Quick File Opening in NetBeans

NetBeans is an irreplaceable tool for my every day use. Yes, it’s written in boring, slow Java, but the feature set is great and it helps me to get my tasks done without getting in my way. There are some things that could be better or more responsive. One of those things are code scanning and opening files. I like how Sublime Text 2 does the file open (Go to Anything), and this is how to achieve this in NetBeans.

First, without any plugins, you can type ALT + SHIFT + O which brings up the Go to File dialogue. It is ok, but it doesn’t provide the fuzzy search (you can emulate it by putting * between letters). To achieve fuzzy searching, we need the help of a plug-in called Open File Fast. Plug-in is last reported to run with NetBeans 6.9, but I’m running it with latest, 7.2. To install and configure it, follow these steps:

  • Go to http://plugins.netbeans.org/plugin/16495/open-file-fast and download for the latest version
  • In NetBeans, go to Tools → Plugins → Downloaded → Add Plugins, select the downloaded file and click Install (http://wiki.netbeans.org/FaqPluginInstall)
  • Restart NetBeans (although it is not needed to run the plug-in, I found that I couldn’t set key short cut for Open File Fast)
  • Now for the short cut. Go to Tools → Options → Keymap, search for “open file fast” → Assign short cut
I’ve assigned it CTRL + P. It still isn’t near as fast as Sublime Text, but it gets the job done.
  • Brain

    Doesnt works on netbeans 7.2.
    I installed this plugin on my 7.2 linux version. It suddenly crushing my netbeans after restart. Sadly i have to uninstalled this plugin. RollBack to manual search on project pallete.

  • Isuru

    You don’t need any plugins to do the thing in NetBeans IDE. just hit Alt+Shift+o and it opens the Go to file option in which you can search and open any file instantly.

  • Bronius Motekaitis

    Neat. On Mac, in Netbeans 8.0.2, it’s SHIFT+Fn+Ctrl+O. Thanks for the post — useful as this will be to add to my workflow it’s not, unfortunately, what sought after: I would love to see NetBeans quick-view a file like in Sublime and Espresso (without “opening” it until edits or double click).