All Manuals > LispWorks IDE User Guide > 3 Common Features


3.1 Displaying tool windows

There are many tools available, and you can display them in a number of ways.

You can also control how tools are re-used within the environment. That is, whether an existing Listener window (for example) is raised or a new one created, when you ask for a Listener tool. In this section we will discuss global and per-tool control of reuse.

3.1.1 Displaying existing windows

Choose the Window menu. The bottom component of this menu contains a list of all the windows currently available in the environment. Choosing any item from this list brings the window to the front of the display.

3.1.2 Iconifying existing windows

To iconify a window, click the amber minimize button near the left of its title bar, or choose the menu command Window > Minimize Window .

3.1.3 Displaying tools using the mouse

To display most tools:

  1. Choose the Window > Tools menu.
  2. Most tools in the environment are listed in this menu.

  3. Choose the tool you require from the menu.


  1. Click the appropriate button on the LispWorks toolbar.
  2. For example, to display a Process Browser, click .

The tool is created (if necessary), and displayed. Using this method can be useful you may not remember immediately whether you have an existing instance of a given tool or not.

3.1.4 Displaying tools using the keyboard

Accelerators are provided for the popular items on the Tools menu. Each tool accelerator is an alphanumeric key together with platform-specific modifier keys as shown in Tool accelerator keys. You cannot configure these pre-defined tool accelerators.

There is also a keystroke for switching between tool windows in a cyclical fashion, described in Switching between windows. Tool accelerator modifier keys

On Cocoa the modifiers are Ctrl+Command. For example, Ctrl+Command+L raises a Listener. Tool accelerator keys

The accelerator keys for each tool are as shown in Tool accelerators

Tool accelerators

Tool Name






Output Browser




Class Browser


Generic Function Browser


Symbol Browser


Object Clipboard


Function Call Browser


Code Coverage Browser


System Browser


Compilation Conditions Browser


Search Files








Window Browser


Process Browser




Application Builder



None Switching between tool windows

Read how to switch between existing tool windows in a cyclical fashion in Switching between windows.

3.1.5 Re-using tool windows Global control of re-use

By default, tools windows are re-used where possible. For example, suppose you already have a Listener window (potentially iconified) but do not have an Inspector window. When you choose Window > Tools > Listener , the existing Listener is displayed. When you choose Window > Tools > Inspector , an Inspector is created and displayed.

You can switch off re-use of tool windows. To do this, first raise the Preferences dialog as described in Setting preferences. In the Preferences dialog under Environment > General > Window Options uncheck the Reuse all tools box and click OK . Now, when you choose Window > Tools > Listener a new Listener is created, regardless of whether one already exists, and other tools behave in the same way.

The setting of Reuse all tools will be retained for your subsequent LispWorks sessions. Per-window control of re-use

When the Reuse all tools option is on, tools windows are reusable by default. However, it is possible to specify that a particular instance of a tool is not reusable. To make your Inspector not reusable, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that the Reuse all tools option is checked under LispWorks > Preferences....
  2. In the Inspector window, open the menu Window > Customize and deselect the Reusable option.
  3. Now try Window > Tools > Inspector . A new Inspector window is created.

The Reuse all tools option is persistent, but the per-tool setting Reusable applies only to the current instance of the tool, and it does not affect future sessions.

3.1.6 Toolbar configurations

Most tools have toolbars offering one-click access to frequently-used commands. For example, the Editor has a toolbar for operating on source code.

Figure 3.1 The Editor's source operations toolbar

You may prefer to remove such toolbars. You can control whether a tool displays its toolbars by the option Show Toolbar .

To hide toolbars for a particular type of tool:

  1. Raise the Preferences dialog as described in Setting preferences.
  2. Select the tool in the list on the left side of the dialog.
  3. Select the General tab on the right side of the dialog.
  4. Uncheck Show Toolbar and click OK to confirm the setting.

You can also customize the toolbar by removing rarely-used buttons, changing the image size, choosing whether an image or text label (or both) is displayed, and adding or removing separators between groups of buttons. To do this on Cocoa, raise the context menu on the toolbar, choose Customize Toolbar... and make your selections in the standard Mac OS X way. You can also use the toolbar's context menu directly to select whether this toolbar's buttons show an icon, or text, or both. To remove a toolbar button on Cocoa, simply select Remove from the context menu.

Note: The functionality of each toolbar is available elsewhere. For example the Editor's source code operations are also available on the Buffer , Definitions and Expression menus.

3.1.7 Copying windows

Choose Window > Clone in a given tool window to make a copy of that tool window. This is useful, for instance, if you wish to have two different views on an object simultaneously, and allows you to have several copies of a tool without having to change its re-use property using the Window > Customize menu.

3.1.8 Closing windows

Close any window in the environment using one of the following methods:

3.1.9 Updating windows

To manually update any tool, choose Window > Refresh or click .

Updating a tool is a useful way of making a snapshot of an aspect of the environment that you are interested in. For instance, imagine you want to compare a number of instances of a CLOS class against a known instance of the same class using the Inspector. You can do this as follows:

  1. Create an object to inspect, by entering in a Listener
  2. (make-instance 'capi:text-input-pane)
  3. Choose Values > Inspect to view the object in the Inspector.
  4. Make sure the Inspector is the active window, and choose Window > Clone to make a copy of it.
  5. In the Listener, enter the same form again to create a second object.
  6. Note: You can use Esc P in Emacs emulation or Ctrl+Up in Windows emulation to get the previous Listener command.

  7. View the new object in the Inspector as in Step 2. Compare it to the original instance that is still displayed in the clone.

LispWorks IDE User Guide (Macintosh version) - 12 Feb 2015