Noddy tip: use Spotlight with Eclipse!

File this under “really obvious but nifty anyway”…

One of the common whinges about Eclipse as a development environment is that there is no decent cross-project / cross-workspace search. I know we Mac users can be insufferably smug, but I’m sorry, Spotlight really does the do here. I was searching for a constant—let us call it WINKLE—and out of the 200-odd classes in a particular project, I could not remember where it was. Go to the Spotlight bar in OS X, type in WINKLE. Narrow your search to your Eclipse Workspace folder if you like, and in a gnat’s fart, you are there:

Spotlight & Eclipse

Now I know you can trace call hierarchies in Eclipse, and that’s a really handy feature. But Spotlight rocks, and this is just one of the ways.


  1. Äh, whats so bad about eclipse shortcuts? As far as I remember (it's a few years):

    WIN+ -> will autocomplete it, showing also the packagename and JavaDoc
    There is also a shortcut to go to implementing class, even if it is in a jar (with SRC additions).

    But maybe I misunderstood and you meant searching over project/workspace borders, so this class is not in path.Jan Schulz#
  2. Yes, auto-completion is something else, and very useful it is too :-) Ben Poole#
  3. Why not just 'open resource'? And then if you want the file in the package view, Show In > Package Explorer?Geoffrey Wiseman#
  4. @3 How does that help? If I know which resource contains the thing I’m looking for, then there’s no issue is there? And how do I get from Project A / B / C in workspace A / B / C to somewhere else?Ben Poole#

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