Package org.eclipse.jface.text.templates

package org.eclipse.jface.text.templates
Application programming interfaces for interaction with the Eclipse text template support.



  • org.eclipse.jface.text.templates
  • org.eclipse.ui.workbench.texteditor.templates
  • org.eclipse.ui.editors.templates


Templates are shortcuts for frequently used fragments of text such as code patterns or complex text entities. They may contain variables which are only resolved at the time when the template is inserted within a context. Together with linked mode, inserting a template can create a on-the-fly edit mask within a text viewer.

Templates are specified as text, variables are defined using the ${variable} notation known from Ant, for example. The following snippet shows an example template for an instance check in Java:
if (${name} instanceof ${type}) {
    ${type} ${new_name} = (${type})${name};
In this template, the variables (name,type, ...) are resolved when inserted into java source and changing one variable instance will also change the other. When leaving linked mode, the caret is placed at the cursor variable.

Template functionality can be added to a custom text editor by offering TemplateProposals as content assist choices, which is simplified by using a subclass of TemplateCompletionProcessor. User template management can be offered by including a TemplatePreferencePage which uses a TemplateStore and ContextTypeRegistry as the underlying model to store templates. The org.eclipse.ui.editors.templates extension point can be used to allow other plug-ins to contribute templates to an editor. This is accomplished by using the ContributionTemplateStore and ContributionContextTypeRegistry subclasses of the above types.

Template variables are resolved by a TemplateVariableResolver. GlobalTemplateVariables offers some default variables such as date, user, and selection, but advanced features such as resolving to language constructs can be performed in subclasses.


  • Template a template consists of name, context type identifier, and a pattern.
  • TemplateTranslator and TemplateBuffer are used to parse the template grammar and don't need to be used usually.
  • A TemplateProposal can be offered in content assist, possibly created by a subclass of TemplateCompletionProcessor.
  • TemplateStore and ContextTypeRegistry manage a set of templates within a plug-in and offer ways to store them in the preferences or externally in XML streams via a TemplateReaderWriter.
  • ContributionTemplateStore and ContributionContextTypeRegistry add awareness for the org.eclipse.ui.editors.templates extension point.
  • TemplatePreferencePage allows the user to access the templates within a TemplateStore.


See the Template Editor Example in the org.eclipse.ui.examples.javaeditor project.