Making yourself at home in SQLDeveloper

I had to configure a new work laptop recently. This task was complicated somewhat by many of the usual issues us techies face when working for a large organization.
Admin privileges are out of the question. Pre-packaged applications are out-of-date and modern open-source development tools tend to fall foul of seemingly arbitrary security policies.
As a result, I’ve had to rely even more than usual on the Swiss Army Knife of the Oracle database.
Fortunately, there’s more to SQLDeveloper than getting stones out of horses hooves. So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided to arbitrarily declare that it’s now SQLDeveloper Appreciation Month. This is largely because, in exploring it’s capabilities, I’ve found myself with enough material to knock out a number of posts over the next few weeks.
It seems appropriate to begin this journey with a look at how you can make SQLDeveloper feel a bit more homely.
How can you encourage this most configurable of tools to do all the things you find so helpful whilst at the same time curbing some of it’s less endearing habits ?
Quite often, the answer can be found in the Preferences Tree.

About now, I’d normally give you a list of topics I’ll be covering. First of all though, for anyone who has found their way here in a desparate search for how to tweak something specific in this tool, here are links to the relevant sections of the post :

Note that the steps for navigating from the menu to the Preferences tree is included in each of these sections.
If you’ve the time and inclination to read the post from the top, I hope that you’ll forgive the repitition. Oh, and you’ll probably also still want to know what I’m going to cover :

  • Customising the Look and Feel of the Code Editor
  • Getting SQLDeveloper to Format your code just the way you like it
  • Saving yourself lots of typing with a code template
  • Customising SQLDeveloper Utilities defaults because life’s too short to be ticking boxes
  • Miscellaneous tweaks to make you feel more at home
  • If all else fails, ask Jeff Smith

One more thing before we get started. This post is intended to show you where these settings are. The values I set them to are according to my preferences which may not be shared by everyone (anyone ?) even though they’re absolutely the right way to do things because…well…they just are OK ?!

Right then, from the Tools menu select Preferences…

Continue reading