Tweak ColdFusion Builder's Outline Mode

This post is more than 2 years old.

I absolutely love the outline view in ColdFusion Builder (see my earlier blog post on it), but I just discovered something interesting about it that I wanted to share with others.

For me, the Outline view works best for CFCs. I never bother using it for CFM files. When I get a CFC that is poorly organized (if you don't sort your methods in alphabetical order you are indirectly killing kittens - seriously) or large in size (have you met blog.cfc yet?) then the outline is a great way to navigate around the file.

One thing that bugged me though was that the outline showed a lot of code that I didn't really care about. Comments, sets, etc. Here is an example from blog.cfc:

What I found was that there was a way to remove those additional tags. Simply go to your settings (ColdFusion / Editor Profiles / Editor / Outline) and you will see a preference screen that allows you to switch between all tags and a selected subset.

What's cool is that the default subset is focused on CFC related tags. You could probably remove cfscript and add cfproperty (which I think I'll do right now), but whats nice is that as soon as you make this change, the Outline view becomes much more streamlined:

Of course, if you use Outline view for CFMs then this tweak is not for you, but it really fits well with how I use it.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Will Swain posted on 2/23/2010 at 8:53 PM

That's a neat tip Ray. Thanks.

I also find the outline view really useful when working with css files by the way.

Comment 2 by Will Swain posted on 2/23/2010 at 8:54 PM

Whoops, posted before I'd finished. I wonder how this would impact on the css outline view.

Comment 3 by Sam Farmer posted on 2/23/2010 at 8:58 PM

Nice tip. I removed everything but cffunction. Makes the outline quite useful.

Comment 4 by Michiel Bakker posted on 2/23/2010 at 9:05 PM

Thanks a bunch for this useful tip! I was looking for this for quite a while (more like waiting for a blog-post about it, hehe).


Comment 5 by Craig Kaminsky posted on 2/23/2010 at 10:26 PM

Great tip! Thank you!

Comment 6 by Ian Finch posted on 2/23/2010 at 10:27 PM

Terrific - that makes it soooooo much easier to deal with CFC's

Thanks, Ray

Comment 7 by jbuda posted on 2/23/2010 at 10:41 PM

Thanks Ray.

Great tip about for the outline view.

Comment 8 by Andy K posted on 2/23/2010 at 10:47 PM

I've been using this tweak to make Outline View more bearable as well... but what I'd really like to see is a way to set the initial/default view (in my case to collapsed and alpha-sorted)

Comment 9 by Andreas Schuldhaus posted on 2/24/2010 at 12:06 PM

Great Tip. Outline View can be very useful, indeed. Sort of. Still missing CFEclipse's methods view. Sigh.

Comment 10 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/24/2010 at 7:22 PM

@Andreas: Have you tried the Services view? I don't remember CFEclipse's methods view, but the Services view sounds like it may be similar. I'm thinking of doing a quick blog entry on it.

Comment 11 by Andreas Schuldhaus posted on 2/25/2010 at 9:51 AM

Not that I don't use Services Browser and Outline. But I hate that I always have to browse through all my services and cfcs, only to inspect one certain file. I'm simply missing the link between editor and Services Browser. I also didn't find a way to filter the Services Browser results. Maybe I'm missing something here. Services Browser in CFB and Methods View in CFEclipse are very similar, once you found the file. The Methods View shows the info for the component currently active in your editor immediately.

Comment 12 by Reinhard Jung posted on 2/25/2010 at 4:14 PM

Thanx Ray

Comment 13 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/25/2010 at 5:12 PM

@Andreas - yeah -thats one thing I noticed right away. In my webroot project (which is admittedly huge with a buttload of CFCs) the services view had a _lot_ of CFCs.