The best way to show how FileBrowser works is by showing it in action.


This is the tool window of FileBrowser. By default it is on the left side of IDEA. In the center you see the listing of the contents of it's current working folder.

You can navigate through the folder hierachy by double clicking on a folder, by pressing ENTER while a folder is selected or by pressing the CursorLeft and Cursor Right keys. CursorLeft navigates to the parent folder while Cursor-Right navigates into the selected folder.

You can open a file by double-clicking on it, by pressing ENTER or Cursor Right while the file is selected.


The tool bar at the top of the tool window provides the following functions and settings.

Press this icon to update the current folder contents listing.
This provides a menu for favorites managing
Go To
Opens a dialog where a folder can be chosen to jump directly to
Go Up
Opens a menu with all ancestors of the current folder.
Autoscroll to Source
Whenever a file is selected in FileBrowser, the file is opened in an editor.
Autoscroll from Source
Makes FileBrowser always show the parent folder of the currently edited file.
Group folders
Makes FileBrowser group the folders in a listing at the top of it
Focus editor
If this is activated, FileBrowser transfers the focus to the editor when it opens a file. Otherwise the focus stays in FileBrowser.
Don't show unknown files
Activate this to make FileBrowser show only files of types IDEA knows.


The favorites menu allows to add the current folder to the project or application favorites and to remove the current folder from any of them..

Project favorites are specific to each project while application favorites are generally available.

The first region in the menu after the managing functions contains the project favorites while the second one contains the application favorites.


The "Go Up" menu contains all ancestors of the current folder. Just select one of them to jump directly to that folder..


While editing a file, you can always press ALT F1 to choose a target in which to select the file.

This is standard IDEA functionality, but now FileBrowser is also available as a target.


You can always filter the items in the list. Just start typing. You can see the current filter below the list and the list is automatically filtered while you're typing. The filter text will change its color to red if applying the filter yields no results.

Press CTRL+Backspace to remove the last character of the filter.

All elements that somewhere contain the filter string pass the filter test.

File operations

Right-clicking inside the file list, brings up a popup menu with some common file operations

Besides the simple operations like Delete or Rename, it's also possible to Copy or Move files to other folders.

File operations

When you execute one of those actions a dialog will open where you can choose the destination folder for the operation. The combobox for the destination folder contains the last 10 chosen folders and all project and application favorites. The Browse-Button at the right of the combobox brings up a dialog where the folder can be chosen..


For each action available in FileBrowser you can define keyboard and mouse shortcuts in IDEA's keymap settings. In the tree on the left side open the Plugins node and then the FileBrowser node to see all available actions. Some actions have default shortcuts. Those are

You can drag and drop a file from outside IDEA into FileBrowser and FileBrowser will show the parent folder of the dropped file.

You can drag and drop a file from FileBrowser into an application outside IDEA which will initiate a copy action or make the application open that file in some way. Windows Explorer would copy the file while Firefox would display it.

(C) Copyright 2007 by Robert F. Beeger (robert (at) beeger (dot) net)