Quick Describe - feature idea...

Hi all,

Often when coding in the Editor I want to pop up a describe window for an object. If the object’s name is on the screen I can easily click on it and hit F4. However if the object name is not there I have a choice of switching to the Schema Browser or typing the name somewhere, hitting F4 and then deleting the name I just typed. Both options can spoil the flow a bit so I’m looking for another way…

First question is does anyone have any tips for better ways to do this at the moment? Knowing TOAD there are probably several other approaches I haven’t tried.

If not, how about a “Quick Describe” feature? The idea would be to hit a key combo, a little dialog pops up, type the name of the object, hit return to open the describe window (or tab :-)). Even better would be that as you type the name, TOAD would guess the object you are looking for. If anyone’s used Quicksilver on the Mac you’ll know what I mean. This could work from anywhere in TOAD, not just the Editor.

What do you think - would anyone else find this useful?



Is it a table or view you are describing? How about the object palette? You
could customize your toolbar and add a button for it to make it appear quickly.

Hi John,

Thanks, I’ve had a look at the Object Palette and it does look useful, particularly with the columns view switched on. I’ve added a keyboard shortcut to show/hide it although it still needs a few mouse clicks to give it focus, pick a tab, etc. Is there a way to jump straight into it and start typing?

It would be mostly tables I’m interested in. Packages would be another popular describe but the package name would usually already be in the editor I guess.

The “key-combo/type with auto-complete/enter” style of launcher interface seems to be becoming more popular these days (e.g. Spotlight/Quicksilver (mac), Windows Search). I must admit I’m getting used to the speed and convenience of it - thought it might be a good feature for TOAD in some way. Maybe a search across all objects, with describe, show in schema browser, link to action console entries, that sort of thing…



I do like your original quick describe idea, I just wanted to see if what we
could already do might be helpful.

So – I’m thinking that you should be able to do this from anywhere
in Toad – not just the editor. It’s actually easy to do, except
for finding a keyboard shortcut….hmmm…CTRL+D looks available….

I had forgotten the Object Palette even existed, so thanks for the reminder!

OK, I added this for the next beta. Hm…I see you posted this to the
‘Toad’ group. I can’t remember if you’re on both
groups or not.

Anyway….next beta, hit CTRL+D and you’ll get this:

Type in the object name (specify object type and owner if you want – not
needed is most cases though). Hit enter and desc window appears. If you
specify an object owner (or a non-schema object type), the object name edit box
turns into a drop-down, populates itself, and you can just type the first few
letters of the object you’re looking for.

This could also be handy for situations where you have multiple objects with the
same name and the one you don’t want comes up when you hit F4.


I like this idea, but might it be better in the new Describe window? F4 would put focus in the search box (if no object was described) and it would appear right underneath in the list of described objects. Would mean we wouldn’t need to remember CTRL+D and it would be immediately available (and obvious) to users.


Hi John,

Looks good. I’m on the Beta group too so I’ll have a play when then next one is out.