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Eclipse Plug-in Developer Guide
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Eclipse Platform
Release 3.5

Package org.eclipse.ui.texteditor.templates

Application programming interfaces for interaction with the Eclipse text editor template support.


Interface Summary
ITemplatesPage Interface for a templates page.

Class Summary
AbstractTemplatesPage Abstract default implementation for ITemplatesPage.
TemplatePreferencePage A template preference page allows configuration of the templates for an editor.
TemplatePreferencePage.EditTemplateDialog Dialog to edit a template.
TemplatesView The Templates view.hosts ITemplatesPages that shows the templates for the currently active editor part.

Package org.eclipse.ui.texteditor.templates Description

Application programming interfaces for interaction with the Eclipse text editor template support.



  • org.eclipse.jface.text.templates
  • org.eclipse.ui.workbench.texteditor.templates
  • org.eclipse.ui.editors.templates


Templates are shortcuts for frequently used fragments of text such as code patterns or complex text entities. They may contain variables which are only resolved at the time when the template is inserted within a context. Together with linked mode, inserting a template can create a on-the-fly edit mask within a text viewer.

Templates are specified as text, variables are defined using the ${variable} notation known from Ant, for example. The following snippet shows an example template for an instance check in Java:
if (${name} instanceof ${type}) {
    ${type} ${new_name} = (${type})${name};
In this template, the variables (name,type, ...) are resolved when inserted into java source and changing one variable instance will also change the other. When leaving linked mode, the caret is placed at the cursor variable.

Template functionality can be added to a custom text editor by offering TemplateProposals as content assist choices, which is simplified by using a subclass of TemplateCompletionProcessor. User template management can be offered by including a TemplatePreferencePage which uses a TemplateStore and ContextTypeRegistry as the underlying model to store templates. The org.eclipse.ui.editors.templates extension point can be used to allow other plug-ins to contribute templates to an editor. This is accomplished by using the ContributionTemplateStore and ContributionContextTypeRegistry subclasses of the above types.

Template variables are resolved by a TemplateVariableResolver. GlobalTemplateVariables offers some default variables such as date, user, and selection, but advanced features such as resolving to language constructs can be performed in subclasses.


  • Template a template consists of name, context type identifier, and a pattern.
  • TemplateTranslator and TemplateBuffer are used to parse the template grammar and don't need to be used usually.
  • A TemplateProposal can be offered in content assist, possibly created by a subclass of TemplateCompletionProcessor.
  • TemplateStore and ContextTypeRegistry manage a set of templates within a plug-in and offer ways to store them in the preferences or externally in XML streams via a TemplateReaderWriter.
  • ContributionTemplateStore and ContributionContextTypeRegistry add awareness for the org.eclipse.ui.editors.templates extension point.
  • TemplatePreferencePage allows the user to access the templates within a TemplateStore.


See the Template Editor Example in the org.eclipse.ui.examples.javaeditor project.

Eclipse Platform
Release 3.5

Guidelines for using Eclipse APIs.

Copyright (c) Eclipse contributors and others 2000, 2008. All rights reserved.

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