Keyboard Shortcuts in Oracle SQL Developer

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 134 Comments

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The CTRL key, which stands for ConTRoL…aw, the good ole days 🙂

What keyboard shortcuts should EVERY Oracle SQL Developer user know? How do you find new shortcuts to master, and how do you change them to match ones you’ve already learned in other tools?

These are the driving questions for today’s post.

While some of us may be keyboard ninjas, and others are more driven to use the mouse – everyone has probably picked up a few strategic keyboard shortcuts over the years. For example, I’ve personally JUST memorized the Cmd-Shift-4 ‘trick’ in Mac OS X. And of course we all know what F1 does, right? Right?!?

Here are a few more keyboard shortcuts to commit to memory.

My Favorite SQL Developer Shortcuts

  1. ctrl-enter : executes the current statement(s)
  2. F5 : executes the current code as a script (think SQL*Plus)
  3. ctrl-space : invokes code insight on demand

    Code Editor – Completion Insight – Enable Completion Auto-Popup (Keyword being Auto)

  4. ctrl-Up/Dn : replaces worksheet with previous/next SQL from SQL History
  5. ctrl-shift+Up/Dn : same as above but appends instead of replaces
  6. shift+F4 : opens a Describe window for current object at cursor
  7. ctrl+F7 : format SQL
  8. ctrl+/ : toggles line commenting
  9. ctrl+e : incremental search

And New for Version 4.0…

  • Alt+PageDown: Will take focus from worksheet edit area to results pane. Alt+PageUp takes you back up in the opposite direction

Configuring Keyboard Shortcuts in SQL Developer

Tools > Preferences > Shortcut Keys

Search by command name OR the keystroke itself

Some tips…

  • Sort by category
  • Pay special attention to the ‘Code Editor’ and ‘Other’ categories
  • Mind the conflicts when you change the defaults
  • Be nice – share! You can save your new mappings with your co-workers using the Export and Import buttons

Click on ‘More Actions’ to expose the Import and Export buttons

When I get ‘bored’ or if I think I might be missing something, I peruse the Code Editor and Other categories, again! I’ve picked up quite a few cool editor tricks here. Then I blog about them, like they’re ‘magic.’ #EvilLaugh

But the main tip is this – don’t let your previously memorized keyboard shortcuts SHORTCUT your usage of SQL Developer. If your fingers have already memorized some keystrokes, just re-program SQL Developer to match!

What’s your favorite shortcut?

I’ll use the most popular shortcut mentioned in the comments to round out my Top 10 list above!

I know, I know, I forgot your FAVORITE ONE. But, you already know your favorites, yes?

I know, I know, I forgot your FAVORITE ONE. But, you already know your favorites, yes?

For the 5-6% of our users out there who use Macs :)

For the 5-6% of our users out there who use Macs 🙂

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Comments 134

  1. Hi Jeff
    Do you know a shortcut – or how to assign shortcuts – to the “query result/Explain Plan” accordion collapse/expand actions? (the actions you activate using the small black up/down arrows in the split line between Worksheet and Query results tabs.)

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  2. Thanks to any and all who share their expertise.

    Question on adding functionality to shortcut. When I press ctrl-enter the current command is executed. as expected. However the cursor remains in its pre-execute position when I’d prefer it to jump to end of command–if only so I know I’ve executed that particular statement. I know third-party tools can be used to move cursor down but I’d really like to have capabilities within vanilla Sql Developer. I’m running on

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  3. Hi!

    Can not assign shortcut – help!

    I did modify a few shortcuts and are working fine. Today I wanted to add another one (command “Toggle Multiline Comments”, which doesn’t have assigned shortcut) and SQLDev is not assigning the new shortcut.

    I get the Shortcut Keys window, search for “comme”, the results show up, click on “Toggle Multiline Comments”, click down on “New Shortcut” and type CTRL+Minus, the keystroke gets registered in the New Shortcut filed, click on Assign button, but then nothing happens (the assigned shortcut should appear in the “Shortcut” column on the “Toggle Multiline Comments” row.

    I tried to export the shortcuts to .xml file to see if I can configure it there manually and then import it back, however it exports only defined shortcuts, so can not add new shortcuts for non assigned commands through editing the xml file. Nevertheless I tried to assign the shortcut by addding the following section in the exported shortcuts file and then importing it back (I deducted the command by looking at other commands and their name in the exported file, maybe I got it wrong)

    I imported back into SQLDev, no complaints or errors, but the shortcut is still not assigned

    This is what I have in the logging page, maybe it’s relevant:
    SEVERE 5288 17952 oracle.dbtools.raptor.backgroundTask.RaptorTaskManager$1 null at oracle.ide.keyboard.KeyStrokePanel.whenAdd(

    I’m on SQL Developer Version Build 277.2354 on Windows 10 Pro 64bit.

    Kind regards, Aleksander

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  4. Hi Matt,

    I have recently upgraded to SQL Developer Version and unable to use the format option any longer. Cntrl+F7 used to work perfectly fine in my previous version. Also, checked the Preferences and Format command points to Other Category with the Shortcut as Ctrl+F7 .


    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  5. ALT+F10 = New worksheet and you pick the connection – not on your cheat sheet but it’s my favorite shortcut

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
    1. thatjeffsmith Post
  6. Ctrl+Left Mouse Click – this used to open the full Describe Window but now, in 18.1, it is only showing “Details” and “SQL” tab. Oh well, Shift+F4 still works but it is in an annoying floating window.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
    2. Thanks, Jeff. I should mention we just upgraded to Windows 10 here on our client machines. Running Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition Release – 64bit Production.

      Ctrl-Click was working previously on Windows 7 but now it is only showing 2 tabs – Details and SQL. I can get to to the full Describe Window by going to Ctrl-Click >> Details >> and then double-clicking on the base_object hyperlink.

    3. thatjeffsmith Post

      Ok I’m on Win10, 12cR2, and Java 8 – the table editors are working fine.

      If you browse to a table directly from the tree, are you seeing the entire editor there?

      Have you disabled any Features?

    4. Sorry, you had 2 questions there. Yes, I can see the full editor with all tabs – Columns, Data, Model, Constraints, … Indexes, SQL. I have not disabled any features and it was a fresh install on SQLDeveloper.

    5. thatjeffsmith Post
    6. I’m having the same issue, but only when I try to Ctrl+Left Mouse Click tables from schemas outside of my current connection.

    7. Hi Matt,

      maybe you have it sorted out by now…
      I have tried that on my PC (never knew this shortcut existed) .

      It behaves exactly like you said, when I am using CTRL-LeftClick on a SYNONYM of a table (only showing the 2 tabs you mention) . If I replace the synonym with normal TABLE NAME, then it opens up the full describe (many tabs)…


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