You are running a really old release of SQL Developer. After 4.2, the product switched to a quarterly release cycle and the current release is 18.4. You may want to install 18.4, see if the 4.1 behavior still applies, and report back here. If it is still an issue in the current release, perhaps product management will note it and schedule a fix for some future release.
Unfortunately, I don't have any control over what is installed on my work PC or the update schedule, otherwise I'd be using the latest version .
I tried some forum research, but couldn't find anything related, which I why I posted.
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OK, well after temporarily adding a SET DEFINE OFF line to my login.sql, I can confirm that the problem you describe still exists in 18.4.
Thanks, appreciate you checking.