ColdFusion Builder: Maximizing Screen Real Estate

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm not a toolbar guy, and I'm not a fan of wasted space in an IDE. Here's what I do in ColdFusion Builder to maximize screen real estate.

The Problem

First, I don’t like how the “Perspective” icons by default are hanging out on the left hand side, in their own “row” in the toolbar. Big waste.

Second, I don’t use the “editor toolbars”. Virtually all of their functionality can be accessed via the keyboard, which is a far more productive way to work.

Here’s a screenshot to show you what I’m talking about:

wastedspace

The Solution

I want to get a leaner UI. To do so:

For the “Perspective” icons, simply right click beside them and select “Dock On – Top right”.

To get rid of the “editor toolbars”:

  1. Window – Preferences
  2. ColdFusion – Editor Profiles – Editor
  3. Uncheck the “Display CFML Toolbar”

That preference page looks like this:

editorprefs

This gets you a screen that looks like this:

notwastedspace

I figure this gives me back close to an inch of vertical space.

The Sledgehammer

Often, for me, that’s not enough. I want lots and lots of space. It’s not that I have overly long functions or anything… I just like my IDE to feel “roomy”. What I often want is a Full Screen Mode. For those of you familiar with CFStudio or HomeSite, you may think fondly of Full Screen Mode.

Fortunately, there’s a plugin for this, and here’s how to install it:

  1. Go here: http://code.google.com/p/eclipse-fullscreen/
  2. There doesn’t appear to be an update site, so click on the Downloads link and download the zip file
  3. PAY ATTENTION: Since Eclipse 3.4 (on which CFB is built), the preferred method for installing “dropin” plugins is to put them in the “dropins” folder. So, Drill into the zip, and drag the jar file into [bolt install root]/dropins/. 
  4. Restart Eclipse

Once restarted, the “Window” menu will now have a “Full Screen” option, which you can toggle with ctrl-alt-z.

Here’s what it looks like:

fullscreen

Important: I didn’t crop that picture. That’s what your desktop will look like in full screen mode. Yes… it covers up all your other toolbars, too. For me, this is a blessing: those a’cursed IM windows go away and I can work in peace. And remember… ctrl-alt-z gets you out of full screen mode.

Happy Coding!

3 comments:

Jon Dowdle said...

Marc,

Thanks for the full screen tip. That's golden.

Marc Esher said...

that's actually the reason I came back to this post today... I was setting up a new eclipse instance and forgot where the full-screen plugin lived. indeed, it is gold

Phillip said...

Thanks!