ThatJeffSmith

SQL Developer Incremental Find via Ctrl-E

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!

I know that 'Find' does, but what's this other find do?

Let’s take a look at the word ‘incremental’ first:

From http://dictionary.reference.com

in·cre·men·tal   [in-kruh-men-tl, ing-]
adjective
increasing or adding on, especially in a regular series: small, incremental tax hikes.
Origin:
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.

Ctrl+E

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:

'Normal' 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

Find and highlight all occurrences of the search string forward

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.

Brilliant!