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Eclipse Plug-in Developer Guide
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Text editors and platform text

The platform text facility is used to implement the default text editor for the workbench.  The interface for text editing is defined in ITextEditor as a text specific extension of IEditorPart.  

The implementation of ITextEditor in the platform is structured in layers.  AbstractTextEditor is the core class of the framework for extending the editor to support source code style editing of text.  This framework is defined in org.eclipse.ui.texteditor.

The concrete implementation class TextEditor defines the behavior for the standard platform text editor.  It is defined in the package org.eclipse.ui.editors.text .

The text editor framework provides a model-independent editor that supports the following features:

  • presentation and user modification of text
  • standard text editing operations such as cut/copy/paste, find/replace
  • support for context and pulldown menus
  • visual presentation of text annotations in rulers or as squigglies in the text
  • automatic update of annotations as the user edits text
  • presentation of additional information such as line numbers
  • syntax highlighting
  • content assist
  • text outlining pages that show the hierarchical structure of the text
  • context sensitive behavior
  • hover support over rulers and text
  • key binding contexts
  • preference handling

We will explore how these features can be implemented in an editor by studying the org.eclipse.ui.examples.javaeditor example.  This example shows how complex features like text coloring, hover help, and automatic indenting can be implemented. 

In discussing these features we will be moving between the abstract framework, the platform editor TextEditor, and the example's subclass, JavaEditor.

  Published under the terms of the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 ("EPL") Design by Interspire