn't saved.)

If you like belated flashes of understanding such as this one, here are some more:

Quickly Close Multiple NetBeans IDE Projects
Quickly Unclutter the NetBeans IDE Source Editor
Quickly Navigate through the NetBeans IDE Source Editor


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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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