eclipse 3.3 Finally Supports Drag ‘n’ Drop Text

I’ve finally moved my entire workflow over to eclipse 3.3 (Europa) from eclipse 3.2 (Callisto). One of the things I found lacking, and at times frustrating, in eclipse 3.2 was the fact that you couldn’t highlight a block of text and just drag and drop it elsewhere within the editor – or “drag copy” it. Because this functionality has been ingrained into my sub-conscience over many years I have only just realised that it has been added to eclipse in this version.

I had spent the better part of this morning commenting up code and lo and behold I had been drag / dropping text around to improve legibility (comments etc) and then my brain froze as I realised what I was doing and within which application. I know eclipse has a lot of knockers as an IDE but by adding in this simple feature it has made my day (until I have a slice of cake and a coffee at 11:00am :p).

Oh and for those not sure why this is good news – well Flex Builder 3 (standalone) will have it too :D

Mike Jones


  1. For me, this makes eclipse usable now. It’s sad how dependent I am on that little feature – so much so that until now, I simply couldn’t write code in eclipse (at least not without screaming at my screen every 20 seconds).

  2. I didn’t recognize it too, but for another reason: I’m developing a “JSF-Application” and in the XML/JSF/JSP-Editor – I dont know why – it still doesn’t work.
    That was a reason for, at the first point, to not believe in this post.
    But I did a test, you’re right: The pure Java-Editor is able to now, and this nice feature can even be switched off in the preferences->General->Editors->Text Editors … ;)

  3. It was the reason to ignore eclispe for me too. I now installed it again and I love that this works now, except for HTML files it still doesn’t seem to work… Is there some preference shoud turn of or off…? I found a checkbox Enable drag and drop of text in the general editor preferences but this is allready turned on. I don’t see the same option under HTML. Is there something else I’m missing here…?


Comments are closed.