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Java Refactoring


The first refactoring that eclim supports is :JavaRename, which can be used to rename various java elements.



public class Foo {
  public void bar(){

To rename the class from ‘Foo’ to ‘Bar’ you simply position the cursor over the class name ‘Foo’ and execute:

:JavaRename Bar

The result of which will the following prompt:

Rename "Foo" to "Bar"
([e]xecute / [p]review / [c]ancel):

This prompt give you three options:

  1. execute: Execute the refactoring without previewing the changes to be made. The current file and any other changed files open in the current instance of vim will be reloaded.

  2. preview: Preview the changes that the refactoring will perform. This will open a scratch buffer with a list of changes to be made along with a link at the bottom to execute the refactoring.

    The contents of the preview window will vary depending on what you are renaming.

    If we are renaming ‘Foo’ to ‘Bar’ the contents would be like so:

     other: Rename compilation unit '' to ''
    |Execute Refactoring|

    If we are renaming the method ‘bar’ to ‘foo’, the contents would look like so:

    |diff|: /home/someuser/workspace/test_java/src/org/foo/bar/
    |Execute Refactoring|

    If the first instance, there is not much to preview. Since this particular class is not referenced anywhere else, the only operation eclipse will perform, is to rename the file from ‘’ to ‘’ which will also update the class name in that file.

    In the second instance eclipse provides a preview of the actual changes to the file what will be performed. If the method were referenced elsewhere, you would see an entry for each file that would be modified by the refactoring. To actually for a vim diff split of the changes that will be performed, simple position the cursor on the diff entry and hit <enter>.

    Once you are satisfied with changes that eclipse will perform, you can then execute the refactoring by positioning the cursor over the “|Execute Refactoring|” link and hit <enter>.

  3. cancel: Cancel the refactoring (Hitting enter without typing a choice or hitting Ctrl-C will also cancel the refactoring).

Package Renaming

Renaming a package is performed just like renaming any other element. However, the name you supply to the :JavaRename command must be the full package name that you are renaming the package to. For example. In sample java file above, if you place the cursor on the ‘org’ portion of the package declaration, you can rename ‘org’ to ‘com’ by running :JavaRename com. If you want to rename the ‘foo’ package to ‘baz’ you can do so by running :JavaRename org.baz. Note that if you were to only supply the name ‘baz’, the ‘foo’ package would be moved to the same level as ‘org’ and then renamed.


When renaming a package, the associated directory will also be renamed in the underlying file system. Eclim will do its best to reload any files that have moved as a result of the directory renaming and adjust your current working directory if necessary, but only for the current vim session. If you have other vim sessions open with files located in the directory that is renamed, then eclim will be unable to reload those files in those sessions for you, so you will have to do so manually. A best practice would be to close any other vim sessions that might be affected by the renaming of a package.


Eclim also supports moving a top level class or interface from one package to another using the :JavaMove command.

In this example the current file would be moved from its current package to the package


Like the package renaming described in the previous section, the argument to :JavaMove must be the full package name you want to move the current file to.

Refactor Undo/Redo

In the event that you need to undo a refactoring, eclim provides the :RefactorUndo command. When executed, the last refactoring will be reverted. If you are unsure what the last refactoring was, the :RefactorUndoPeek command will print the name of the top most refactoring on the undo stack.

Eclim also provides the :RefactorRedo and :RefactorRedoPeek commands which provide the redo counterpart to the undo commands.


Vim Settings

  • g:EclimRefactorDiffOrientation (Default: ‘vertical’) - Specifies the orientation used when previewing a refactoring and performing a diff split between the current file contents and the changes to be performed by the refactoring. Possible values include ‘vertical’ or ‘horizontal’.