Eclipse UI Elements: the Vertical Ruler and Overview Ruler

Maybe I’m blind but I’ve looked all over the Eclipse help files and there are references to both the “vertical ruler” and the “overview ruler” yet there isn’t an explanation as to what those terms mean.  Similar searches on Google don’t turn up anything other than Eclipse API references and the Platform programming documentation.  Those do explain what these items are but I think its kind of crazy that there isn’t an explanation right in the Workbench (or Java Editor) docs.  Here is what they mean:

  • Vertical Ruler – the vertical space on the far left of an editor window (next to the gutter that shows line numbers if you have them enabled) that area scrolls along with the content of the editor.  Markers placed here aren’t in view if the line they’re on isn’t in view.    For example: debugger breakpoint indicators are set here and scroll in and out of view as you scroll the editor.
  • Overview Ruler – the vertical space on the far right side of an editor window (to the right of the editor scrollbar). This area shows markers for the whole file being edited and it does not scroll along with the editor window.   This area is used to place markers for such things as errors and occurrences of methods, etc.  For example: this allows you to see approximately where all errors occur in a file.  If you click on one of the indicators it will move the editor to that specific line.

Not earth-shattering information but useful nonetheless 😉

3 thoughts on “Eclipse UI Elements: the Vertical Ruler and Overview Ruler

  1. > Not earth-shattering information but useful nonetheless

    You’re so right! I enabled quick diff in Indigo and also the “show differences in overview ruler” and heck, I wasn’t able to realize what it is until I found your post. So … thanks! 🙂

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