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InstaSearch - Eclipse plug-in for quick code search

InstaSearch is an Eclipse IDE plug-in for performing quick and advanced search of workspace files. It indexes files using Lucene and keeps the index up to date automatically. The search is performed instantly as-you-type and resulting files are displayed in an Eclipse view.

Each file then can be previewed using few most matching and relevant lines. A double-click on the match leads to the matching line in the file.

Download / Installation

In Eclipse please install using the Eclipse Marketplace from the Help menu (how-to)

Alternatively you can install using the update site

Java 1.7 or newer is required

(Add to favorites on Eclipse Marketplace.)


Once InstaSearch is successfully installed, you'll see a nice little "InstaSearch" search tab appear at the bottom:


You can also click the Search menu option at the top --> InstaSearch...

Main Features

  • Instantly shows search results
  • Shows a preview using relevant lines
  • Periodically updates the index
  • Matches partial words (e.g. case in CamelCase)
  • Opens and highlights matches in files
  • Searches JAR source attachments
  • Supports filtering by extension/project/working set


Search Tips

Lucene query syntax can be used for searching. This includes:

  • Wildcard searches
    • app* initialize
  • Excluding words
    • application -initialize
  • Fuzzy searches to find similar matches
    • application init~
  • Limit by location - directory, projects or working set
    • proj:MyProject,OtherProject application init
    • ws:MyWorkingSet dir:src init
  • Limit by filename, extension or modification time
    • name:app* ext:java,xml,txt modified:yesterday
  • Search by file name initials (e.g. FOS to find
    • name:FOS

To exclude some folders from search indexing, mark them as Derived in the folder's properties. There are also useful Eclipse Search Tips.

Note: Fuzzy search is started automatically if no exact matches are found

Building and Developing

Build using Maven from project root:

mvn install

To develop you will need Eclipse (3.7+) with Plug-In Development Environment (PDE) installed:

  • Use File -> Import -> Existing Projects to import all instasearch projects
  • To run or debug right click on 'instasearch' project and select Run As -> Eclipse Application

To use the plug-in in existing Eclipse installation do:

  • Right click on instasearch project, Export -> Deployable plug-ins
  • Choose an existing Eclipse installation directory. Restart


Author: Andrejs Jermakovics

Contributors: Holger Voormann, solganik, on github

Contributions are very welcome so feel free to get in touch or create a pull request.


YourKit is supporting InstaSearch open source project with its full-featured Java Profiler.
YourKit, LLC is the creator of innovative and intelligent tools for profiling
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