Software Development

My tips for using IntelliJ IDEA effectively

I wanted to share my tips and tricks that and especially keyboard shortcuts that make me more productive when using IntelliJ IDEA. IntelliJ is my favorite IDE and a very well thought-out program in general, and despite trying to learn the countless shortcuts available, there are a few that give you the biggest productivity boost already.

My frequently used features and shortcuts that I showed in the video are:


  • IdeaVIM
  • Live templates (e.g. mainpublic static void main( …​)
  • Postfix completion (e.g. "Hello".soutSystem.out.println("Hello");)
  • Ctrl+Space:  Basic code completion
  • Ctrl+Shift+Enter:  Complete current statement
  • Alt+Enter:  Show context actions (aka “quick fix”)
  • Ctrl+Alt+L:  Reformat code (and optimize imports when activated)
  • Ctrl+B:  Go to declaration / usage
  • Ctrl+Shift+B:  Go to implementation(s)
  • Ctrl+U:  Go to super method
  • Alt+Insert:  Generate code
  • F2:  Next highlighted error
  • Ctrl+Alt+V/F/C/P:  Extract variable / field / constant / parameter
  • Ctrl+Alt+N:  Inline
  • Ctrl+F12:  File structure (e.g. list of methods)


  • Ctrl+N:  Go to class
  • Ctrl+Shift+N:  Go to file
  • Shift+Shift:  Find all
  • Alt+1:  Project view
  • Alt+F1+Enter:  Jump to file in project view
  • Ctrl+Shift+F:  Find in files
  • Alt+Left/Right:  Switch open files
  • NerdTree in IdeaVIM


  • Ctrl+Shift+F10:  Run current context
  • Shift+F10:  Run
  • Shift+F9:  Debug
  • F7/F8/F9:  (debug mode) Step into / Step over / Resume program

Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Sebastian Daschner, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: My tips for using IntelliJ IDEA effectively (Video)

Opinions expressed by Java Code Geeks contributors are their own.

Sebastian Daschner

Sebastian Daschner is a self-employed Java consultant and trainer. He is the author of the book 'Architecting Modern Java EE Applications'. Sebastian is a Java Champion, Oracle Developer Champion and JavaOne Rockstar.
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Rob Lewis
3 years ago

Thanks, but how do these map to Mac keystrokes?

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