Set workbench preferences


The term Workbench refers to the desktop development environment. The Workbench aims to achieve seamless tool integration and controlled openness by providing a common paradigm for the creation, management, and navigation of Workbench resources.

Each Workbench window contains one or more perspectives. Perspectives contain views and editors and control what appears in certain menus and tool bars. More than one Workbench window can exist on the desktop at any given time.


The workbench implements a generic preferences architecture that allows plug-ins to store user preference values and contribute a preference page to the workbench preferences dialog.

Open the Preferences dialog by clicking Window > Preferences. Select Workbench from the list of preferences categories on the left side of the Preferences dialog:

Workbench Preferences

Workbench > File Associations Preferences

Workbench > Local History Preferences

Workbench > Perspectives Preferences

Java > Organize Imports

Defining a classpath variable

Classpath variables are stored global to the workbench; in other words, all projects in the workbench can share the classpath variables.

Classpath variables can be used in a Java Build Path to avoid a reference to the local file system. Using a variable entry, the classpath only contains a variable and the build path can be shared in a team.

To add or change a class path variable, follow these steps:

  1. From the menu bar, select Window > Preferences.

    Expand the Java category in the left pane, and select Classpath Variables.

  2. This page allows you to add, edit, or remove classpath variables.

    Classpath Variables

    1. To add a new class path variable, click the New... button. The New Variable Entry page opens.

    2. To edit an existing class path variable, select the variable in the Defined classpath variables list and click the Edit... button. The Edit Variable Entry page opens.

      NOTE: The reserved class path variables, JRE_LIB, JRE_SRC, and JRE_SRCROOT cannot be edited in this page. To change them, change the default workbench JRE on the Installed JREs page (Window > Preferences > Java > Installed JREs).

  3. Type a name for the variable in the Name field.

  4. Type a path to be referenced by the variable in the Path field. You can also click the File or Folder buttons to browse the file system.

    New Variable Entry

  5. Click OK when you are done. The new or modified variable appears in the Defined class path variables list on the Preferences page.

Adding a new JRE definition

You can add any number of JRE definitions.

  1. From the menu bar, select Window > Preferences.

  2. In the left pane, expand the Java category and select Installed JREs.

    Installed JREs

  3. Click the Add... button. The Add JRE dialog opens.

  4. In the JRE type field, select the type of JRE you want to add from the drop-down list.

  5. In the JRE name field, type a name for the new JRE definition. All JREs of the same type must have a unique name.

  6. In the JRE home directory field, type or click Browse to select the path to the root directory of the JRE installation (usually the directory containing the bin and lib directories for the JRE). This location is checked automatically to make sure it is a valid path.

  7. In the Javadoc URL field, type or click Browse to select the URL location. The location is used by the Javadoc export wizard as a default value and by the 'Open External Javadoc' action.

  8. If you want to use the default libraries and source files for this JRE, select the Use default system libraries check box. Otherwise, clear it and customize as desired. Source can be attached for the referenced JARs as well.

    Add new JRE

  9. Click OK when you are done.

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