IntelliJ IDEA 12 is Available for Download

Revealing the Darker Side of Productive Coding

A few weeks ago we finished the Early Access Program for the upcoming release of IntelliJ IDEA 12. We would like to thank all of you who evaluated the preview builds and submitted your feedback. We really appreciate support from the community, watching closely every new feature we announced and providing us with comments and bug reports. It would be absolutely impossible to do what we did without your contributions!

Today we are excited to announce that IntelliJ IDEA 12, the next major version of our flagship Java IDE, is finally released and available for download.

As usual, it is difficult to list all the new features in the release. Every single day we try to not only add something new, but also rethink existing features to make them even more useful for your productivity and usability. So let me highlight the most exciting features awaiting you in IntelliJ IDEA 12.

New User Interface and Darcula Theme

The newest release of IntelliJ IDEA comes with a redesigned user interface, along with a new stylish dark look and feel called Darcula. The new interface is supposed to be more clean and functional. A lot of people find a dark look and feel much less distracting. Now that we’ve added it, you can focus more on the code and less on the IDE.

The new dark look and feel is fully customizable, so you can create your own dark themes, supported natively by every component of the IDE.

Brand New Compiler Mode

In addition to the interface, IntelliJ IDEA 12 introduces a completely new approach to compiling the project, which is now much faster and provides better user experience. We have rebuilt it from the ground up to move the compiler to a separate process. Now the project can be compiled automatically in background on every change you make, so you can run it almost instantly any time.

For more details about the new compiler mode see this blog post.

Java 8

Another important feature is support for Java 8, the next generation of the Java platform, announced by Oracle this year. IntelliJ IDEA 12 embraces the cutting edge version of the language and provides code assistance for the new syntax, such as lambda expressions, method references and default methods. Now you can try the new features of JDK 8 in your projects.

Android UI Designer

Over the last year Android has become the-fastest-growing mobile platform. Ever since IntelliJ IDEA introduced support for Android in its free and open-source Community Edition, we’ve worked hard to make it better with each new release. Finally IntelliJ IDEA 12 comes with well-crafted UI designer, one the most anticipated features in this release.

Read more details about the new UI designer and enjoy a demo in our blog.

Spring Frameworks Support

Intellij IDEA 12 comes with significantly improved support for Spring. The new update includes much better performance, support for XML and annotation-based configurations for the project simultaneously, enhanced dependency diagram (with drag and drop support) and of course code assistance for even more frameworks, such as Integration, Web Flow, MVC, Security, Batch and others.

Play 2.0 Support for Java and Scala

One more remarkable feature many people have been waiting for is support for the newest version of the Play framework. IntelliJ IDEA 12 enables you to create, run and debug Play 2.0 applications easily using both Java and Scala languages, with advanced code assistance, including templates support, formatter, refactorings and many other features.

Database Development Tools

While IntelliJ IDEA is frequently called the most intelligent Java IDE, it also provides powerful database tools and support for SQL. The new release reveals more exciting features for developers who use databases in their projects.

With IntelliJ IDEA 12, you not only have intelligent code assistance for SQL, but can also design your database right from the IDE. As databases are part of most projects today, it is time for us to help developers work with them more productively.

Other important features introduced in IntelliJ IDEA 12 include:

  • Intelligent code formatting
  • Better management tools for J2EE application servers, with support Cloud Foundry and CloudBees cloud platforms
  • Support for Drools Expert with advanced code assistance
  • Cucumber for JVM support

To see the full list of new features in IntelliJ IDEA 12 and to download the edition of your choice, please visit our website.

“Develop with Pleasure!”

Comments below can no longer be edited.

75 Responses to IntelliJ IDEA 12 is Available for Download

  1. Avatar

    Sarah says:

    December 5, 2012

    Does version 12 work on JDK 7 or it requires JDK 6?

  2. Avatar

    SB says:

    December 5, 2012

    I will be upgrading from 11 – 12, primarily for the new compiler mode and darcula theme.

    Can’t wait to see what you put in 13 that might make me want to shell out again.

    (@sarah it works with jdk’s 6,7 and 8 … I’ve tried it on all of them)

  3. Avatar

    Sven Lange says:

    December 5, 2012

    Awesome! 😀

    Thank you for this great tool.

  4. Avatar

    missingfaktor says:

    December 5, 2012

    Thank you so much for all your work. 12 is looking damn too fabulous. 🙂

  5. Avatar

    Sarah says:

    December 5, 2012

    SB, Did you try it on Mac?
    When I tried to run the community edition on mac without JDK 7, it showed a dialog saying that it requires JDK 6 and I that I should download it. note that at the same time I had JDK 7 installed with Java_home set properly in the .profile


  6. Avatar

    Vivek says:

    December 5, 2012

    I am running 12 on mac and it works fine, and I am using JDK 6/7

  7. Avatar

    yole says:

    December 5, 2012

    Even though you can now manually edit the Info.plist file and change the required Java version to 1.7, we still recommend running under Java 6. Much fewer UI issues.

  8. Avatar

    Jörg says:

    December 5, 2012

    Great Tool, good Work JetBrains 🙂

  9. Avatar

    Johan says:

    December 5, 2012

    The new L&F is superb and will probably the main reason for me to upgrade to be honest 🙂

    Aside from that, the speed is much better! (I don’t know if it’s just me, but now and again the Show Usages feature is freezing everything for more than 3 seconds :-/)

  10. Avatar

    Worajedt Sitthidumrong says:

    December 5, 2012

    Dracular is the best Swing LoF since AWT for sure!

  11. Avatar

    Yuri Trukhin says:

    December 5, 2012

    Congrats, JetBrains! Awesome release!

  12. Avatar

    Markus says:

    December 5, 2012

    We’re using Intellij IDEA at work and I have to say it’s the best IDE I’ve ever used.

  13. Avatar

    Jiri Korpela says:

    December 5, 2012

    How do I open/import my Play 2 project? Must I download some additional plugins or?

  14. Avatar

    Jennifer says:

    December 5, 2012

    I already bought the ultimate edition. 🙂

    But isn’t it possible anymore to change the Look and Feel? (other than use the darcula theme, that is)

    • Avatar

      Mahmood Al-Bunni says:

      January 19, 2014

      No; it’s possible. Go back above and realize the reason of darkening the UI of this release; in order to keep developers out of distraction. So it’s optional… You may customize it to the way it fits you best.

  15. Avatar

    Santosh says:

    December 5, 2012

    Thanks for the updates. Congrats on the release and Keep up the good work Jetbrains !!!

  16. Avatar

    Eugen says:

    December 5, 2012

    Congrats! Counting days to upgrade!

  17. Avatar

    Claudiu says:

    December 5, 2012

    I see in your images that the theme is application wide. See the source tree. In my case, in Ubuntu, the source tree panel has a white background. How’s that?


  18. Avatar

    Claudiu says:

    December 5, 2012

    Don’t bother. I’ve just found out that there is also a Darcula LaF. Nice!

  19. Avatar

    keth says:

    December 5, 2012

    If I create a new Play 2 project with the command “play new XXX” and afterwards “idea”, I don’t have syntaxhighlighting or intellisense. It works if I create everything myself though. Weird. Have to dig into this.

    P.S. the speed upgrade is the best feature. Not as fast as PhpStorm yet, but much better. 🙂

  20. Avatar

    keth says:

    December 5, 2012

    Ooops, It was a human error. Nevermind my previous comment:

    which as of yet is awaiting moderation. Please delete this and my other posting. 🙂

  21. Avatar

    Fredrik says:

    December 5, 2012

    Congrats everyone, good job!

  22. Avatar

    Marvin says:

    December 5, 2012

    forgive me if my question is too naive, but does it support javaScript?

  23. Avatar

    Terence Martin says:

    December 5, 2012

    On my way to the upgrade!

    Is the recommendation to use Java 6 to reduce UI issues specific to MacOS or does that go for all platforms?

  24. Avatar

    Joseph says:

    December 5, 2012

    The new compiler seems to have helped some choppy behaviour in 11. Darcula, surprisingly a great underestimated feature, I hate changing to anything brighter now, you can tell the difference with eye straining.

  25. Avatar

    Gregory Pierce says:

    December 5, 2012

    The best tool for development just keeps getting better. With Drools and Android support, I have a hard time coming up with reasons to have to use Eclipse.


  26. Avatar

    Sumitro says:

    December 5, 2012

    Thanks a lot for the Upgraded version. Trying out the community edition with the Dark theme. Awesome!!

  27. Avatar

    Claudiu says:

    December 6, 2012

    Regarding Darcula… If you put the cursor on a field and hit Ctrl+Shift+F7 (mark occurrences), the field is hard to read where is is assigned.

  28. Avatar

    Denis.Zhdanov says:

    December 6, 2012

    @Terence: java6 is recommended only for Mac users

  29. Avatar

    Kirill Likhodedov says:

    December 6, 2012

    JavaScript is supported in the Ultimate Edition.

  30. Avatar

    Eugen Martynov says:

    December 6, 2012

    Forgot to ask – any discounts for people who were submitting issues during EAP and release? 🙂

    Even personal licence upgrade is a little expensive for me

  31. Avatar

    Vivek says:

    December 6, 2012

    How can I copy my plugins from IDEA 11 to IDEA 12?

    Never had this problem before.

  32. Avatar

    meo says:

    December 6, 2012

    Great idea! And discount for plugin creators would be nice too 🙂

  33. Avatar

    Vadym says:

    December 6, 2012

    How to increase VM memory? I have tried to edit idea.vmoptions but without any success.

  34. Avatar

    Maxim Mossienko says:

    December 6, 2012

    @Eugen *active* EAPers get free license.

  35. Avatar

    Roman Shevchenko says:

    December 6, 2012

    @Vadym try idea64.vmoptions

  36. Avatar

    Murali says:

    December 6, 2012

    Just upgraded and quite impressed so far, hoping my satisfaction/happiness will just keep increasing as i explore further 🙂 Is there any other theme that is a shade lighter than Darcula. The default is good but little too dark atleast for my eyes, so any recommendation will be appreciated. The IDE is quite fast as well, some of the newly introduced keyboard shortcuts are really cool.

    Here’s hoping we’ll get more stellar releases in the future.


  37. Avatar

    Vlad Lazarenko says:

    December 6, 2012

    Even though I don’t do Java development, this IDE really makes me think “oh, well…. if only I was writing in Java”. Excellent work, guys. Gongrats!

  38. Avatar

    Mario Arias says:

    December 6, 2012


    How *active* EAPers get defined?

  39. Avatar

    Semy says:

    December 6, 2012

    In my case Play 2.0 isn’t working at all.
    play new test-app
    play idea or play idea with-sources

    I have project which can be imported into IntelliJ, but IntelliJ can’t recognize method “ok”, cant find index.html. I configured Play Home in settings->play configuration and it’s pointing to my Play 2.0.4 directory, but still it’s not working.

  40. Avatar

    Matthew Cornell says:

    December 6, 2012

    Good work, guys. Question: Has Python support changed since version 11?

  41. Avatar

    Haroon says:

    December 6, 2012

    On Mac OS X, the new Contents/Info.plist does not contain the VMOptions.x86_64 key. There is a VMOptions key, but having added -Xmx arguments to it, I still don’t see any change in the memory in the status bar.

  42. Avatar

    Haroon says:

    December 6, 2012

    Regarding increasing heap memory for Intellij 12, this came in handy and solved the problem.


  43. Avatar

    William Leung says:

    December 7, 2012

    Why not sales on Mac App Store?

  44. Avatar

    Marko says:

    December 7, 2012


    otherwise everything is great, except in my opinion darcula (especially editor theme) needs a little more work :). For example with “default” editor theme some tokens are rendered bold, but with darcula everything is the same (I mean JSP, HTML etc files too). Also I’m not sure about the need to change colors (for example in default editor theme Java keywords are blue, but in darcula they are orange.) For a long time product user this creates unnecessary confusion.

    I know I can configure it myself – I tried, but I just couldn’t get it right. I think you too want to make transition process for your users as easy as possible. Could you look into it guys :)?

  45. Avatar

    Stephan says:

    December 7, 2012

    Version 12 is great, but the maven projects tab is broken in the release build. Not showing any project anymore.

  46. Avatar

    Malocher says:

    December 7, 2012


    Download the Scala, SBT and Play 2.0 Plugin. After this is done, activate “scala type-aware highlighting” ->

    Restart the IDE an everything should work as expected. 🙂

  47. Avatar

    yole says:

    December 7, 2012

    Yes, the Python plugin was updated. Please see for more details.

  48. Avatar

    Alefas says:

    December 7, 2012

    Please see comment here about Play 2.0 support:

  49. Avatar

    Murali says:

    December 7, 2012

    I lost navigation in spring context files after upgrade to v12 in Community Edition 🙁 Earlier i could’ve navigated to any bean within the same context file and also to the Java class anywhere within the project from the context file using ctrl+click. This has stopped working now. Not sure if this has been disabled just in CE. Anyone facing the same issue?

    If i use EAP, do i need to contribute by reporting issues/bugs or just using EAP will qualify for free license 🙂 ?


  50. Avatar

    Konstantin Bulenkov says:

    December 7, 2012

    @Marko, blue is unreadable under Darcula. Look at the image here Bold fonts look not so cute under Darcula, but unbolding everything is not a final decision. We’re still tuning. Btw, you can play with the original Darcula color scheme in the settings

  51. Avatar

    eclipse says:

    December 8, 2012

    I hate Intellij because it doesn’t have good support for GWT. We have to switch to eclipse for developing for get and android apps.

  52. Avatar

    Marko says:

    December 9, 2012

    @Konstantin, yes, but a lighter shade of color X could be used for Darcula. I tried to create something from the default theme:


    But I asked an opinion from a friend and he preferred Darcula, because he didn’t like the bold text. So it boils down to a matter of preference. I’ll try to customize Darcula further and I guess case closed :).

  53. Avatar

    Nikolay Chashnikov says:

    December 11, 2012

    Mr. Eclipse, could you please elaborate that is bad with GWT support?

  54. Yann Cebron

    Yann Cebron says:

    December 11, 2012

    Murali, could you please file a detailed bug report in our issue tracker Thanks!

  55. Avatar

    bigor says:

    December 12, 2012

    Darcula theme is generally OK. Before Idea 12 I used custom themes found on this blog so I already used to dark theme. However, those themes as well as Darcula have common problem:
    color of error/info messages that shows on project load, or errors shown on facets and artefact settings dialogs use light pink background and white text. Contrast is so low that it’s impossible to read the text. I thought that Darcula (being official theme) will have that right, but it seems that I was wrong. I tried to find and change that in color scheme settings but no luck. Does anybody know how to fix this?

  56. Avatar

    Rico says:

    December 12, 2012

    @bigor, look in Settings at Editor->Color&Fonts->General->Notification background and make the Background darker.

  57. Avatar

    bigor says:

    December 12, 2012

    @Rico, tried that, but no effect. Thanks anyway.

  58. Avatar

    Jason says:

    December 13, 2012

    You saved my life…

    Keep it up.

  59. Avatar

    Albert says:

    December 21, 2012

    is it possible to switch to previous theme of 11?
    i think icons and colors of 11 are better than this theme.

  60. Avatar

    bigor says:

    December 21, 2012

    Found out the cause of my problem:
    I switched only editor color schema to Darcula and that was not enough, I wasn’t aware that theme under Settings–>Appearance also has to be switched.
    I find this little bit confusing. Since notification background color is defined under Editor colors isn’t it logical that changing editor schema to Darcula should change notification background as defined in that schema.

  61. Avatar

    Naeem Ghumman says:

    December 31, 2012

    Awesome release !
    Thanks jetbrains team. I appreciate your effort.

  62. Avatar

    Fred R says:

    January 2, 2013

    I like using the new Dracula theme however I don’t like the green highlight that comes on when I’m editing CDATA code blocks. This green highlighting is normally there in other themes however against the darker Dracula theme background it’s too hard to see the text. Is there a way to disable or adjust this green highlight? Thanks.

  63. Avatar

    Erick says:

    January 8, 2013

    @fred R : settings/editor/ Colors & Fonts / General / Injected Language Fragment

    • Avatar

      Denis says:

      June 5, 2015

      Thank u so much from 2015!)

  64. Avatar

    joe says:

    January 21, 2013

    I’m evaluating IDEA 12 Ultimate Edition for Play development. How do you import an existing Play 2.0 project?

    I’ve tried “play idea” from the terminal, but when I try to import as an existing project, the resulting project shows compile errors for all Play libraries, such as “Cannot resolve symbol Controller”.

    I have the Scala, SBT, and Play plug-ins installed.

  65. Avatar

    EZ says:

    January 28, 2013

    Intellij Idea 12 is not applying Java colors and fonts properly to classes. Things like instance variables, constants, static variables, unused etc. Not sure what’s wrong.

  66. Avatar

    Mikkel says:

    February 6, 2013

    Can we please have the 11 (and older) icons back? Holy moly the new themes are bad.

  67. Avatar

    Mikkel says:

    February 6, 2013

    For anyone else who has issues with the new icons, help is here:

  68. Avatar

    Paul says:

    March 14, 2013

    Once you change to darcula you can’t change back to Default. Also the block line on the left disappears with darcula theme. I use that block line all the time to see the whole block and go to the end of the block, etc.

  69. Avatar

    Jeff Gardner says:

    April 18, 2013


    Thank you very much for giving details on how to change the Injected Language Fragment background color. That is annoying!

  70. Avatar

    Runar says:

    August 1, 2013

    I have the same issue as Paul. Running latest version of IntelliJ (on Ubuntu) and can’t switch the theme of the editor back to default. It is stuck in Darcula.

    Been running Darcula for ages – then got glare on the screen and tried to change:
    First change theme. Press Apply – and don’t restart yet. Restart manually afterwards. Editor is stuck in Darcula.

  71. Avatar

    vela says:

    July 26, 2014

    Dracular theme can open source?

  72. Avatar

    Whatever says:

    September 1, 2014

    I think Dracula should no be so dark, because the contrast with the rest of the environment is brutal… Otherwise it’s perfect

  73. Avatar

    Tom Gibson says:

    October 31, 2014

    I also can’t switch from Dracula back to Default.

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