Opening Many Project in One Frame

Posted on by Gary Hockin

It’s happened! One of the most eagerly anticipated features of 2016.3 is the ability to open many projects in a single frame, here’s how.

It’s the era of micro-services, and many people have requested the ability to dock multiple project folders in a single PhpStorm chrome. The first project opened will always be the primary project, and all settings and rules can be defined in this primary project. To add a new project to an existing frame, go to File, then open a project as usual.


You will only get this option if you have the dialog enabled, if it’s disabled, you can enable it again by using the System Settings pane in the preferences window.

Once you’ve added a project to a current window, you’ll see two (or more) root folders in the left hand Project pane. It’s worth repeating that the interpreter settings and other project-specific configuration such as Docker or Vagrant settings will come from from the top primary project.

If you wish to remove a project from this window, you can right-click on the root directory for that project, and select Remove From Project View.

Having multiple projects in the same window is a vast improvement for people who have several small projects that make up a larger service. Give it a go and let us know what you think.

— Gary and the PhpStorm Team

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21 Responses to Opening Many Project in One Frame

  1. Kurt Tischer says:

    November 17, 2016

    Thank you. This is the one feature that has kept me from moving away from my usual IDE. Now I have no more excuses to not use PHPStorm.

  2. Reynier Pérez Mira says:

    November 18, 2016

    I am getting the following message as soon as I try this “The project at /home/rperez/Repos/another-lamp-docker/.idea uses a non-standard layout and cannot be attached to this project. Would you like to open it in a new window?” any idea?

  3. Derimagia says:

    November 20, 2016

    I don’t see this feature available in IntelliJ, is there a way to enable it there?

    • Maxim Kolmakov says:

      November 21, 2016

      The feature is enabled only for a couple of small IDEs (PhpStorm, PyCharm and RubyMine at the moment). We’ve not planned to implement it in the IntelliJ so far.

      • Kasper Peulen says:

        November 22, 2016

        I don’t see this feature in the latest PhpStorm (EAP)

  4. Kasper Peulen says:

    November 21, 2016

    I don’t see this feature in the latest EAP.

    • Maxim Kolmakov says:

      December 7, 2016

      Sorry for the late response. Please try PhpStorm 2016.3.1.

  5. Cosmin Sandu says:

    November 28, 2016

    When trying to open a project I get the following error:
    The project at …sub-project.idea uses a non-standard layout and cannnot be attached to this project. Whould you like to open in a new window?

    Also if I delete the .idea folder form the target project I get the same error.

    Is there any requirements to one such a project?

  6. Senorihl says:

    December 1, 2016

    Cannot reproduce with PhpStorm 2016.3 Build #PS-163.7743.50, built on November 22, 2016.
    I only get the usual dialog.
    Anyone ?

    • Senorihl says:

      December 2, 2016

      Nevermind I was using reopen instead of open … My Bad.

  7. SJ Mayer says:

    December 6, 2016

    It seems since this was introduced that I’m getting the confirm window prompt, whenever selecting Open Recent, despite my system settings being set to Open project in a new window

    PhpStorm 2016.3
    Build #PS-163.7743.50, built on November 22, 2016

  8. Logan Graham says:

    December 7, 2016

    @maximkolmakov:disqus How does this work for projects that partially share a root directory, or parent directory? Is there any support for simultaneous VCS editing and whatnot?

    • Maxim Kolmakov says:

      December 8, 2016

      Unfortunately, support is very limited at the moment. Basically settings for all projects are taken only from the main project. So the whole action is very similar to previous “Add Content Root”. Please vote for: to get better support.


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