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 Windows menu. 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 minimize box near the right of its title bar.

3.1.3 Arranging windows in MDI mode

In LispWorks for Windows in "All windows contained within a single main window" (MDI) mode, use the commands near the top of the Windows menu such as Cascade and Tile Horizontally to arrange your tool windows within the main window.

3.1.4 Displaying tools using the mouse

To display most tools:

  1. Choose the Tools menu.

    Most tools in the environment are listed in this menu.

  2. Choose the tool you require from the menu.


  1. Click the appropriate button on the Podium.

    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.

3.1.5 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.

You can also use these alphanumeric keys with the Invoke Tool editor command.

There is also a keystroke for switching between tool windows in a cyclical fashion, described in 2.7 Switching between windows. Tool accelerator keys

Note 1: On Microsoft Windows, tool accelerators work only when the editor emulation is Microsoft Windows rather than Emacs.

Note 2: On Microsoft Windows with the Environment Preference option Separate windows sharing a menu bar, tool accelerators work only when the podium has the focus.

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

Tool accelerators
Tool NameAccelerator





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




3.1.6 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 Tools > Listener, the existing Listener is displayed. When you choose 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 3.2 Setting preferences. In the Preferences dialog under Environment > General > Window Options uncheck the Reuse all tools box and click OK. Now, when you choose 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 Tools > Preferences... > Environment > General.
  2. In the Inspector window, open the menu Tools > Customize and deselect the Reuse Inspector option. On Microsoft Windows, the name of the tool follows Reuse in the name of the option.
  3. Now try Tools > Inspector. A new Inspector window is created.

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

3.1.7 Menu bar configurations in LispWorks for Windows

By default, the only window in the LispWorks IDE to contain a menu bar is the parent MDI window. The menu commands in this menu bar operate on whichever window is currently the Active Window within the LispWorks IDE.

If you prefer each tool to have its own menu bar, choose Tools > Preferences... and under Environment > General > Window Options select the Separate windows with menu bars option.

If you prefer not to use MDI but to have tools sharing a single menu bar, choose Tools > Preferences... and select the Separate windows sharing a menu bar option.

The setting in Window Options will be retained for your subsequent LispWorks sessions.

Note: This manual assumes the default MDI option All windows contained within a single main window.

3.1.8 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.

The Editor's source operations toolbar

You may prefer to remove such toolbars. On Windows you can undock the toolbar by dragging it away from the Editor window, or you can also hide it via the context menu anywhere within the toolbar. 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 3.2 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 and adding or removing separators between groups of buttons. To do this, raise the context menu on the toolbar, choose Customize and make your selections in the Customize Toolbar dialog.

In MDI mode on Windows, this dialog is also available via the Tools > Customize 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.

3.1.9 Copying windows

Choose Tools > 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 Tools > Customize menu.

3.1.10 Closing windows

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

3.1.11 Updating windows

To manually update any tool, choose Tools > 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:
    (make-instance 'capi:text-input-pane)
  2. Choose Works > Values > Inspect to view the object in the Inspector.
  3. Make sure the Inspector is the active window, and choose Tools > Clone to make a copy of it.
  4. In the Listener, enter the same form again to create a second object.

    Note: You can use Esc P in Emacs emulation or Ctrl+Up in Windows emulation to get the previous Listener command.

  5. 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 (Windows version) - 01 Dec 2021 19:37:50