TechTip: Use the Shortcuts in iRAD

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IBM's Rational Application Developer (iRAD) is a great integrated development environment (IDE) to use when developing applications. iRAD allows you to perform end-to-end development of Java, J2EE, Web, and portal applications. In this TechTip, I will illustrate a few great shortcuts you can use when coding in iRAD.

What would we do without shortcuts? Where would we be? Everyone loves the convenience of achieving a lot with quick and easy steps. Likewise in iRAD, shortcuts are your friends. Here are a few very easy ones to use:

  • The standards: Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+S, and Ctrl+A—These are the shortcuts used in most applications. They are used to copy, paste, save, and select all, respectively.
  • Ctrl+D—This shortcut deletes a single line. It is very useful because, unlike other delete options, you do not have to select the line or position your cursor anywhere in particular in order to delete the line. This makes single line deletion very easy.
  • Ctrl+/—Commenting is a very useful practice while coding because it can be used for either annotation or debug purposes. In iRAD, when coding in Java, a single line is commented out by inserting two forward slashes in front of it. Obviously, for this technique to work, you must position the cursor at the front of the line. However, a quick way to accomplish this same task is by using Ctrl+/ (forward slash). The advantage of this shortcut is that the cursor can be anywhere on the line. Another cool use of Ctrl+/ is for uncommenting lines. Simply hit this combo again on a commented line and the line will become uncommented. However, this removes only two slashes at a time. Therefore, if for some reason you have code that looks like Figure 1, when you hit Ctrl+/, only two of the slashes will be removed, so the line will still be commented out until you hit Ctrl+/ again.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/ShortcutsV4--08250600.png

Figure 1: This commented line of code will be uncommented with two uses of Ctrl+/.

Also, be aware that this technique for uncommenting does not work when the line has been commented as shown in Figure 2:

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/ShortcutsV4--08250601.png

Figure 2: This commented line of code uses block commenting style.

Hopefully, these shortcuts will save you some precious time during application development.

Wait...There's More!

There are many more cool features of iRAD. For a long list of "tricks," click on Help -> Tips and Tricks in the menu bar. This will display a laundry list of tricks and tips that you can use to make your code development fun and easy. Happy coding!

Chinwe Edeani is a software engineer at IBM Rochester. She joined IBM in 2004 after graduating from Michigan State University. She is now working in the Customer Solutions Test team. You can contact Chinwe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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