If you use JDeveloper 10g on a laptop screen at 1024 x 768 resolution, this short article contains some tips that can help you make the most of your screen real estate.
Understanding Dockable Windows and Editor Windows
The various tools you use inside the JDeveloper environment are either dockable windows or they are editor windows. Dockable windows can be docked to the left, right, top, or bottom edges of the JDeveloper 10g main window, or you can drag them to have them float independently. Along a particular edge of the screen, dockable windows can be either tabbed together into groups, or they can appear separately. By grabbing their title bar, you can drag them where you want them to be with visual feedback that helps you understand while you are dragging where they will go if you drop them at the current location.
Editor windows appear inside the center of the JDeveloper 10g window. Multiple editor windows can be tabbed into one or more groups, placed side-by-side, or placed one above the other. By dragging the window tab, you can drag them into any of these supported configurations. Some editor windows also allow splitting the view using a little splitter-handle at the top of the scrollbar alley. This, for example, would allow you to work on both the visual view and the source code view of a Web Page, Swing Panel, XML Schema, or other supported artifact.
Controlling Docking Layout Preferences
In the JDeveloper 10g Tools | Preferences dialog, expand the Environment category to reveal the Dockable Windows subcategory. This panel in the IDE preferences allows you to control how docked windows will use the space along the edges of the screen. You can click on the curved arrows to change the settings. Below you see what the dialog panel looks like if you've chosen to give the right edge of the screen more vertical space. This can be useful if you use the Data Control Palette, Component Palette, and Property Inspector — which are more vertically-oriented windows — on this side of the screen.
Maximizing Windows in 10.1.3
In JDeveloper 10.1.3, you can double-click on a window tab to temporarily maximize the window to occupy the entire screen. Double-clicking the window tab again restores the window back to its original size. This can be useful to focus your attention on an editor window with maximum screen space.
While an editor window is maximized, the docked windows are hidden. If you want to see/use the tools in a docked window while an editor window is maximized, you can undock the dockable window — causing it to float ouside the JDeveloper 10g main window — and then maximize your desired editor.
Autohiding Docked Windows
When you work on a smaller-size screen, it can be helpful to have the docked windows auto-hide themselves when you are not using them just like the Windows "Task Bar" can do when you've set it to auto-hide. By hovering your mouse over the auto-hidden dockable window's icon in the margin, it will pop open allowing you to interact with it, before it will hide itself again.
In JDeveloper 10.1.2, you accomplish this using the little "pushpin" icon in the dockable window's title bar. In JDeveloper 10.1.3, the icon now uses the standard "minimize" and "restore" icons on the dockable window title bar to accomplishing the same thing.
Making All Autohidden Tabs Show Their Titles
When a window is auto-hidden, how it shows in the relevant screen edge margin depends on whether it was tabbed together with other dockable windows or not. For example, if you have four separate dockable windows arranged in a tabbed configuration like this:
When you auto-hide one of the tabs, the whole tab group auto-hides as a unit. When auto-hidden, the dockable window shows an icon and a title for the currently active tab, while the other non-active tabs in the group show only their icon like this:
If you want to see the icon and the title of each auto-hidden dockable window, then here's a tip. First, drag your dockable windows into an arrangement where they are sitting side by side — or one above the other as appropriate. For example, if we did this to the four tabbed windows above, they would look like this...
Then, when you auto-hide these four windows, they will each have their icon and their title visible like this...
and you can hover over any one individually to have it pop up without bringing up the others.