Why is F1 help for Java API not available?

One of the most disappointing limitations of IntellIJ 14.1.5 is the lack of F1-Help for the Java API.

For example, in the following line, if I highlight Thread and press F1 (the usual help function key in most modern IDE's), I expect it to take me to the online (or local if I choose that option) documentation for the Thread class:

Thread t4 = new Thread(someobject);

Even if F1 help doesn't work, I should be able to right-click on Thread and choose Help.

Either way, it should be possible to use a modern, professional-level IDE to navigate to online (or local) help for the Java API.

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Please check help for the following sections:


Default shortcuts on Windows are Shift+F1 (External) and Ctrl+Q (Quick/Inline).

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Shift+F1 does nothing when I try it.

Apparently, IntelliJ does not automatically know how to find online Java documentation, unlike other professional level IDE's, even though the Java JDK is always installed on my machine in C:\java\jdk\ (I only want one version of Java on my machine).

How, for example, do I "manually teach" IntelliJ this "magic Java API documentation trick" that it should have been intelligent (pun intended) enough to figure out on its own from the fact that I'm using Java 8u66?

My environment variables are available to "help" IntellIJ figure out the (one and only) JDK sitting on my machine:

IDEA_JDK = c:\java\jdk
JAVA_HOME = c:\java\jdk
JDK_HOME = c:\java\jdk

No such manual configuration is necessary to do the same thing for C# in Visual Studio.    Just highlight a piece of code, press F1, and help for that part of the API is presented with no muss, no fuss.

Is it unreasonable to expect similar, no muss, no fuss behavior from IntellIJ ?

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JDK doesn't come with documentation, you have to download and install it separately, then configure javadoc path in JSDK settings.

Or you can specify URL for documentation and it will open from Oracle site.

Local configuration:


Configuration for online docs:


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You have to tell IntelliJ where to look. That's the cost of having an IDE that's not hard wired to a single specific version of a single specific language implementation.

A major problem with Visual Studio is just that, that each version of it is hardwired to a specific version of the Windows API and .NET API, and coding anything else is just about impossible.

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I had a similar issue. I fixed it however by going to the Documentation Path tab and making sure the API link "http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/api/" is added for ALL my IntelliJ versions that I have installed.  There should be a list of all your IntelliJ versions installed.  I was able to use the Shift + F1 online function thereafter.


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