Want more effective IntelliJ IDEA screen estate?

Eugene Toporov

Have you noticed a small new button in the bottom left corner of IntelliJ IDEA window since version 10.5?
It lets you have more space in the main frame and give more prominence to the editor by hiding the tool window bars.

With the tool buttons hidden you, of course, still can access the tool windows using their numeric hotkeys, e.g. Alt+1 for Project view, Alt+9 for Changes, etc.

But if you need to refresh them in your mind, or want to open one with the mouse, you can show the tool window buttons just for a moment. To do that, hit the Alt key twice (Command key on Mac), and keep it down — while the key is pressed, the tool window buttons are visible. Release the key — and they disappear again, leaving your main frame large and spacious.

Give it a try if you have not yet!

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10 Responses to Want more effective IntelliJ IDEA screen estate?

  1. Mike says:

    July 8, 2011

    I hadn’t noticed that new icon. Nice! I like it!

  2. Youri says:

    July 9, 2011

    Alt+1..9 does not really work for the french keyboard layout :/

  3. Pavel Bernhauser says:

    July 9, 2011

    And it works also in appCode! 🙂 Perfect!
    Thank you for this blog, I would not figure out double alt trick.

  4. Tropper says:

    July 11, 2011

    It would be great if i could also click the window button after i double pressed the ALT key. The Maven window for example has no “ALT-x” keystroke by default.


  5. Eugene Toporov says:

    July 12, 2011

    @Tropper: You can click any button with a mouse after you double press the ALT key. Just keep the ALT down. Doesn’t it work for you?

  6. Geekycoder says:

    July 12, 2011

    A little icon can mean so much !

  7. s_oleg says:

    July 14, 2011

    Very very cool thing! Молодцы! 🙂

  8. Tropper says:

    July 15, 2011

    Nope. But i’m using Linux with Gnome3. So i’m not sure if this is Idea problem or a linux problem. But now as i know that i should work i will give it another try…

  9. trespasserw says:

    July 15, 2011

    Unfortunately the trick won’t work in Linux – as Alt + mouse events are usually used by window managers to manipulate windows.

  10. Martin Krischik says:

    March 1, 2012

    Need. But pretty distressing if you accidentally click the button and all your tool windows disappear…


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