Flex Builder workspace layout

Depending on your own personal preferences you will probably have Flex Builder (eclipse) projects set up in a particular manner. Some prefer to have all of their projects in one workspace and open and close them as they need them. Others prefer to adopt a similar set up but use the working set filters to show and hide projects as needed. And a third percentage like to have a separate workspace for each solution they are working on, thus opening and closing a workspace as needed.

I fall in to the second category, those who use working sets and have an individual workspace. I hardly even switch to a different workspace because I have this one set out exactly as I like it and in the past a bit of hacking was required to get your new workspace to look and function identically to its predecessor.

That’s not the case anymore though. Today I opened eclipse (Flex Builder plugin for me :p) and needed to open an old Flex 2 workspace to test some code. So I duly selected Switch Workspace from the File menu and then stopped when the dialog opened. In the rare occasions I have done this in the past I’ve just carried on through and loaded up the new workspace.

However today I spotted something I have selectively ignored for I don’t know how long. The reason I stopped dead in my tracks was that I saw a solitary option on the “browse for workspace” dialog box. It just read “Copy Settings” and was preceded with an expansion arrow. So I expanded this option and lo and behold it provided me with options to copy both my workbench layout and my working sets. Cool.

Now it is unlikely I will stop working the way I do, but it does provide me with some “accident prevention”. I suspect like me you’ve had Flex Builder / eclipse crash on you and when you stat it up again it has lost all of your layout info. To my mind this is a perfect solution for making a back up layout workspace in case your main workspace layout gets corrupted. I know there is a feature in eclipse already to export your workbench layout, but I didn’t have the same level of success as I have using this technique.

Hopefully this will prevent a minor case of hair pulling for some in the future :D

Mike Jones


  1. Did it actually work for you? When I switch to another (Other…) workspace to create a new workspace, even when I check both Workbench Layout and Working Sets, it loses any presentation customizations I made to the workbench. When Flex Builder restarts, I seem to get the factory-default presentation settings. Any idea how to work around that?

  2. Hi Pete, it does ignore things like tab orientation I’ve noticed. It seems to only take the setting s for the actual panels and their positions.

    If you want to do a true copy of your workspace settings in to a new workspace you can’t beat the commandline. There is a hidden folder called .metadata in your workspace root folder. Inside of this is where the vast majority of settings are stored.

    I may do a quick write up on how to copy the settings via this method.

    Suffice it to say, don’t mess with them unless you have a backup :p

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