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Using Eclipse working sets to increase your productivity

posted under category: CFEclipse on March 31, 2006 by Nathan

I mentioned working sets on my Zero To Hero presentation, but here's a googlable rundown of this amazing feature that ships with Eclipse. Thanks to Rob W for asking about it on the Eclipse Users list.

How will it make me more productive?
There are a few great advantages of using the working set feature. Mental organization for one. Like, if I say, "I want to work on the security feature of my site." Well if I make a set for everything that interacts with my security, I can select the set and go straight to work with all the relevant files in view.

The other great use for working sets is the searching. [ctrl] + h brings up the (extended) search window. Right at the bottom you can select a working set to search in. This is great if you want to search a number of projects at once but not others, or if you want to search certain ungrouped subfolders.

How do you make a working set?
In the navigator view (the common one with all your projects), click the down arrow on the top right corner. The top option should be "select working set." A box will pop up and show you a list of your sets (currently empty).

Click on the "New..." button and make a Resource working set - resource means physical files & folders. Give it a name on the next screen and select the projects / folders / files you wan to include in this set. When you're finished, you can select that working set from the list window. If you hit cancel, it won't save your set!

When you hit ok, your navigator will switch to viewing your chosen working set. Hit the down arrow again to deselect your set and go back to the normal navigator view.

Nathan is a software developer at The Boeing Company in Charleston, SC. He is essentially a big programming nerd. Really, you could say that makes him a nerd among nerds. Aside from making software for the web, he plays with tech toys and likes to think about programming's big picture while speaking at conferences and generally impressing people with massive nerdiness and straight-faced sarcastic humor. Nathan got his programming start writing batch files in DOS. It should go without saying, but these thought and opinions have nothing to do with Boeing in any way.
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