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8 Netbeans tips to speed up development

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Netbeans is a great editor, below some tips to get the best out of it.

Use the shortkey for “Last Edit Location” default: CTRL+Q
Often I’m editing file and browse to another location inside the file. To go back to where I was Last Edit Location is a nice feature, it replaces the use of ctrl-z + ctrl-y to go to the previous location without changing anything. By htting the key multiple times all edit locations will be traveled.

Use a database connection inside your project
Right click in your current document and choose “Select Database Connection” to configure the database connection. Once this connection is set-up you have auto-completion available for your queries.

Use the code navigatior
Hit ctrl+7 to open the code navigator, the code navigator contains an overview of the classes, methods, properties, variables and functions in your current open document. You can also apply filters, for exemple to hide or display non public members. A nice addition to navigate to functions is the use for “Go to symbol” open it by hitting ctrl+alt+shift+o, or “Navigate>Go to symbol…”

Use code templates
Templates can prevent to type a large string over and over again. An example of a template I often use:

“ifpost”:

  1. span class=”st0″>’REQUEST_METHOD’] == ‘POST’) {

or “predump” which printouts a variable dump surrounded with pre tags.

Use bookmarks to quickly navigate trough your document
Once you have set a bookmark by pressing the default shortkey (ctrl+shift+m) you can quickly navigate to the previous by pressing (ctrl+shift+,) or go to the next by hitting (ctrl+shift+.)

Customize the IDE
You may have noticed I refer to a lot of short keys, by customizing the ones you use a lot or adding short keys for other functions that don’t already have one you can save a lot of time. (For exemple commiting and updating your SVN project)

Set-up a Xdebug
A nice start can be found here on the Netbeans wiki (here). Once Xdebug is configured you can save yourself a lot of time while debugging by using variable watches, breakpoints,…

Use plugins
Although Netbeans has a lot of build-in functionality plugins can really be a good help.
Plugins I install by default:

  1. Path tools, copying paths, explorering paths,…
  2. PHP Manual Search, put the cursor on a PHP function and hit ctrl+alt+f1 or use the icon in the toolbar to go to the php.net documentation
  3. Subversion, can’t live without it
  4. Explore from here (self explaining I think)
  5. Editor todo highlighting, highlights the todo’s in the source code

A lot of plugins can be found here http://plugins.netbeans.org/PluginPortal/

Written by Sjoerd Maessen

December 15th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Posted in IDE

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