Three Tips for Moving from Eclipse to NetBeans IDE

Today was Martijn 'Wicket' Dashorst's impressive first day with NetBeans IDE 8 (a development build, by the way, which makes it even more impressive). In his article, describing a typically complex enterprise project, he writes:

"An IDE I have never worked with for more than a couple of hours beat an IDE I have lived in 10 hours a day, 5 days a week for the past 10 years with setting up this beast of a project."

So, here are three tips for Martijn (to the extent that he's not aware of these) and everyone else following Martijn's path.

  1. Use Maven. Migrating from one IDE to another goes most smoothly if you use Maven since all IDEs understand Maven in one way or another. In the case of NetBeans IDE, you'll not get IDE-specific proprietary files thrown into your source structure because NetBeans IDE treats the POM as your project file. The other awesome thing about Maven in NetBeans IDE is that it simply works out of the box and that every release of NetBeans IDE comes out with new enhancements and performance improvements for Maven.

  2. Keyboard Shortcuts. No need to learn new keyboard shortcuts. Go to Tools | Options and then use the Keymap tab to switch to the Eclipse profile. (IntelliJ IDEA profile and Emacs profile are there too.) If anything is missing in the Eclipse profile, let us know, we'd love to support Eclipse refugees even better than we already do.

  3. Formatting. Eclipse has heaps of formatting rules, which you can continue using in NetBeans IDE. Export your Eclipse formatting file and then import it into NetBeans IDE, via the Eclipse Formatter plugin in Tools | Plugins, as well as here in the Plugin Portal

Are there other Eclipse refugees out there who have other tips to share for making your new home in NetBeans IDE? Leave comments here or blog about them yourself!


Please, please, please see what Eclipse does when you press CTRL-O and bring it to Netbeans ... Netbeans used to have something even better (the old File Members dialog) and it was dropped for inexplicable reasons that supposedly have to do with usability... Yet, Netbeans is the only IDE I know of that does not have such a feature. Is it the only one that gets it right in terms of usability ?? I honestly do not think so ...

Posted by guest on January 14, 2014 at 12:04 PM PST #

@guest: Vote at
I like to have this feature too.

Posted by markiewb on January 14, 2014 at 02:32 PM PST #

@markiewb: Voted !. I have also previously filed this and raised this topic in the forums Let's see if our luck changes ...

Posted by guest on January 15, 2014 at 12:16 AM PST #

hi geertjan!!

there's sometimes that I wish convert my netbeans project (with no maven) in maven project as eclipse does it, using right click --> configure---> convert to maven.

Sometimes I'm a little lazy and to start a brand new project with maven in Netbeans!! ;)

Posted by german on April 06, 2015 at 07:25 AM PDT #

I have noticed that Netbeans has much support for java EE and less support for Spring framework . I have difficulty importing one of my spring mvc project into netbeans built using maven.

Posted by usman jawaid on November 04, 2015 at 02:26 AM PST #

No need to import any Maven project into NetBeans. Simply open it via File | Open Project.

Posted by Geertjan on November 04, 2015 at 02:29 AM PST #

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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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