I Hate it When Toad Gets in My Way!


Sometimes help is more like harm. Eye of the beholder and all that jazz...

This week was ‘visit customers and show off Toad’ week. I didn’t get a lot of questions, but one question did come up in almost every meeting – “How do we turn off that annoying popup thingy in the editor?!? I just want to type and Toad gets in my way!”

The good news is that it is very, very easy to turn off. The better news is that you can turn it off and STILL use the feature when you want it.

Lost? Have no idea what I’m talking about? Check out the image to the right. If you are a smartphone user, you probably suffer from a similar issue of the software trying to be smarter than you are, auto-correct. Some people love it, some people hate it.

There’s a few reasons some people don’t like this feature:

  • they just want a ‘dumb’ editor like notepad – anything over what notepad is considered over-kill
  • the pop-ups pop-up when you don’t want them to
  • you have a huge database and Toad kills your CPU trying to use this feature

Here’s an example of the unwanted help: there you are documenting your code, and you are a stickler for proper grammar, and you DARE to use periods to end your sentences. All of a sudden, Toad is trying to load a list of tables IN THE MIDDLE OF A DARN COMMENT! A comment! The nerve!

I am just trying to honestly portray the way some Toad users feel here, I actually like this feature. But, I have it setup to only work when I tell it to. This is a blog, and you can’t tell, but I cackled a maniacal evil laugh as I typed that, muwahahahahahaha!

Do you want to be eeeevil, like me? Then read on!

Option One: Slow doooowwwwnnnn the pop-ups.

By default Toad waits 1.5 seconds before it tries to guess what you are typing and bring up the pop-up window. This is configurable. You could set the delay to something like 5 seconds. This should give you plenty of time to type your ‘.’ and get past it without Toad hitting your database.

Slow down the annoying pop-ups

Option Two: Completely turn it off.

‘Enable code insight pick list’ – disable this feature. Then as you type, the pop-up will never pop-up, unless you ask for it. To ask for it, use this keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Period’. You can also use ‘Ctrl’ + ‘T’. I think the ‘T’ is short of ‘table’, but you can of course use this for any database object.

Turn it off, just TURN IT OFF!

It Gets Better in v11

If you really like this feature and it only gets your goat when you’re working on your comments, then prepare to be relieved. In v11 of Toad for Oracle, the code insight pop-ups won’t activate if you are typing in a COMMENT. You screamed, we listened, and now we have delivered! You can still force the pop-up in a comment using the ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Period’ key sequence.

Mitigate the Overhead on your Database

Toad queries for a list of objects in the database. Your database can have a LOT of objects. There’s an option in Toad to ‘cache’ this list of objects. This means that Toad will only query it once per connection. So you only get the ‘pain’ one time. The only drawback here is that Toad will use more of your PC’s memory, and it will not update the list of objects automatically. So if you add a new table or a new column, you’ll need to refresh the popup list to re-query the database.

To take advantage of the cache, enable this option:

Trade some memory for some performance

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