New Project wizard

Create projects with the File -> New -> Project -> Erlang project wizard. If the project isn’t new, you can do an automatic search for source files, by using the “Discover paths” option. Review the result and add other needed directories.

New Module wizard

Create files by right-clicking on the desired directory in the resource view, and choosing either File -> New -> Other -> File and entering a name ending with erl, or File -> New -> Erlang -> Module and following the instructions in the wizard. Leave empty any fields you don’t understand the meaning of.


Preferences related to erlide can be found at Window -> Preferences -> Erlang. Please note that not all options are functional yet.


The editor has all the generic Eclipse functionality and adds several Erlang- specific features:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Indentation of Erlang code Ctrl+I. The indentation affects the text selection or the current line only if nothing selected.
  • OTP documentation shown for external calls by hovering the cursor over a function call
  • Automatic completion of erlang modules, functions and records: Ctrl+Space. The list with proposals is also shown when entering : (colon).
  • Go to declaration of function, macro or record: F3 when the cursor is inside that element’s name.
  • Show declaration of macros and records as a hover window
  • Bracket matching: the peer of the bracket at the cursor is highlighted.
  • Selective display of functions and declarations (folding)
  • context-sensitive menu when right clicking in the editor


Building is automatic whenever a file is saved (if Project -> Build automatically is enabled) and the modified module is also reloaded in any Erlang backend that is linked to that project.

Outline view

Shows the structure of an Erlang module. The outline view allows navigation in a module and an overview of the functions in it. Clicking on an item will show its definition in the editor. The shown functions and declarations can be filtered and sorted.

In the editor a Quick outline dialog can be used for navigation (Ctrl+O). It has an automatic filtering feature, so you can just begin writing the function name and the list will only show the elements matching the prefix.

Erlang console

The console lets you interact with the Erlang node that is behind the scenes. At the moment it is not as useful as it may be, as it only connects to the backend that hosts the Erlide functionality, not the ones where the code under development is run. This will be fixed in the future.

The console has history (Ctrl+Up and Ctrl+Down), syntax highlighting, code completion.

When running/debugging, a “normal” console will show up and it can be used to interact with the runtime, but it has limited functionality.

Live expressions view

In this view you can enter expressions that will be reevaluated every time a file is recompiled or when you press the refresh button in the view. You have to create a new entry, then go to the expression field and edit it. There is no need to end the expression with a dot.

Warning! Don’t use expressions that might kill or crash the runtime (for example init:stop()), because there are no restrictions yet and you’ll get exactly what you ask for!

Process list view

A process list similar to etop. Double-clicking a process will show details about it. At the top, one can choose which backend to show the list from.

EDoc view

Opening a “Edoc” view (in Window -> Show view -> Erlang) will display the documentation for the function where the cursor is. The documentation is also shown in a hover window, when the mouse cursor is above a function call.

The OTP documentation is shown, if installed on your system. Also, if the project contains HTML documentation that is located in an OTP-like location (i.e. in a doc/html directory in the project), then this documentation is also shown.


We offer all the features of the standard debugger, because we are using it.

  • Breakpoints, single-stepping. Breakpoints can be set by double-clicking on the left-side gutter in the editor.
  • Inspection and modification of local variables.
  • Distributed debugger, debug on multiple nodes.

Problems view

The problems view will show all errors and warnings from the compiler. Clicking them opens the file in the editor at the right line.

There is also a Tasks view that will detect comments starting with TODO, FIXME and XXX and show them there.


  • Provision for different runtimes, local or remote. Compile on one runtime, test and debug on another.

  • Erlang log printouts with link to code line

A few Eclipse tips

For those not familiar with Eclipse, some short tips and tricks:

  • Ctrl+Shift+L will display a list of key bindings to the various commands

  • The Eclipse help system is pretty comprehensive, use it to find your way around.

Did you find errors in the documentation? Do you have improvements to suggest? Suggest edits!