[Total: 3   Average: 4.7/5]

Like other IDEs or CMSs before it, IntelliJ has quickly become more than an IDE. With its vast plugin marketplace, IntelliJ has turned into a full-fledged platform for all Java related coding. Have no doubt, JetBrain’s decision to open source and allow external developers to develop solutions on top of it is a strategic one.

Keep that in mind because if you use IntelliJ this will affect you. In fact, at Tabnine we like to consider ourselves data based swamis and are therefore predicting that in about 2 years from now, you’ll be staring at your IDE wondering how did IntelliJ become all about the plugins so quickly?!

We also like to help our users stay ahead of the curve and that’s why we put together this comprehensive list of all the plugins that will lead this shift. We based our choices on a variety of different factors – be it the plugin’s popularity in the JetBrains directory, the search volume that the problem they look to solve gets, or their aggregated review score. All these factors, and others, were taken into consideration when putting together this list.

Top 21 JetBrains IntelliJ Plugins for 2021

1. Maven Helper 

maven helper plugin intellij

The Maven Helper plugin provides an easy way to find and exclude conflicting dependencies, actions to run/debug maven goals for a module that contains the current file or on the root module, and actions to run/debug the current test file. It’s really a great time saver for solving dependency issues.

2. Tabnine

Shameless plug – got to do it but before you judge listen in… the Tabnine plugin helps you code faster and with fewer pesky errors. Tabnine completes lines of code based on millions of Java programs, along with your own unique context (open it from within the IDE using Ctrl + Shift + O). You can also find commonly used open-source Java code snippets for the class or method you’re using in the code search.

Installation Instructions

3. Add to gitignore

With Add to gitignore you can create an automated protocol to ignore a specific path. You can track .gitignore files in your repository named .gitignore. Git uses it to determine which files and directories to ignore before you commit. This handy little plugin lets you do just that straight from your IDE.

4. Lightrun

lightrun in intellij

Lightrun is what the kids are calling a “production debugger“. Lightrun’s IntelliJ plugin lets you add logs and metrics to running applications right from the IDE.

4. String Manipulation

string manipulation plugin

This plugin is pretty straightforward. Use String Manipulation to – well, manipulate strings. Perform a variety of different tasks on strings such as converting to camel case, capitalizing, escaping string in Java, and more. 

5. Grep Console

grep console plugin

Grep Console enables you to define a series of regular expressions which will be tested against the console output. Every expression that matches a line will change the style of the whole line/parts of it.

6. Nyan Progress Bar

nyan progress bar

Nothing wrong with a little bit of fun in your IDE and nothing is more fun than Nyan cat. So how about a Nyan progress bar for those endless waits for rebuilds.

7. CamelCase

Great plugin that switches easily between CamelCase, camelCase, snake_case, SNAKE_CASE, well…you get the point. Wish they had one for blog writing too.

8. Rainbow Brackets

rainbow brackets plugin

I love Rainbow Brackets / Parentheses for IntelliJ. This useful tool saves you the confusion of selecting which bracket needs to be closed. Each pair of brackets/parentheses has a different color. Pretty simple, but cool. Plus, this plugin adds some color to your otherwise pale code.

9. CheckStyle-IDEA

This plugin provides both real-time and on-demand scanning of Java files with CheckStyle from within IDEA. Checkstyle is a static code analysis tool used for checking if Java source code is compiling correctly. This awesome plugin connects to CheckStyle you do it from your IDE.

10. AWS Toolkit

aws logo

AWS Toolkit is an open-source plugin used to make AWS application development easier. Use the toolkit to create, test, and debug apps built on AWS.

11. EduTools

edutools plugin

You don’t have to be Joshua Bloch or Herbert Schildt to teach Java. EduTools helps you teach (and learn) IntelliJ based programming languages right in your IDE. This is done in the form of coding tasks with instant verification and feedback.

12. BashSupport

bashsupport logo

Bash language support for IntelliJ. The open source software supports run configurations, rename refactoring, quick fixes, documentation lookup, syntax highlighting, inspections, and plenty more.

13. Python

python programming logo

The Python plugin adds full-scale functionality for Python development. Integrate Python into your IntelliJ platform. What more could you ask for?!

14. JRebel for IntelliJ

jrebel logo

JRebel enhances developer productivity – by reloading code changes instantly. It skips the rebuilding, restarting, and redeploying cycle that is common within Java development.

15. Docker Integration

docker container logo

This plugin allows you to download and build Docker images, create and start Docker containers, and do other related tasks. Docker lets developers deploy applications inside containers for testing code in an environment identical to production. 

16. CSV Plugin

csv icon

Lightweight CSV plugin that allows you to edit files in CSV/TSV format.

17. Eclipse code formatter

eclipse ide logo

Basically exactly what it sounds like. Use Eclipse Code Formatter to fix the problem of maintaining a common style for environments including Eclipse & IntelliJ developers.

18. FindBugs-IDEA


Provides static byte code analysis to look for bugs in Java code from within IntelliJ IDEA. FindBugs is a defect detection tool for Java that uses static analysis to look for more than 200 bug patterns, such as null pointer dereferences, infinite recursive loops, bad uses of the Java libraries and deadlocks.

19. AceJump

acejump plugin

AceJump allows you to quickly navigate the caret to any position visible in the editor. If no matches can be found on-screen, AceJump will scroll to the next match it can find.

20. Zero Width Character Locator

zero width plugin

We’re getting close to the end of our very comprehensive list of IntelliJ plugins. I really like plugins like this one that offer a simple solution to a very common problem. The Zero Width Character Locator plugin adds an inspection that prevents some hard to find bugs related to invisible zero width characters in source code and resources.

21. IdeaVim

Ideavim plugin

Finally, the IdeaVim plugin also made our list. IdeaVim provides Vim emulation in IntelliJ based IDEs. It includes many of the popular features Vim has to offer: normal/insert/visual modes, motion keys, deletion/changing, marks, registers, some Ex commands, and much more.

Thanks for making it all the way down! It may seem like a long list but with the thousands of plugins available for IntelliJ it was not an easy list to compile. So, if we left out your favorite plugin please let us know in the comments below. Happy coding!

About the author

Eyal heads acquisition at Tabnine and is also an avid uphill skier. While not a coder Eyal likes trying to answer difficult Java coding questions only using Google search. Ask him in the comments and see what comes out.

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