Tooltip on mouseover?

In Eclipse, when hovering your mouse over variables, method names, etc., a tooltip pops up with different kinds of information, like fully qualified package names, the method a variable was declared within, javadocs, etc. I've found this feature to be near invaluable when working on projects with a large codebase or code I'm not familiar with, and find this sorely missing in IDEA. Am I just being stupid not being able to locate where to enable this feature, or is this something missing? In case of the latter, are there any plugins adding the desired functionality? (Couldn't find any myself, but there's a whole lotta plugins to wade through.)

Any help is most appreciated :)

Edited by: elsandros on Jun 10, 2008 4:58 PM

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Hold down either the CTRL or SHIFT keys and move the mouse over some identifiers.

It won't work to hold the mouse stationary over an identifier and press CTRL or SHIFT. For whatever reason, these tool-tips are only shown when the mouse moves (and the modifier key is pressed).

Randall Schulz

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I appreciate the answer, and it gives me pretty much what I want, but of course I have some follow-up questions :)

1) The javadoc does not appear; any way of correcting this?
2) Any way of changing the format/layout of what is shown in the tooltip?
3) I'm using the Eclipse keymap, and in this case, CTRL or SHIFT doesn't seem to appear to function as modifier keys (this is no entirely true, as they clearly are modifier keys when using it in combination with other keys, it just doesn't seem to work properly in context of the mouse over-thingy). Would you - or anyone else, for that matter - know what key(s) to press in place of CTRL or SHIFT when using the Eclipse keymap?

Again, many thanks, it's greatly appreciated.


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Idea is a different IDE. Try to discover its features and try to make the best of it, rather than trying to emulate whatever you used before.
For the most part Idea has very high usability (much better than Eclipse IMHO) and is streamlined for supporting code editing as best as possible (rather than relying on wizards too much for example).

Javadoc: Ctrl-Q
Quick view at the implementation: Ctrl-Shift-I
Show context: Alt-Q
Show parameters (in a method call): Ctrl-P
Show error description. Ctrl-F1
... plus many more shortcuts to navigate in code and different idea views.

I think it rather nice that you can see just the specific bit of information you are interested in with a simple keystroke.
Have a look at the menus which will also show the possibly modified shortcuts for your keymap.

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And, elsandros, in addition to what Stephen writes: Since you seem to be interested in IDEA's keyboard shortcuts, I highly recommend the "Key Promoter" plugin which helps you memorize the relevant shortcuts quickly.

Also very useful is the "Goto Action" feature, invoked by Ctrl-Shift-A. In the popup, you can enter a keyword (e.g. "Javadoc"), and the IDE tells you the available actions matching your search, along with keyboard shortcuts and the containing action groups (which often also give you a clue about how to navigate to the action using the menu).

Best regards,


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