Eclipse Tip - Whitespace characters visible when they are turned off

This post is more than 2 years old.

Ok, this is officially from the WTF Files. Today I somehow enabled whitespace characters in ColdFusion Builder.

No big deal, right? While I figured I'd have no chance in heck to remember what key combo I hit, I just went into my preferences and disabled it there. Except that....

What the heck? It isn't on. (And while I'm here - what in the hell is "Show affordance..." ?? I mean that has to be the most obscure setting ever. I'm afraid if I touch it a midget will come out of the closet and start talking backwards. In fact, I'm officially calling this the Twin Peaks setting.)

For the heck of it I turned it on and get this - the whitespace characters got darker!

Seeing it now I can tell that more stuff showed up as well, but on my PC there was a marked difference in color too. So there must be not one but two settings related to white space.

Thankfully Bob Silverberg shared the key combo I had hit - ctrl+..

By the way - if someone knows what this other setting is, please share. I know for a fact I'll do it again and I'll forget the key combo again.

Edited @orangeexception on Twitter shared with me the setting. Preferences/General/Keys - there is a Show Whitespace listed there. Now all it does it tell you the key combo. It isn't a preference per se. That seems kinda odd. Either way, if I do forget, which I will, hopefully I'll remember to look in the keys.

Raymond Camden's Picture

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!

Lafayette, LA

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by andy matthews posted on 4/30/2010 at 11:33 PM

I personally prefer to see whitespace characters. You can see that my text editor, Editplus, doesn't show carriage returns (that's an extra setting) but it does show tabs and spaces. That's super helpful for me. I wish CFBuilder did that.

Comment 2 by andy matthews posted on 4/30/2010 at 11:34 PM

Ooops. Forgot the link.

Comment 3 by Raymond Camden posted on 4/30/2010 at 11:36 PM

Even though I won't _use_ the feature, what bugged me most is that it seems to be some "invisible" (get it ;) setting. You can only toggle it with a key, not a normal checkbox.

Comment 4 by John Allen posted on 5/1/2010 at 12:41 AM

Agreed, it is pretty invisible. I hate stupid cont+.

Comment 5 by garence posted on 8/23/2010 at 4:57 PM

CTRL+. worked like a charm. Thanks for the solution, Ray, and good luck with the midget.

Comment 6 by Ivan posted on 9/14/2010 at 6:33 PM

The setting is actually Show Whitespace Characters for the text editors and is separate from Show Whitespace used by the HTML/CFML editors in Builder/Eclipse. To get the button to appear you would need to open a document with the Text editor. The CFML one is available through the customization menu. Once set, both settings work across editor types regardless of what you open.

Comment 7 by Andrew Clarke posted on 4/11/2011 at 7:39 PM

On a Mac, the key combination to show/hide whitespace characters is ?. (Command-dot).

Comment 8 by Clarence Liu posted on 10/20/2011 at 10:52 PM

I just did that and I'm glad you wrote this =)

Comment 9 by Simon Bingham posted on 3/29/2012 at 1:18 PM

Thanks for this Ray - I spent half an hour trying to get rid of those bloody whitespace characters! :)

Others who have this problem might want to note that the shortcut is "ctrl+." (including the dot).