I’ve been using NetBeans to teach Computer Science for a while now, but it’s always seemed a bit heavy. Came across a post on the Oracle blogs with a few tips for making NetBeans a little more classroom friendly. So here are a few tips from there along with a couple of tips I’ve come up with along the way.
Alt-Mouse Wheel Let’s you enlarge and shrink the font. I have a “Screen” setting for fonts for display and another for when I’m working without kids watching. But alt-scroll works really well when a student asks me a question about their code. Makes it easier to see their code.
Alt-Shift-Enter Swap to full screen. No menu bars. Gives me a little more space on the screen.
Ctrl-Shift-Enter Puts NetBeans into a presentation mode that shows only the code window without all of the other mess.
Alt-Shift-F Auto formats the code. Cleanly formatting code is something that students always struggle with. Auto formatting the code makes it much easier to help them.
A Perfect Editor?
What I’d really like is some way, short of writing a plugin for NetBeans, that would strip out some of the menu options that aren’t needed for teaching new coders. That may be my next step though.