Feedback on Improving Popups Feature Request

I'd really appreciate any feedback on this feature request regarding improving popups:


  • All popups invoked from a keyboard shortcut would trigger an "Awesome Bar" (think Chrome/Firefox/Youtrack's search bar)
  • The Keyboard shortcut would define the context of the search (e.g., ctrl+E would trigger a #RecentFiles search)
  • Ctrl+F would trigger the default search behavior with the Awesome Bar empty
  • If the "Awesome Bar" is empty (invoked using Ctrl+F, but nothing typing) then it pops down a list of the features (contexts) you can search: #RecentFiles, #MethodsInCurrentFile, #GoToClass, #Generate, etc)
  • Once you start typing, the features list disappears and a normal search is executed
  • In-place popups based on the caret (Auto-complete, etc) would not be changed

  • Consistent design/behavior across all popup lists
  • Easy to discover features (Everyone uses ctrl+F)
  • User-friendly to new IntelliJ users (because they're familiar with the paradigms from Chrome/Firefox/Youtrack/etc)
  • More room to display results (many of the popups are currently tiny)
  • Better for plugin development (think about writing "Awesome Bar" extensions)
  • All keyboard shortcuts continue to work as expected, so no impact to experienced Intellij users

  • Rethinking the "Replace" dialog since it requires two inputs
  • Rethinking complicated popups with a lot of information and options like "Find Usages"
  • Edge cases?

I realize that it would be quite the large (and maybe controversial) change, but I think it would be for the best.

What do you think?

I like the idea very much.
I would vote for it, but YouTrack is inoperable because it ran out of disk space.

About the complicated options Con, just think about the Show usages popup. It has the same options as the Find Usages... dialog, but hidden behind an Options button.
The same could be done for AwesomeBar extensions that need complicated options.


Hi, Johh.
I don't believe in generalized ui elements, especially in such complex tool. it's better to be concrete and say how could be improved every concrete widget instead. I believe i'll be more productive with well tuned, context/usecase dependent widgets.
Some thoughts about screenshot for some lists you have to wait for user input to provide meaningful variants, for other you aren't. Some lists could provide only limited set of options and have to display them at once. Depends on the context list should have different look adn feel. i can't imagine go-to dialog on completion or generate action. Proposed enhancement is a serious change. it will be good if you prototyped the lists in some ui modelling tool or ideally in patched version of community edition. It will be interesting to try.

Thanks you for efforts to make idea better.

regards, Alex


@Alexander, thanks for the feedback.

I'll try to mock something together as a plugin if possible.

I'd really like to hear someone from jetbrains chime in to see if they've had any internal discussions similar to this.


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