My Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts for RSE
Published: April 18, 2007
by Susan Gantner
When using RSE for editing my CL, DDS, RPG or COBOL code, I find that I can save a lot of time by using keyboard shortcuts for functions that would otherwise require that I take my hands off the keyboard to use the mouse. So I thought I would share a few of my favorites. Many of the shortcuts I use are standard for other Windows-based applications that I also use for email, spreadsheets or text editing.
These include some very common ones such as:
- Ctl-C to copy, Ctl-V, or Shift-Insert to paste, and Ctl-X or Shift-Delete to cut.
- Ctl-Z to undo--very high on my list of favorites!--and Ctl-Y to redo.
- Home jumps to the beginning of a line and End jumps to the end of a line.
- Ctl-Home jumps to top of the member and Ctl-End jumps to end of the member.
- Ctl-F opens the Find/Replace dialog.
- Ctl-S saves the source back to wherever I opened it from--typically the host source member--without closing it.
Other shortcuts are not standard across other applications, but are specific to some combination of Eclipse (on which WDSc and RSE are based) or the WDSc workbench. I use these to help navigate my way around the workbench. Here are some of my favorites:
- Ctl-F6 switches between Editor tabs, i.e., it switches between open members.
- Ctl-E pops up a list of open members for selection.
- Ctl-F7 toggles between Views in the workbench (e.g., from Editor to Outline View)
- Ctl-F8 toggles between open Perspectives (e.g., from RSE to Debug or iSeries Projects)
- Ctl-M maximizes or shrinks a View in the workbench, replacing a double click at the top of the view. There is an exception to this one: it does something completely different in the Editor view. I'll talk more about that later.
- Ctl-Shift-A brings up a dialog to open a member by filling in the library, file and member name when I don't want to drill down using filters in RSE. In earlier releases of WDSc, this was done with Clt-Shift-I.
This last set of favorite shortcuts relate specifically to the LPEX Editor (the editor that RSE uses by default):
- Ctl-Backspace deletes a line. This comes in particularly handy when I have hit Enter too many times and accidentally end up with several blank lines in my source.
- Alt-S splits a line at the cursor position. I find this especially useful when writing RPG expressions and I run out of space on a line.
- Alt-J joins the next line to the end of the current one, which can be useful once I've discovered a shorter way to handle that complex expression!
- Ctl-M finds the matching End for my code block, such as an If or Do in RPG, It also works in reverse--to find the matching block beginning for an End operation. This is very helpful for sorting out complicated nesting logic in fixed-form calc specs in RPG. Note that this is the exception to the use of Ctl-M to minimize or maximize a view.
- Ctl-F5 clears out those pesky pink error messages that appear in the editor window before an expression is finished, after a cut and paste that was not aligned properly or after a "clean" verify action.
- Ctl-Shift-V verifies the source from the editor.
- Ctl-Shift-C compiles the source from the editor.
There are many more keyboard shortcuts, but these are among my favorites. I hope I may have introduced you to a few that you haven't tried before. Maybe they will save you a little time in the future. If you want to try out some other keyboard shortcuts for the editor, key the command ? SEU in the editor command line (press Esc to get to the command line) and you will see a help page with a long list of shortcuts.
Susan Gantner is one of the most respected System i gurus in the world and is one of the co-founders of System i Developer, an organization dedicated to RPG, DB2, and other relevant software technologies for the System i platform. Gantner, who has worked in IBM's Rochester and Toronto labs, left IBM to focus on training OS/400 and i5/OS shops on the latest programming technologies. She is a regular speaker at COMMON and other user groups, too. You can contact her at susan@SystemiDeveloper.com.
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