Switching Source Files in the Eclipse Editor (CTRL+TAB)

Ever wondering what could be a keyboard shortcut for something in Eclipse? In my post on 10 Best Eclipse Shortcuts the question came up how to traverse through all the open files in the editor. Finding a shortcut is easy if you know the The Mother of all Eclipse Shortcuts :-). I press CTRL+3 and enter a search term like ‘switch’, and it shows me all shortcuts with ‘switch’ in the description:

CTRL plus 3 shows all shortcuts

CTRL plus 3 shows all shortcuts

So with this I know that CTRL+TAB is to switch to the next editor. Let’s try it out:

CTRL+TAB Popup Window

CTRL+TAB Popup Window

A small pop-up window shows all open sources of the Editor View: Pressing CTRL+TAB repeatedly will iterate through the source files. That way I can quickly switch to another source file without leaving my fingers from the keyboard.

Happy Switching 🙂

6 thoughts on “Switching Source Files in the Eclipse Editor (CTRL+TAB)

  1. Nice! The CTRL+3 and looking up ‘switch’ led me to find what keyboard shortcut I need to use to switch between editor files (CTRL+F6). pretty lame huh, I’ll switch that in my preferences.. CTRL+SHIFT+L is nice too. thanks for help.
    Maybe our commands are different because you use CodeWarrior? I’m using generic Eclipse Inidigio.


    • Yes, some shortcuts are different depending on the Eclipse distribution, and as well depending on the Eclipse version like Indigio. There are so many shortcuts already, and adding additional plugins and having shortcuts for it is sometimes a challenge, as many ‘easy’ shortcuts are already used. So it is better to always check and verify which shortcut is used for what. I use as well the preferences to view my shortcuts, but I have found that CTRL+3 is handy too.


  2. A mistery, in my Eclipse (Indigo) next tab is bound to CTRL+TAB but previous tab is not bound: could be assigned to CTRL+SHIFT+TAB imho (does not conflict with anything, at least in my settings…)


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