Installing Eclipse on Mac OS X

This page tells you how to download Eclipse for Mac OS X, install it, and configure it so that it looks like how I use it. If you need help, Blitz

How to download and install Eclipse

  1. Go to to download a copy of eclipse. The page will look like this:

    The first item listed is "Eclipse IDE for Java Developers (98 MB)." On the right is a green, downward-pointing arrow. Next to that are links labeled "Mac OS X 32 Bit" and "Mac OS X 64 Bit." Click on the "Mac OS X 32 Bit" link. (Even if you have nice, new 64-bit Mac, it should run the 32-bit version just fine.)

  2. You will see a window like this:

    (The location next to the green, downward-pointing arrow might not be Virginia Tech, but that's OK. And the "Get It Faster Here" locations might be different, but that doesn't matter, either.) Click on the green, downward pointing arrow. A download of eclipse-java-helios-SR2-macosx-cocoa.tar.gz will start. If you first get a window like this

    just click "OK" so that the downloaded file opens with Archive Utility.

  3. The download will go to your Downloads folder. You will normally have an icon for the Downloads folder on the right-hand side of the dock. Find eclipse-java-helios-SR2-macosx-cocoa.tar.gz in your Downloads folder, and drag it to the Desktop. Then double-click it. You will see a folder named "eclipse."

  4. Drag the "eclipse" folder into your Applications folder. The easiest way to do so is to open a new window in the Finder and click on Applications in the list you get on the left-hand side. Then drag the "eclipse" folder in with the other applications. Make sure that you do not drag it into a folder that's already within Applications. In other words, when you're done, the Applications folder should have directly within it a folder named "eclipse."

  5. (This step is not required, but it's strongly recommended.) Double click the "eclipse" folder. You'll see an application named "Eclipse"; it has a purple icon with white horizontal stripes. Drag it into your dock. Now you will be able to launch Eclipse by clicking on the icon in the dock.

  6. You may now drag eclipse-java-helios-SR2-macosx-cocoa.tar.gz to the Trash. Empty the Trash whenever you wish.

  7. When you launch Eclipse for the first time, you'll be asked "'Eclipse' is an application downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it?" Click "Open."

  8. You'll see something like the following window:

    Of course, the workspace name will have your user name in place of "thc." You can choose whatever place you want for your workspace, but it's easiest to just use the default you're given. I recommend that you just click the checkbox next to "Use this as the default and do not ask again" and then click "OK."

  9. You'll then see the following screen:

    Click on the folded-over arrow on the right. You won't see this screen again, even if you quit Eclipse and relaunch it.

  10. Now you'll see the following screen:

    Lots of buttons and panes, but nothing of consequence.

  11. You have now installed Eclipse!

How to configure Eclipse

You don't have to configure Eclipse so that it looks like how I use it, but you'll probably avoid some confusion if you do so. Here's how.
  1. In the Eclipse menu bar, click on the Eclipse menu and then on "Preferences...". You'll see a window with two panes. On the left pane is a list of types of things you can configure.

  2. Click on the triangle to the left of "General." Then click on the triangle to the left of "Appearance." Then click on "Colors and Fonts." You should see a window like this:

  3. In the window in the middle, click on the triangle next to "Java." Then double-click on "Java Editor Text Font."

    As you can see, there's some text following "Java Editor Text Font." Don't worry about it.

  4. The following window will pop up:

    On the right, where you can select the size, click "12." Then close this window by clicking on the window's close button.

  5. Close up the "General" preferences by clicking on the triangle to the left of "General." Click the triangle next to "Java" and then click the triangle next to "Code Style." Then click "Formatter." Here's what you should see:

  6. Click the button that says "New...". You'll see a window such as this one:

    You can type in any profile name you like. I used "CS 5":

    Then click "OK."

  7. You should see a window that looks like this:

    Change the tab size to 2:

    You'll see that the Indentation size automatically changes as well.

  8. Click on "Blank Lines," and after "Between import groups" and "Before declarations of the same kind," change the values 1 to 0:

  9. Click on "Control Statements," and check the boxes as I've done here:

    Click "OK."

  10. Now click on triangles to close up "Java." Click on the triangle next to "Run/Debug," and then click on "Console."

  11. Click on the green color sample next to "Standard In text color." You'll get a color picker:

  12. Slide the slider on the right down, so that you get a dark green. (You're at Dartmouth. What other color could you possibly want?)

    Close the color picker window by clicking its close button, and click "OK" again to close the Preferences window.

  13. Finally, I don't use the Task List and Outline panes, which are on the right-hand side of the window. Click on the "X" next to "Task List" and next to "Outline" in the tabs of these panes:

    You'll get something like this:

    And you're done!

Thomas H. Cormen <>
Last modified: Fri Mar 25 17:37:31 2011