robobait: how to get rid of "tab spam" in Eclipse

Posted in Eclipse, robobait at 9:35 pm by ducky

Several of the users in my study have complained about “tab spam” in Eclipse — having so many files open (at one tab per file) that they can’t keep track of them all.

If you want to limit the number of tabs in Eclipse that you have open at any one time, you can do this:

  1. go to Window->Preferences->General->Editors,
  2. put a check in the Close Editors automatically
  3. and select the number of editors (tabs) that you want open at once.

If you don’t want a tab to be reused, you can “pin” it.  (On my toolbar, the “pin this” icon is at the far right, just to the right of the forward arrow, and has a little white-window-with-blue-taskbar underneath a green pushpin.)

This still cycles through editors, eliminating the least-recently-used, but at least you won’t get tab spam.

If you reuse editors, it is handy to use the Auto-Pin Editor Tabs Tweaklet. With that tweaklet installed, Eclipse will not reuse an editor (i.e. a tab) if the file within is dirty.  (This will save you a bunch of annoying messages about needing to save files.)  If all of the tabs are pinned, it will open a new one.

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