Jeff Mesnil
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Eclipse's ISetSelectionTarget interface

July 3, 2006

I just found a new Interface in Eclipse which I found quite handy.

Let's say that you have an action which creates a new resource and you want to notify views that they have to show this resource.

The key interface is ISetSelectionTarget. If your views respond to this interface (by implementation or adaptation), they can then receive a selectReveal(ISelection selection) message.

For example, one of my view implements ISetSelectionTarget and defines the method:

public void selectReveal(ISelection selection) {
   StructuredSelection ssel = convertSelection(selection);
   if (!ssel.isEmpty()) {
      viewer.setSelection(ssel, true);

How do you send this selectReveal() message from your action?
An example is found in the JDT, in the org.eclipse.ui.wizards.newresource.BasicNewResourceWizard class:

public static void selectAndReveal(IResource resource, IWorkbenchWindow window) {
  // validate the input
  if (window == null || resource == null)
  IWorkbenchPage page = window.getActivePage();
  if (page == null)

  // get all the view and editor parts
  List parts = new ArrayList();
  IWorkbenchPartReference refs[] = page.getViewReferences();
  for (int i = 0; i < refs.length; i++) {
      IWorkbenchPart part = refs[i].getPart(false);
      if (part != null)
  refs = page.getEditorReferences();
  for (int i = 0; i < refs.length; i++) {
      if (refs[i].getPart(false) != null)

  final ISelection selection = new StructuredSelection(resource);
  Iterator itr = parts.iterator();
  while (itr.hasNext()) {
      IWorkbenchPart part = (IWorkbenchPart);    

      // get the part's ISetSelectionTarget implementation
      ISetSelectionTarget target = null;
      if (part instanceof ISetSelectionTarget)
          target = (ISetSelectionTarget) part;
          target = (ISetSelectionTarget) part.getAdapter(ISetSelectionTarget.class);    

      if (target != null) {
          // select and reveal resource
          final ISetSelectionTarget finalTarget = target;
          window.getShell().getDisplay().asyncExec(new Runnable() {
              public void run() {

However, your code does not need to be that generic. If you already know which view may be interested to be notified, you can use

IViewPart part = page.findView(viewId):

to retrieve the interested IViewPart and after checking that it will respond to ISetSelectionTarget (either by implementation or adaptation), you can send it a selectReveal() message directly.