Friday, January 16, 2009

SQL Developer, Mac OS X and the weird bug of key presets

Always check out the original article at for latest comments, fixes and updates.

A quick note for those who came across a weird bug in Oracle SQL Developer that makes its editor virtually useless under Mac OS X.
If you are wondering why suddenly the backspace key doesn't work or the arrow keys simply do nothing, it seems that, for some reason currently being investigated, the keyboard preset for Mac OS X is not correctly applied or it's not properly loaded.
If you go to the menu TOOLS/PREFERENCES/ACCELERATORS, then you click on the button Load Preset, and finally you choose "default Mac OS X", you should be able to get the keys to work again.
And thanks to -K- for the useful workaround!

See the OTN thread where this problem is discussed.

Apparently this elusive bug affects SQL Developer both 1.5.1, 1.5.3 and possibly 1.5.4 according to Sue's reply.


dmcghan said...


I've noticed the same type of thing happening on Windows. Had to reload the preset to fix it there too.


Byte64 said...

Hi Dan,
that's curious, i've been using SQL Developer on Windows daily in the last two years and it never occurred to me!

Thanks for your comment.

Holger said...

I work with JDeveloper and SQLDeveloper on MacOS and can not solve this problem by loading the defaults. Nor SPACE and BACKSPACE work and I am very confused. I think, I will go back to an older version and pray.

Byte64 said...

That's weird, i didn't experience the bug since i upgraded to 1.5.4 and i'm working on Mac OS too.
As Sql Developer relies on the Java VM i suspect that it could depend on the version of JRE currently active.
If i open the Java preferences, the java application priority is set as follows:

J2SE 5.0 32-bit
Java SE 6 64-bit
J2SE 5.0 64-bit
J2SE 1.4.2 32-bit

how does yours look like?

Holger said...

Hi Flavio,
looks the same for me. I downloaded an older version and nothing changed at all.
I changed the priority of JAVA versions, I deleted the configuration files on /Library/Application Support/SQLDeveloper and .sqldeveloper. I can't find a solution. Changing to the key preset default activates my SPACE but other accelerators work very strange.

Byte64 said...

i didn't check out other presets, i was just happy to see that backspace and space were functioning again.

May be the workaround is quirky.
It's sad to admit but I ran out of advices.

May be you want to "downgrade" to Windows? ;-)

Holger said...

;-) downgrading is not an option. It is very strange. If I find the solution, I will let you know about. Thanks

Holger said...

I got it

hartraft said...

I got the same problem as Dan, happened on Windows XP. Was using SQL Developer 1.5.0 then lost all ability on keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+C and F9

"Load Preset" button worked a charm. Thanks!

Statoc said...

Thanks your a life saver. This is one of the weirdest bugs I have encountered. Previously I installed a new version of sql developer to get the keys working again but what to do if you are running the latest :-).

Anonymous said...

I've been using Sql Developer for 2 years now and never had this issue until this morning :-( Don't understand why it happened, but thanks to you, I got it fixed... WHEW!!!!


Anonymous said...

I have experienced a similar issue running SQLDeveloper 1.5.5 (Build MAIN-5969)on Windows XP Pro a couple of times. Have not been able to nail down a *reason* for it happening, though.
- Jonathan

John Martin said...

This just happened to me on Mac OS X with SQL Developer 3.1, and "Accelerators" isn't in the Preferences list any more.

I found the fix under:
Tools->Preferences->Shortcut Keys->More Actions
->Load Keyboard Scheme->Default MacOS

John Martin said...

I ran into the same problem on Mac OS X and SQL Developer 3.1, and the "Accelerators" option in Preferences isn't there any more.

I found the fix here: Tools->Preferences->Shortcut Keys->More Action->Load Keyboard Scheme->Default MacOS->OK

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