An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Fast Views in Eclipse

October 26, 2007 ·

I'd heard of this option in Eclipse but never tried it... until today! It started with Michael Henke's blog, where he asked people to share their Eclipse perspectives so we could all see how different people work. The discussion has also taken place on the CFEclipse users' mailing list. And today, I saw Charlie Griefer's blog post showing a very minimal Eclipse layout. He explains that he has almost all of the non-editor views set up as Fast Views to keep the main area uncluttered. So what is a Fast View? Instead of having the view available visible and "docked" somewhere, the view lurks in the gutter at the bottom of the Eclipse window and only springs up (on the left or on the bottom) when you click on the icon. As soon as the view loses focus, it minimizes again. I'm still getting used to this new way of working but certainly clears up the working area. Thanx Charlie for pointing me in that direction! Another one of those "learn something new every day" moments...

Tags: cfeclipse · coldfusion

12 responses

  • 1 Mike Henke // Oct 26, 2007 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks for mentioning the discussion. It is neat to see other's workspace. People can add theirs to
  • 2 Dan Wilson // Oct 26, 2007 at 2:14 PM

    I used Fast Views once upon a time. It drove me nutso so I went back to double-clicking the tabs.... and every once in a while accidentally closing a file.

    Lemme know if you adjust to it..

  • 3 charlie griefer // Oct 26, 2007 at 4:37 PM

    hey sean:

    just to clarify a point...

    in my screenshot, only the icons in the gutter on the left are 'fast view' icons. the rest are just minimized panels, each of which contains various views.

    difference being, a view inside a 'fast view' can't be made to stay open (so the project navigator, snippets, file explorer, and rds file explorer... all of which are part of my 'fast view' will -always- close when they lose focus).

    my other views, such as the dictionary view (which is an icon on the right) will stay open if i restore that particular panel. it's not clear in my screenshot, but those icons on the right and bottom have 'restore' icons with the group, while the 'fast view' icons do not.

    hope that helps ('cuz re-reading it... it seems kinda confusing) :)
  • 4 Dan G. Switzer, II // Oct 26, 2007 at 5:44 PM


    I used to toggle back and forth between a fixed Perspective and one with FastViews. This allowed my to have a minimal interface, but for those times were I was doing a lot of file browsing/opening, I could toggle to a Perspective mode where all my views were open.

    However, with Eclipse v3.3 you can now minimize Tab Groups to a FastView mode. This works great and has really improved my work flow.

    Now if I want the View a stay on the screen (which I find useful for search results) I can just "Restore" the Tab Group and all the Views are re-docked. Minimize the Tab Group and it's back to being FastViews.

    Very cool. It's my favorite feature in Europa.
  • 5 Sean Corfield // Oct 26, 2007 at 6:02 PM

    @Charlie, thanx for the clarification - I know Eclipse on Windows has a different UI to OS X but I'm not familiar with the differences.

    @Dan, that's very good to know - I've stayed on 3.2 for fear of plugin incompatibility :)

  • 6 sal // Oct 29, 2007 at 10:49 AM

    hey thanks guys!! this is awesome! I think I can work like this...

    /now just trying to group these fast views where I want them..
  • 7 sal // Oct 29, 2007 at 10:57 AM

    any suggestions... I can seem to group them like Charlie did...?

    ack! :(
  • 8 Sean Corfield // Oct 29, 2007 at 11:08 AM

    @Sal, not sure what you think Charlie did...?
  • 9 charlie griefer // Oct 29, 2007 at 1:52 PM

    @sal - just to clarify, ONLY the icons in the left gutter are part of the 'fast view'.

    the ones in the bottom and right are simply docked views (which, as Dan pointed out above, are somewhat "fast-view" like (as of Europa) in that unless you explicitly restore them via the 'restore' icon, they will hide when they lose focus). but AFAIK, you can only have one set of 'fast view' icons/views.

    hope that helps. let me know :)
  • 10 sal // Oct 29, 2007 at 6:00 PM

    it does indeed help! thanks much for the clarification...

  • 11 Chetan Sachdev // Jul 10, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    nice post, is there a way to assign shortcut to toggle between minimized views, possibly just to avoid clicking on restore button ?

  • 12 Dan G. Switzer, II // Jul 10, 2009 at 1:14 PM


    Try CTRL+M -- which which toggle the editor between maximized/restore. It's the shortcut I use to hide everything but the editor.