Running External Tools in PhpStorm

While PhpStorm comes with a lot of integrated utilities and tools, it is virtually impossible to include every tool out there in the IDE. A lesser-known feature in PhpStorm is support for running External Tools. With this feature we can create a shortcut to a tool, which can then be invoked from various menus or by using a keyboard shortcut.

This functionality is available in IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, WebStorm, PhpStorm, RubyMine and AppCode.

This functionality is available in IntelliJ IDEA, PyCharm, WebStorm, PhpStorm, RubyMine and AppCode.

Here’s an example of an external tool. Many image editors create PNG images that are not optimized. What if we wanted to run the OptiPNG tool to optimize our images and make it easy to run?

Custom external tool shortcut under Tools menu

If we select a PNG file in our project, we can simply use the (custom assigned) Alt+I shortcut to optimize it. This will run OptiPNG in a console and displays its output:

Running external tool in PhpStorm

Want to see how this has been done? Find out through the PhpStorm tutorials page!

Your experiences and comments are welcome in the issue tracker, through the comments below or in our forums!

Develop with pleasure!
– JetBrains PhpStorm Team

About Maarten Balliauw

Maarten Balliauw is a Developer Advocate at JetBrains, working on .NET tools. He focuses on .NET, Azure, web technologies and application performance. Maarten is a frequent speaker at various national and international events. In his free time, he brews his own beer. Follow him on Twitter or check his personal blog.
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