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Home » Eclipse Projects » Web Tools Project (WTP) » How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever?(It really is the most annoying feature I've ever come across in an IDE)
icon8.gif  How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #655368] Sun, 20 February 2011 01:39 Go to next message
Dan Nye is currently offline Dan Nye
Messages: 3
Registered: February 2011
Junior Member
I've been struggling for the past 6 hours to find a way to permanently disable the ironically-named "smart insert" feature of Eclipse. I've searched the help files, the internet, and turned off pretty much every autocomplete, content assist, and typing option going for all file types, and even blanked all comment code templates for all languages... and yet Eclipse still persists in second guessing what I know I want to do, visually raping me with extra asterisks whenever I type /* and press Enter.

I guess I should count myself lucky it's only in my JS and PHP editors, and that it doesn't do it in my CSS editor as well.

I know I can turn it off on the menu or using the shortcut key, but this seems to be a per-file setting - when I open another file (even of the same type), the bloody thing has turned itself back on - which makes my blood boil. If I turn a setting off, I expect it to stay off, not sneak itself back on at every possible opportunity!

I don't want to ditch Eclipse in favour of another IDE as I've used it for years (and I detest the SVN integration in IntelliJ), but if I can't find a way to disable what must be the most annoying feature ever invented, I might go postal!

I would be more grateful than you will ever know if someone could tell me how I can disable smart insert permanently, no ifs, no buts - always. If it helps, I'm using Eclipse 3.6.1.

Thanks,

Dan

[Updated on: Sun, 20 February 2011 01:58]

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Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #660728 is a reply to message #655368] Mon, 21 March 2011 12:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nitin Dahyabhai is currently offline Nitin Dahyabhai
Messages: 2310
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
I'm not aware of a way to do it permanently, but the part of the status bar that shows that Smart Insert is the current mode can be used to turn it off just by double clicking there. And, or course, there should be a key binding for controlling it on your Edit menu.

---
Nitin Dahyabhai
Eclipse WTP, IBM
Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #660761 is a reply to message #660728] Mon, 21 March 2011 13:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dan Nye is currently offline Dan Nye
Messages: 3
Registered: February 2011
Junior Member
I understand that I could turn it off every time I open a file, but can you imagine how tedious that becomes after the first one, two, three, ... ten, twenty, ... fifty sixty, ... files? It really does slow me down - you have no idea just how annoying this "smart" feature is to me.

I'm sure the naming of it is some sort of sick joke, as something that causes me to waste time undoing what it does (something that I don't want in the first place) can hardly be considered very "smart". Perhaps it's a big boon to people who edit Java and JSP files, who knows... but for me with my JS and PHP files, it's a very heavy millstone around a very sore neck.

I've pretty much had it up to "here" with the feature (and with with jokes that rely on visual imagery Very Happy) so I'm going to give NetBeans a try. If it does all I need then my long relationship with Eclipse will be, sadly, coming to a very abrupt end over this one issue.

I'm by no means the only person to vehemently dislike this behaviour as I've found two bugs relating to it, 250594: Smart Insert Mode always on by default raised in 2008, and 319532: Allow to disable smart auto-indent on return, raised last year.

From the seemingly childish taunts that Daniel Megert seems to derive pleasure from dishing out to the bug reporters who have to put up with this annoyance, only to dash their hopes with a "WONTFIX" status, I get the impression that this won't be fixed any time soon. I'm not making this personal - but you have to agree that the two bugs I refer to don't exactly give much hope to people who suffer from this day in, day out.

Perhaps, Daniel, if you're reading this, you can answer my question: why are you seemingly so against empowering the user to work faster if they so wish to?

Dan
Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #734087 is a reply to message #655368] Thu, 06 October 2011 16:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jason Loefer is currently offline Jason Loefer
Messages: 4
Registered: October 2011
Junior Member
Ditto. This feature is not only profoundly annoying to some of us, but equally pervasive, as was pointed out.

Please add an option to "permanently" disable this "feature".

TIA
Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #735734 is a reply to message #734087] Wed, 12 October 2011 15:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nick Sandonato is currently offline Nick Sandonato
Messages: 126
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
Hi Jason,

You can disable individual typing features that you may not like through the typing preference pages for the various editors. For example, if you don't like the HTML editor inserting a matching end tag go to Preferences > Web > HTML Files > Editor> Typing and uncheck Insert a matching end tag. While this doesn't disable Smart Insert Mode, hopefully it'll help alleviate some of your frustration.
Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #736071 is a reply to message #735734] Thu, 13 October 2011 13:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jason Loefer is currently offline Jason Loefer
Messages: 4
Registered: October 2011
Junior Member
Thanks Nick. I've tried "C/C++|Editor|Typing |Automatically Close" (unchecked all of those) and "C/C++|Code Style|Code Templates|Comments|*", edited them to nothing (won't let me remove them)...all to no avail.

The biggest issue (but not the only one) I have is when I type:
/*(Enter)
I don't want the editor to "out-smart" me by inserting:
/*
*
*/
Especially since it requires 3 undos to roll out.

This started out as a reasonable exploration in program options, then became a mild annoyance, and now it's become simply INFURIATING!

Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #736100 is a reply to message #736071] Thu, 13 October 2011 15:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dan Nye is currently offline Dan Nye
Messages: 3
Registered: February 2011
Junior Member

Hi Nick,

While I have no doubt that the smart insert feature is invaluable to many, it's also clear that it not everyone's cup of tea, and in fact can slow people down and force them to make edits to their code that they would otherwise not have had to make. It's also obvious that this has been a contentious issue for some time - the first bug I referenced was opened in 2008.

Do you know of a reason why there is no option to disable this feature, or why people would be against offering the option to let the user decide? If not, can you think of any good justification for not adding one into a future release? I would have thought that empowering the user to work faster and hassle-free could only be a boon to the Eclipse IDE.

Dan

Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #736167 is a reply to message #736071] Thu, 13 October 2011 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nitin Dahyabhai is currently offline Nitin Dahyabhai
Messages: 2310
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
I think you'll have to take that up with the CDT, as we don't control the behavior of the C Editor here in WTP.


---
Nitin Dahyabhai
Eclipse WTP, IBM
Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #736169 is a reply to message #736100] Thu, 13 October 2011 18:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nitin Dahyabhai is currently offline Nitin Dahyabhai
Messages: 2310
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
The JavaScript Editor has a fairly complete Typing preference page for its individual Smart Insert functions. But then if it's not behaving in a beneficial manner, I'd rather see it fixed than just turned off. Asking for an option to turn it off just ends the conversation.

---
Nitin Dahyabhai
Eclipse WTP, IBM
Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #754419 is a reply to message #736169] Wed, 02 November 2011 14:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jason Loefer is currently offline Jason Loefer
Messages: 4
Registered: October 2011
Junior Member
Hi Nitin,

It's not that anything at all needs to be fixed. Quite the contrary - Apparently it works very well already...for many developers. As a result, it's been highly refined. This is not the point.

I thought I already had, but I want to be perfectly clear on this: Smart insert is not for EVERYONE.

I simply don't understand the resistance to make it more flexible by simply adding an option to globally turn it off at the DEVELOPER's discretion, especially considering the presumably small amount of work to implement it.

In terms of the proper group, I was merely responding to a thread already posted by Dan. The editor affects all languages supported.

Thanks,

-Jason

Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #760530 is a reply to message #736071] Fri, 02 December 2011 17:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
spambugg is currently offline spambugg
Messages: 1
Registered: December 2011
Junior Member
Hi Jason,

i'm not 100% sure to match your wish, but give it a try. In Windows Menu select Preferences and type in javadoc. There is a "Content Assistant" with Java proposals, and also a code-style formatter which is matching your /* ...*... */ description.

cheers
Re: How do I permanently disable smart insert, for all file types, forever? [message #781890 is a reply to message #655368] Sun, 22 January 2012 16:35 Go to previous message
Ronny Kavli is currently offline Ronny Kavli
Messages: 1
Registered: January 2012
Junior Member

Dan,

You're far from alone detesting the "Smart-Insert"-mode. Sadly I think this is a politically infected problem more than a technical. There have been requests for a enable/disable earlier, as listed in bug report 250594. Sadly there are some really bone-headed people within the Eclipse-sphere that don't want that to happen, so screaming about it seems to be a waste of breath.

Anyhow, "Smart" Insert is broken by design. Just think of it: If an algorithm could figure out where my braces, brackets and parenthesis should be located, then there would be no need for them in the first place. Typing them by hand is extremely inexpensive compared to deleting them. Marking imbalances is, on the other hand, very valuable.

-- K

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