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Adding 'Show in Windows Explorer' to Eclipse

· Java Zone

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In CodeWarrior there was a very useful feature in the CodeWarrior Projects view: with a context menu I can open that folder/file in Windows Explorer:

Show In Windows Explorer in CodeWarrior Projects View

Show In Windows Explorer in CodeWarrior Projects View

However, this feature is missing in Eclipse, so how to add this functionality?

That ‘Show in Windows Explorer’ is really handy, as I can quickly jump to that file or folder where it is on the disk.

Emulating ‘Show In Windows Explorer’

I was looking for a way how to do this, and some solutions include installing an extra Eclipse plugin. But there is an easy way without installing anything with using an external run configuration.

Open the External Tools Configuration or use the menu Run > External Tools > External Tools Configuration:

External Tools Configuration Menu

External Tools Configuration Menu

Then, do the following:

  1. Select the ‘Program’ group
  2. Press the ‘new’ button to create a new configuration
Creating New External Tool Configuration

Creating New External Tool Configuration

In the new configuration:

  1. Give the configuration a name
  2. Specify the command line for the Explorer (on Linux, use your file explorer):
  3. As arguments, specify it shall use the selected resource:
  4. Press Apply to store the configuration
  5. Then I can Run it
Configuring the External Tools Configuration

Configuring the External Tools Configuration

If you have selected a resource, you will get an error:

Error for not selected a resource

Error for not selected a resource

So make sure you select a folder/file before running the command.

If you have run the command at least once, it is now easily accessible in the drop down menu:

Show in Windows Explorer

Show in Windows Explorer

Exporting Configuration

However, this is not a ‘global’ setting, and only applies to the workspace. So if you have multiple workspaces, you need to create an external tools configuration for each workspace. Or use the ‘Shared File’ option which stores the settings in a file:

Sharing External Tools Configuration

Sharing External Tools Configuration

Now I can copy that file .launch file to a project in my other workspace easily to have it imported.


There is no plugin needed for showing a file or folder in the host operating explorer view: an external tools configuration is good enough :-).

Happy Exploring :-)


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Published at DZone with permission of Erich Styger, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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