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I like Netbeans. More than Eclipse. More than XCode.

At work, I deal with multiple departments, each with their own set of code that is represented in Netbeans as 10-20 Projects. Since I switch between departments very frequently (multiple times a day), I currently have all of the projects open.

This kind of sucks (Open-Project-Wide search being one of my oft-used utilities).

Does anybody have any advice for dealing with these sets (switching between them quickly)?


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I know it's not entirely helpful, but Eclipse's concept of "Working Sets" is exactly this. You might see if NetBeans has something similarly named, or reevaluate Eclipse. – Darth Android Oct 18 '12 at 20:33
Googling "Netbeans Working Sets" Led me to this: which is EXACTLY what I was looking for :) Thanks so much. Please create an answer including this link (they're called Project Groups in Netbeans), and I'll Accept it as correct :) – Cody S Oct 18 '12 at 20:38
up vote 11 down vote accepted

NetBeans has a feature called project groups which should provide you what you're looking for.

If you right-click on the Projects pane and select Project Group, there is a menu option called New Project Group... which will allow you to create a new group.

There are multiple ways to define a project group:

  • You can create a "Free Group" that is either initially empty or based off of your currently open projects. You can manually add or remove projects from this group later, as needed.
  • You can create a group around a "Master Project", which will include that project and all the projects that it depends upon
  • You can create a group around a folder on disk, which will include any projects that NetBeans finds within that folder.

Eclipse has a similar feature, called "Working Sets", which provides the same functionality. I'm not sure what Xcode has to manage this, and with Visual Studio you just open a new copy for each solution you want to work with.

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Visual Studio "open a new copy for each solution" is analogous to Eclipse "open a new copy for each workspace". A difference being that a single project in VS may belong to multiple solutions, while in Eclipse a project can only belong to a single workspace (because of the directory structure restriction). This makes shared library work in VS a little bit easier when switching solutions. – Jesse Chisholm Aug 4 '15 at 20:19
Can the same project appear in more than one project group without duplication? – tgm1024 Apr 28 at 19:29

For NetBeans 8 you do as following:

  • Remove any project you do not want to have in the same project group
  • File > Project Groups > New Group > Choose a describing name > create the group
  • Right click on the blank area in project tab and click "Project Group" > Click "none" > Select Group
  • Create another project group

When you're finished creating your groups, you can right click in the blank area in project tab and click "Project Group" > Click your created project group > Select Group.

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