Mac IntelliJ IDE vs Atom Text Editor


macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
So I usually use Atom for coding at home as it is a pleasure to work with and so slick - I hear it can be quite slow for big projects but my code is rarely more than a few pages so that does not bother me - i use the One Dark UI Theme and Oceanic Next for Syntax Theme and it's just beautiful.

At work we are sort of pushed into using IntelliJ IDEA as they want to standardise on an IDE across the team - trouble is I cannot get it to look anything like as lovely as Atom, I have spent a whole afternoon just trying to get it looking something like Atom but I cannot get close - and it is so horribly complicated as well - I get the editor window looking ok but then the project side bar looks awful.

Any tips?


macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2015
Prague, Czech Republic
None that I know of. IDEA is a full fledged IDE suitable even for huge projects that use all kinds of enterprise magic. Just like in, for example, Photoshop, there's only so much functionality you can hide away.


macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2016
I've started using IntelliJ tools this year (python, php, and the new .net rider) and find them extremely useful, to the point that I do not want to go back to anything else. They are indeed complicated but that's because there's functionality for pretty every purpose, so you can stay in their ecosystem, and once you master one of their IDEs then it makes it much easier to learn another language using their other tools. The DataGrip database IDE similarly is a great companion (and all the other tools have built in database support too). I would argue that if you want to use a visual IDE (as opposed to maybe being a VI wizard), then once you get the hang of IntelliJ then you can forget all the others, at least at this time...

Some tips that helped me to clear initial hurdles:

-- the "View > Tool Windows" like Project, Structure etc. are easily show/hide-able with Command-1, 2, 3 etc... and if you hit your Command key twice you might see them pop-up as tabs on the edges... look in the bottom left corner of your IDE for a tiny white box... click it a few times and you'll see it toggles those edge tools, and if you toggle them to stay visible you can easily drag them around from left/right/bottom

-- each tool window can also be detached from the main IDE window,

-- right click any tab you have open, go to Tab Placement > Show Tabs in Single Row (toggle on or off... other IDEs give you an unreadable long single row, whereas here you can choose to have the tabs stack and stay readable)

-- VCS is built in and quite nice,

-- besides VCS, it automatically keeps track of "Local History" to see you revisions of your recent changes if you get into trouble before your next commit...

-- if not already enabled, auto-save by default along with proper VCS works much better than choosing your save points,

-- try intelligently renaming a variable in a large file (or codebase) by highlight/right-clicking it, then Refactor > Rename -- safer/quicker than "traditional" search and replace.
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macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
Thanks for the detailed answer.

I am persevering. Just discovered distraction free mode this morning and I find that quite agreeable.


macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2016
Take a look at this editor. It's built with the same technologies as Atom, but it runs considerably faster.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2008
Why do they force you to use an IDE? They really should let you pick as long as you can run the project.

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