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Is there a way to make the background of Eclipse IDE text editor transparent? I would like to adjust the alpha transparency of the background, but have the text still be opaque. Perhaps there is a plugin that accomplishes this? I haven't seen any options under preferences. And my search on Google has ended in vain thus far, although I did find some nice color themes.

Example (Textmate):

Transparent Textmate

Note that the text is still solid. This is important, since making the whole window transparent could cause text to bleed into the desktop wallpaper (or whatever is under Eclipse). I'm interested in solutions for all platforms that Eclipse runs on.

Related question:

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6 Answers 6

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm afraid it's not possible. However, Java 7 which is expected as of July 28th, 2011 has support for translucent windows. After that, Eclipse is community effort... your best bet is to either to participate in development, or consider programming Eclipse plugin (or find someone interested in progamming plugin).

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according to that link, it may indeed be possible as of Java 6 Update 10. Am I reading that wrong? –  Joshua Jun 21 '11 at 20:02
    
Josh, you are right - I was reading the note above that documentation is updated for Java 7, and didn't see the smaller note which is actually accurate. So, I stand corrected. –  Domchi Jul 9 '11 at 13:13

You could use compiz in Ubuntu, and most other linux distributions for making the windows transparent.

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I don't think it's possible to get the effect you are looking for.

Eclipse uses SWT as its windowing toolkit, and if I remember correctly it has limited support for transparent and translucent windows. This support is probably limited to the entire window and not parts of it.

SWT uses a class Shell that is the actual window, creating a Shell with the flag NO_TRIM will cause it to have transparent background. As this window is created by the Eclipse platform I doubt that it is possible to access it via a plugin.

If you feel like building a plugin translucent support could probably be achieved by accessing functions in the native toolkit directly (either the WIN32 API or the GTK API) and applying them to the Eclipse components. As I have limited knowledge of Eclipse plugins I can't direct you to any particular starting place for creating such a plugin. Sorry.

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In Fedora, you could use Compiz to make it transparent (Video tutorial on how to do just that here.) In both Fedora and Windows, what about setting a transparent image as the background?

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There is a free application called Afloat that has the ability to make windows transparent (and much more). I would check that out.

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I know that it's not exactly what you ask, but an obvious solution would be to use eclim system to make Eclipse available to macvim/terminal vim and make that transparent.

For macvim the option is to set to 20%

set transparency=20

It might be even possible to swap the editor inside eclipse for macvim, but I am less sure about that.

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