Incremental find. What is that? It is one of many features in SQL Developer that I have managed to overlook. It has been right there though, staring me in the face. I’m betting that many of you have seen it without really SEEING it, just like I have been doing.
Until today that is!
Let’s take a look at the word ‘incremental’ first:
in·cre·men·tal [in-kruh-men-tl, ing-] adjective
increasing or adding on, especially in a regular series: small, incremental tax hikes.
increment + -al1
So it’s like a search that’s increases or adds on?
And really, Dictionary Reference DOTCOM, who uses the word to define said word?
Let’s just see what happens when I use it in SQL Developer.
Our keyboard shortcut is Ctrl+E.
Open a file or PL/SQL object and put your cursor somewhere in the middle of the document.
Type in a search string.
Voila! Right away you should see where the ‘incremental’ is coming in. What it means in this case is that it’s an extra-awesome ‘Find.’
Here’s the Ctrl+F find:
Hitting the ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ arrow buttons will cycle through the text finding the next iteration of the search text. SQL Developer Power Tip: Use F3 to advance the search to the next occurrence.
Now, let’s ‘increment’ our find with Ctrl+E
Incremental Find Backward
I’m going to let you figure out what this does. But here’s a hint. Put your cursor before an exception block, and do a Ctrl+Shift+E. Type your search string. SQL Developer will highlight all occurrences of the the string BEFORE your exception block.