Use meta key on Linux in Intellij IDEA based IDEs

Use meta key on Linux in Intellij IDEA based IDEs

Lack of meta key in IntelliJ IDEA on Linux. Why?

For a long time I miss ability to use meta-key with IntelliJ based IDEs. On Windows it’s impossible, because win-key is kind of magical. On the other hand, on Linux, it’s a typical modifier key, like Control or Alt. So why can’t we use that key? Don’t know. But there’s a trick to enable support for meta-key in IntelliJ IDEA.

You have to open IDEs property file (Help -> Custom Property File) and type:

keymap.windows.as.meta=true

This trick is taken from Youtrack, the issue tracking system from JetBrains. Here: https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-144702

This trick can be used with other IntelliJ based IDEs from JetBrains, including PhpStorm, PyCharm and WebStorm.

Downside is that, you have to configure all meta-key based shortcuts on your own. However OSX keymap can be helpful.

Other less known tricks with IntelliJ IDEA

There are plenty of useful shortcuts by default. Did you know, there’s a ‚quick command’ palette under Shift Ctrl A? It can find any action that’s clickable from menu. I do url encode/decode very often.

Custom shortcuts involving meta key

For me, useful shortcuts are:

meta  | or rather \  split editor vertically
meta – split editor vertically
meta [ previous editor window
meta ] next editor window

Another of my favourtes is Ctrl+E – list of recent edited files + quick jump to file browsing sidebar windows.