With a huge influx of newbies to Xcode I'm sure there are lots of Xcode tips and tricks to be shared.

What are yours?

+99  A: 

⌘ Command + Double-Click on a symbol: Jump to Definition of a symbol.

⌥ Option + Double-Click on a symbol: Find Text in Documentation of a symbol. (Only works if you have they symbol's Doc Set installed.)

Favorites Bar:

Favorites bar is just like you have in Safari for storing - well - favorites. I often use it as a place to store shortcuts to files I am using right now. Generally this is more useful when I'm working with a large or unfamiliar project.

To show the Favorites Bar, select the following menu option:

  • View > Layout > Show Favorites Bar
Command double click is awesome! Thank you.
Gasp! Show Favorites Bar, where have you been my whole life!
Is there a shortcut to "add to favorites" ???
+59  A: 

Open Quickly...

  • Command ⌘ Shift ⇧ D

  • File > Open Quickly...

I'm a big fan of the Open Quickly feature, which is particularly good in Xcode 3.1 and later. When you want to open a file or a symbol definition that's in your project or in a framework, just hit the keyboard shortcut, type a bit of the file or symbol's name, use Up Arrow ↑ and Down Arrow ↓ to pick to the right result (if need be), and then hit Return ↩ to open the file or navigate to the symbol definition.

Open Quickly uses the current word as a search term

Also, something I didn't know about Xcode until two minutes ago (when schwa pointed it out in a comment) is that, if the editor's text caret is inside of a word when Open Quickly is invoked, that word will be used as the Open Quickly search term.

Evan DiBiase
Yeah Open Quickly works really well now. Also you can just put the text caret on the file of a #include/#import line and open that file quickly.
what are these "text caret" you guys talking about??
The text caret is just the vertical bar inside of an area of text that indicates where your keyboard actions would take place.
Evan DiBiase
a.k.a. your cursor.
On the Mac, a "cursor" indicates your mouse position; the flashing vertical bar is the "insertion point".
Nicholas Riley
@Nicholas Riley: Caret is the right word, AFAIK - our mac developers always called it that when I worked in a software company
@Flubba: Caret is certainly *used* for this, I don't dispute it at all; it's just not the common user- or developer-centric term on Macs. If you Google for "caret" you'll just find hits in TrueType documentation and in a single, very recently written, iPad document.
Nicholas Riley
@Nicholas Riley: Actually Cursor is correct, your mouse pointer is the "mouse cursor" which is a derative of the "regular" cursor (think about non-mouse machines)
+4  A: 

To link a new framework

(In the Groups and Files pane, open the Targets disclosure triangle to display the targets associated with your project.)

  1. In the Groups and Files pane, double-click your current project target to display the Target Info panel.
  2. In the Info panel, select the General tab. The lower pane displays the currently-linked frameworks.
  3. Add a new framework by pressing the + button at the bottom left of the panel and selecting from the list presented in the sheet that appears. (Importantly, the list in the sheet shows only the frameworks relevant to the target...)

(This wasn't available two years ago, but it's nevertheless worth pointing out as a significant time-saver over finding the framework in the filesystem and dragging it into the project...)

+165  A: 

Switch to Header/Source File

  • Option ⌥ Command ⌘ Up Arrow ↑

  • View > Switch to Header/Source File

Switches between the .m and .h files.

This is absolutely my favorite, too. I use it constantly. Also works when we are talking about cpp and h. Not just m! :)
que que
+1 for typing the Cmd symbol. :-)
my favorite command.
It's called "option" on the Mac, not "alt". And if you want fancy symbols, it can be written ⌥⌘↑
Brian Campbell
@Brian Your right...but it also says "alt" on the key
Better yet, open the header, ⌘⌥⇡ to open the .m in the same window, then ⌘⌥⇠/⇢ to switch between them.
Peter Hosey
Slightly offtopic, but how do I get Firefox to show those funky symbols? Are they Unicode? Strange because I can see everything from Chinese to Thai to Arabic but not a Mac propeller symbol.
Tried Firefox and I see the ⌘-symbol here. I'm on a Mac so that might be a needed?!? When I look what encoding is used I see UTF-8 here too
⌘⌥⇠/⇢ walks thru all displayable files in the project, including images. So cool.
Note that in Xcode 3.2, you have to change the key bindings to restore ⌘⌥⇠/⇢ to switch-file. They changed the default to move between positions in the same file.
Peter Hosey
A three finger swipe up on the touchpad is another shortcut for the same action.
@SPWorley: You need fonts that support the "Miscellaneous Technical" block, 2300–23FF. I don't know which ones that would be on non-OSX platforms (on OSX it's a pretty common symbol…)
Donal Fellows
You can also do three finger swipe-up to switch between .m and .h
+92  A: 

Tab ⇥ OR Control ⌃ /: Select the next auto-completion argument.

Shift ⇧ Tab ⇥ OR Shift ⇧ Control ⌃ /: Select the previous auto-completion argument.

Escape ⎋: Shows the auto completion pop-up list.

Thanks for the Control-/, i was always wondering how to jump to the next arg
Holy crap, me too. Until now this was the most annoying "feature" of Xcode. Thanks!
Yeah, thanks for pointing that out... not knowing ctrl-/ was killing me
Andy White
Shift-Ctrl-/ advances to the previous argument.
Clinton Blackmore
Note that the new XCode uses Tab to move between arguments in completions. It's more fluid.
When did the new release come out?
Control-. presents the next completion IIRC.
+58  A: 

Zoom Editor In

  • Command ⌘ Shift ⇧ E

  • View > Zoom Editor In

  • Drag the splitter (between the editor window and the file list above it) upwards.

If your window displays both the detail and editor view, you can zoom the editor in to expand the editor view to the full height of the window. (This is fairly easily found, but many seem to overlook it.)

It took me AGES to find out how to hide the tree as well - Command-Option-Shift-E. Ah, sweet relief. I'm forever indebted to the MacMacDev Glasgow group for letting me know this.
John Gallagher
+6  A: 

When you use code completion on a method and it has multiple arguments, using CTRL + / to move to the next argument you need to fill in.

Tab / Shift-Tab are also now supported as of recent versions of Xcode.
+22  A: 

You can have Xcode run the preprocessor over your Info.plist file:

    #ifdef DEBUG
        <string>1.0 (debug)</string>

See for details.

Dewayne Christensen
Note that if you do this, your Info.plist will always have to be edited as text; you won't be able to edit it in the nice Property List Editor that keeps it using correct keys and value types.
Chris Hanson
+9  A: 

Cmd-/ to automatically insert "//" for comments. Technically the same number of keystrokes, but it feels faster...

Also the default project structure is to put resources and class files in separate places. For larger amounts of code create logical groups and place related code and xib files together. Groups created in XCode are just logical structures and do not change where your files are on disk (though you can set them up to replicate a real directory structure if you wish)

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
You can actually select a block of text to toggle comment with CMD-/
It feels faster because it is, for //, time is doubled since you can't press the other / with your other hand :)
+24  A: 

Xcode supports text macros that can be invoked via the Insert Text Macro menu at the end of the Edit menu. They can also be invoked using Code Sense, Xcode's code completion technology.

For example, Typing the key sequence p i m control-period will insert #import "file" into your code, with file as an editable token just like with code completion.

Chris Hanson
Dude, hawesome!
+11  A: 

When using Code Sense with many keybaords, use control-comma to show the list of available completions, control-period to insert the most likely completion, and control-slash & shift-control-slash to move between placeholder tokens. The keys are all together on the keyboard right under the home row, which is good for muscle memory.

Chris Hanson
instead of using control-comma for the list of available completions, you could use esc also.
+19  A: 

"Ctrl+Left/Right Arrow" to do intra-word text navigation. I use this feature to jump the cursor from the one "camel hump" in a variable to the next.

Matt Dillard
It's great so long as you have Spaces disabled :\
Also try Option-f, Option-b, Option-d etc. These are all emacs style keybindings.
@jbrennan I have Spaces assigned to ⌃+⌥+⇧+⌘ Edit: To set Spaces to ⌃+⌥+⇧+⌘, select the "To switch between spaces:" and the "To switch directly to a space:" popup and hold down the Control, Option, Shift and Command keys.
+19  A: 
Vladimir Grigorov
The key is "option" (⌥) on the Mac, not "alt."
Chris Hanson
The white Apple keyboard does indeed have alt written on the option key.
Chris Lundie
this doesn't seem to work in 3.0. Is it a more recent thing?
Chris, the 'alt' label is for switchers. Old school Mac guys know it as Option. Like God intended.
If you're a fan of trackpad gestures, you can also use a three-finger swipe to the left and right to get the same effect.
Reed Olsen
+11  A: 

Might go without saying, but if you want to use intra-word navigation, make sure you change the key presets in for Spaces (in the Expose & Spaces preference pane), if you use it.

I switched Spaces to use Ctrl-Option Left/Right.

Edit: To set Spaces to Ctrl-Option Left/Right, select the "To switch between spaces:" popup and hold down the Option key. The first item will change from Ctrl Arrow Keys to Ctrl-Option Arrow Keys.

How do you set spaces to use Ctrl+Option arrow keys?THe options in SYstem Preferences only allowed either Option, Control, or Cmd
Kevin Chan
+50  A: 

Get Colin Wheeler's Complete Xcode Keyboard Shortcut List (available as PDF or PNG). Print it and keep it somewhere visible (I've got it on the wall next to my screen).

edit: Updated versions for Xcode 3.2

+13  A: 

The class browser in Xcode! Reached by pressing shift-cmd-c. You can reduce the scope to only show your active project. It gives you a less cluttered view as long as you only want to browse the class hierarchy.

Wow! Did not know this one... this may become my main "working" window. Almost feels like VisualAge (the good parts) :D
+8  A: 

Right click on any word and select 'Find Selected Text in API Reference' to search the API for that word. This is very helpful if you need to look up the available properties and/or methods for a class. Instead of heading to or Google you will get a popup window of what you were looking for (or what was found).

Option double click does that too.
+15  A: 

Right click on a variable in your function and click edit all in scope. Been using it a lot since I found this out.

Very useful, no idea it was there. That contextual menu is definitely worth exploring.
Rui Pacheco
You can access this using Ctrl-Command-T when over the word you want to edit. Much faster than a pesky menu!
John Gallagher
+3  A: 

Move back or forward a full word with alt-. Move back or forward a file in your history with cmd-alt-. Switch between interface and implementation with cmd-alt-.

Jump to the next error in the list of build errors with cmd-=. Display the multiple Find panel with cmd-shift-f. Toggle full editor visibility with cmd-shift-e.

Jump to the Project tab with cmd-0, to the build tab with cmd-shift-b and to the debug tab with cmd-shift-y (same as the key commands for the action, with shift added).

Is it just me or are you missing arrow keys?
+31  A: 

Not much of a keyboard shortcut but the TODO comments in the source show up in the method/function dropdown at the top of the editor.

So for example:

// TODO: Some task that needs to be done.

shows up in the drop down list of methods and functions so you can jump to it directly.

Most Java IDEs show a marker for these task tags in the scrollbar, which is nicer, but this also works.

This even works with // !!!: and // ???:
Works for //FIXME: too.
I just tried // MARK: and it has the exact same effect as #pragma mark. You can even use // MARK: with a dash to get the separator.
Rose Perrone
+43  A: 

Use #pragma for organization

You can use:

#pragma mark Foo

... as a way to organize methods in your source files. When browsing symbols via the pop up menu, whatever you place in Foo will appear bold in the list.

To display a separator (i.e. horizontal line), use:

#pragma mark -

It's very useful, especially for grouping together delegate methods or other groups of methods.

Steve Streza
typing # p will usually trigger code completion '#pragma mark <LABEL>' for quickly adding the label part.
+10  A: 

Use the Class Browser to show inherited methods

Apple's API reference documentation does not show methods inherited from a superclass. Sometimes, though. it's useful to be able to see the full range of functionality available for a class -- including a custom class of your own. You can use the Class Browser (from the Project menu) to display a flat or hierarchical list of all the classes related to a current project. The upper pane on the right hand side of the browser window shows a list of methods associated with the object selected in the browser. You can use the Configure Options sheet to select "Show Inherited Members" to show inherited methods as well as those defined by the selected class itself. You click the small book symbol to go to the corresponding documentation.

+28  A: 

⌘-[ and ⌘-] to indent and unindent selected text. Makes cleaning up source code much easier.

If you cut the text and paste it back, it will magically reindent properly. :)
Or just select it and hit control-I (like tab but not really).
Nicholas Riley
+47  A: 

Control ⌃ 2: Access the popup list of methods and symbols in the current file.

This is super useful because with this shortcut you can navigate through a file entirely using the keyboard. When you get to the list, start typing characters and the list will type-select to the symbol you are looking for.

I use Spaces (CTRL-2 goes to Space #2) so I remapped the key binding. It can be found under "Text Key Bindings" in item "Pop Symbols PopUp."
I also use spaces, but I have spaces triggered by clicking on the scroll ball.
Nice tip. Made me discover that Control-1 will bring up the file history list.
Type-select seems to be broken for C++ code :(
+13  A: 

ctrl-alt-⌘ r to clear the log

+7  A: 
  1. Hold down option while selecting text to select non-contiguous sections of text.
  2. Hold down option while clicking on the symbol name drop down to sort by name rather than the order they appear in the file.
Mike Akers
+6  A: 

The User Scripts menu has a lot of goodies in it, and it's relatively easy to add your own. For example, I added a shortcut and bound it to cmd-opt-- to insert a comment divider and a #pragma mark in my code to quickly break up a file.

  echo -n "//================....================
  #pragma mark "

When I hit cmd-opt--, these lines are inserted into my code and the cursor is pre-positioned to edit the pragma mark component, which shows up in the symbol popup.

Ben Gottlieb
"#pragma mark -" will put in a separator line in the functions drop down.
typing "#p" and then hitting enter will do a pragma mark just as fast..
+19  A: 

Debugging - how to using gdb
Being a newbie still, I find trapping and identifying faults a rather daunting job. The console, despite it being a powerful tool, usually does not yield very intuitive results and knowing what you are looking at in the debugger can be equally difficult to understand. With the help of some of they guys on StackOverFlow and the good article about debugging that can be found at Cocoa With Love it becomes a little more friendly.

Wow, that's a great article.
+3  A: 

Some tips to be found here:

+6  A: 

Being able to split the current editor window horizontally, which is great for wide screen monitors to be able to view the source and header file side by side. There are two different methods for doing depending on what version of Xcode you are using.

In XCode 3.0 it is under Preferences, Key Bindings, Text Key Bindings at the bottom of that list.

In XCode 2.5 it is under Preferences, Key Bindings, Menu Key Bindings, View menu.

Mark Thalman
⌘' closes the current split (under "Close Split" in the bindings list).
There is also an icon to do this at the top of the scroll bar, it looks like a split window (and after splitting, another unsplit window icon appears to remove the split).
Frank Szczerba
I believe that that button only splits horizontally so that the files are on top of each other. I prefer splitting vertically so that the header file is to the right of the *.m file.
Mark Thalman
As noted elsewhere in this thread, if you click while holding Option, it will split the other way.
+21  A: 

Double-click on the square brackets or parentheses to obtain bracket and parentheses matching.

Julien Chastang
+7  A: 

In PyObjC, you can do the equivalent of #pragma mark for the symbols dropdown:

#MARK: Foo


#MARK: -

+8  A: 

Print Complete Xcode Keyboard Shortcut List and put it next to your monitor.

Nikita Zhuk
+26  A: 

Hold Option while splitting windows to split vertically rather than horizontally.

Very nice on a 30" monitor. Thanks!
This helped a lot!
+12  A: 

Select a block of text and type cmd-/ to comment it out. Do it again to remove the comments characters.

This is especially useful when combined with brace-matching by double-clicking on balanced chars (parens, braces, brackets).

Frank Szczerba
+8  A: 

pragma mark


#pragma mark === Initialization ===

Writing this line above all initialization methods will generate a nice heading in the dropdown menu above the editor.

Open Quickly

Shift + cmd + D Start typing a file name you'd like to open. Very cool if you look for framework headers. They have nice comments too, sometimes additional info to the docs.


When your text-cursor is on a uncomplete method name for example, press ESC. It will shop up everything that might fit in there, and you can quickly complete very large method names. It's also good if you can't remember exactly the name of a method. Just press ESC.

I think these are the best ones I know until now.

(migrated from deleted question by

Jeff Atwood
"#pragma mark -" will create a divider in the symbols menu, instead of using === as posted..
#pragma mark - is better than #pragma mark ==== Init ====
Seymour Cakes
+5  A: 

Check out a nice screencast about 'becoming productive in Xcode': becoming-productive-in-xcode

Dmitriy Kopylenko
+17  A: 

Technically an Interface Builder tip, but they're a book-matched pair, so I don't think this is off topic...

Shift + Right Click on one of your controls and you get a nice pick list of the object hierarchy. No more click, click, click, frustration!

+43  A: 

1. Breakpoint on "objc_exception_throw"

You should always have a breakpoint on objc_exception_throw.

2. Debugging retain/release problems with "Zombie" variables

Use the following code:

NSZombieEnabled = YES;
NSDeallocateZombies = NO;

... to debug retain and release problems.

3. Jumping to a class in Xcode from Interface Builder

Command ⌘ + Double-click on an object in Interface Builder's Document Window to jump to that class in Xcode. This is very handy with File's Owner.

4. Reusing customized objects in Interface Builder

Drag a customized object back to Interface Builder's Library for later reuse.

5. Select overlapping items in Interface Builder

Control ⌃ Shift ⇧ + Click on an object in Interface Builder to see a menu of all of the objects under the mouse.

6. Interface Builder Gesture Guide

Interface Builder Gesture Guide.

Jon Hess
Great Answer! I'd give two upvotes for (3) and (4) which I didn't know before.
Nikolai Ruhe
+56  A: 

Turn off the "undo past the last point" warning

When you attempt to undo after saving, you will get the following prompt:

"You are about to undo past the last point this file was saved. Do you want to do this?"

To get rid of this warning, enter the following into a terminal window:

defaults write XCShowUndoPastSaveWarning NO

Change the company name in template files

Paste this into the Terminal application:

defaults write PBXCustomTemplateMacroDefinitions '{"ORGANIZATIONNAME" = "Microsoft";}'

Change "com.yourcompanyname" in all your templates:

  1. Find the directory: /Developer/Platforms/iPhoneOS.platform/Developer/Library/Xcode/Project Templates/Application
  2. Use your favourite multi-file search-and-replace tool to change com.yourcompany to whatever value you normally use to build for a device. I used BBEdit's multi-find-and-replace after I opened the whole directory. You should be replacing the value in all the info.plist files. I found 8 files to change. The number of times a build has failed because I forgot to change this string is ridiculous.

Quickly jump to a Group in the Groups and Files pane

  • Control ⌃ Option ⌥ Shift ⇧ + <First letter of a Group name>

If you hold down the three keys above, you can quickly jump to groups in the left (Groups and Files) page by pressing the first letter of a groups name. For example, Control ⌃Option ⌥Shift ⇧T takes you to Targets and Control ⌃Option ⌥Shift ⇧S to Source. Press it again and it jumps to SCM. Sometimes it takes several tries for this to work (I don't know why).

Cycling between autocompletion choices

  • Control ⌃ .

  • Shift ⇧ Control ⌃ .: Cycles backwards between autocompletion choices.

Control ⌃. (Control-Period) after a word automatically accepts the first choice from the autocompletion menu. Try typing log then Control ⌃. and you'll get a nice NSLog statement. Press it again to cycle through any choices. To see all the mutable choices, type NSMu then Control ⌃..

Quick Help

  • Control ⌃ Command ⌘ ? (While your cursor is in the symbol to look up)

  • Option ⌥ + <Double-click a symbol>

  • Help > Quick Help

To get to the documentation from the Quick Help window, click the book icon on the top right.

See the documentation for a Symbol

  • Command ⌘ Option ⌥ + <Double-click a symbol>

Takes you straight to the full documentation.

Make non-adjacent text selections

  • Command ⌘ Control ⌃ + <Double-click in the editor>

Use the above shortcut for a strange way of selecting multiple words. You can make selections of words in totally different places, then delete or copy them all at once. Not sure if this is useful. It's Xcode only as far as I can tell.

Use emacs key bindings to navigate through your code

This trick works in all Cocoa application on the Mac (TextEdit, Mail etc.) and is possibly one of the most useful things to know.

  • Command ⌘ Left Arrow or Command ⌘ Right Arrow Takes you to the beginning and end of a line.
  • Control ^ a and Control ^ e Do the same thing
  • Control ^ n and Control ^ p Move the cursor up or down one line.
  • Control ^ f and Control ^ b Move the cursor back or forward one space

Pressing Shift ⇧ with any of these selects the text between move points. Put the cursor in the middle of a line and press Shift ⇧ Control ^ e and you can select to the end of the line.

Pressing Option ⌥ will let you navigate words with the keyboard. Option ⌥ Control ^ f skips to the end of the current word. Option ⌥ Control ^ b skips to the beginning of the current word. You can also use Option ⌥ with the left and right arrow keys to move one-word-at-a-time.

  • Control ^ Left Arrow and Control ^ Right Arrow moves the cursor between camel-cased parts of a word.

Try it with NSMutableArray. You can quickly change it to NSArray by putting your cursor after the NS, pressing Shift ⇧ Control ^ Right Arrow then Delete.

Thanks, I hate that "Are you sure..." message. Why is it even there in the first place?
Rui Pacheco
Control-Command-double-click is just necessary because Xcode uses Command-double-click for something else other than a discontiguous word selection. In most Cocoa apps you can do discontiguous selection with the Command modifier alone.
Nicholas Riley
+1 for org name Microsoft
+22  A: 

OK, this is late but I love it:

control Xcode's text editor from the command line: xed

> xed -x                # open a new untitled document
> xed -xc foo.txt       # create foo.txt and open it
> xed -l 2000 foo.txt   # open foo.txt and go to line 2000

# set Xcode to be your EDITOR for command line tools
# e.g. for subversion commit
> echo 'export EDITOR="xed -wcx"' >> ~/.profile

> man xed               # there's a man page, too
Nikolai Ruhe
+5  A: 

If you have a mutli touch capable mac - use MultiClutch ( to map some of the keystrokes described by mouse gestures.

I use 3 finger forward and back to go frward and back in file history (cmd-alt-.), and pinch to switch between .h and .m

+8  A: 

⌘` to properly format (reindent) your code

Isn't that the "tab between program windows" shortcut?
Chris R. Donnelly
This does not work
`Ctrl+I` is the default shortcut for reindenting.
Ole Begemann
+4  A: 

Use AppKiDo to browse the documentation.

Use Accessorizer for a bunch of mundane, repetitive tasks in Xcode.

James Moore
+5  A: 

Use ^T to swap the previous two letters

This works in all Cocoa apps, but I like it especially when coding: ^T (Control-T) to transpose the two letters adjacent to the caret. For example:


.. becomes:


... which I find is a kind of typing error I make often.

Johan Kool
+3  A: 

If the hilighting gets messed up, if your ivars aren't hilighted or anything else, just do ⌘-A ⌘-X ⌘-V, which will select all, cut, and paste and all the hilighting will be corrected. So just hold down ⌘ and press A then X then V.

+7  A: 

Recompile-free debug logging

cdespinosa's answer to this question gives a method for a debugging-via-logging technique that requires no recompilation of source. An amazing trick that keeps code free of debugging cruft, has a quick turnaround, and would have saved me countless headaches had I known about it earlier.

TODO comments

prefixing a comment with TODO: will cause it to show up in the function "shortcut" dropdown menu, a la:

int* p(0); // TODO: initialize me!
+1  A: 

I find that using the shortcuts for building/cleaning and running your project really saved me some time:

  • Cmd-R: Build & Run
  • Cmd-Y: Build & Debug
  • Cmd-Shift-Enter: Stop running project
  • Cmd-Shift-K: Clean build
+1  A: 

The entire shortcut list can be found here:

+3  A: 

Ctrl-left/Ctrl-right to navigate words within a variable or method name. Can't live without this one.

John Gallagher
+7  A: 

Build success/failure noise; from term:

defaults write PBXBuildSuccessSound ~/Library/Sounds/metal\ stamp.wav
defaults write PBXBuildFailureSound ~/Library/Sounds/Elephant
NOTE: changes take effect after Xcode is restarted
Some people have commented (privately) that the above didn't work for them; when we investigated it turns out they didn't have those sound files in their <~/Library/Sounds/> directory… so… note to anyone that tries this: make sure these defaults point to (sound) files that actually exist… ;-)

the fact that I can use emacs as my editor and xCode as my builder/debugger... Best of both worlds, IMHO.

Brian Postow
+1  A: 

Key Bindings to XCode Actions

I also adore the "re-indent". True there is no default shortcut, but you can add one from the Text Key Bindings tab of the Key Bindings preference pane.

Which is a time-saver all its own. Just lookup your favourite actions and add/edit keyboard shortcuts!

One set of defaults I do find handy are the CMD+" and CMD+' to add/remove vertical splits. Hold down option for these and now you have the same for horizontal. But if these gestures don't work for you, you can always change them.

Old McStopher

I have no idea if everybody knows this already, but I was delighted when I learned I could use "code folding" and hide nested functions that I didn't want to look at by clicking on the gray area nearest to the code that you want to fold.

Hard to explain . . .

Kevin Y
You can also use Ctrl+Cmd+Up to collapse all top leve blocks in the file at once.
Paul Alexander
+1  A: 
  • To "set next statement", just drag the red instruction pointer to the next line to execute. (source)
Chris R. Donnelly
+5  A: 

A. It will build and analyze, meaning that Xcode will warn you about possible leaks.

only from xcode 3.2 onwards tho
Aran Mulholland

Alt-Left & Right to go to the end/start of the line. This along with the CTRL-Left & Right to move to the next capital letter, or word break. these two save me so much time

Aran Mulholland

I don't really like the code-formatting/reindent feature that is built into xcode, so I found using uncrustify as a code formatter very useful. It can be used as a User Script:

+5  A: 

Using ] to automatically insert [ in the correct location

I come from a .net background so I'm used to typing a symbol and then typing one of its method names. So I always forget to include the [ before I start typing the object name. Usually this meant I would need to go to the beginning of the line and add the [ manually. I didn't realize I could just press ] at the current cursor position and it will be added automatically.

1) This works both at the end of a function, e.g.:

myObject testMethod]

... becomes:

[myObject testMethod]

2) As well as before the function name, e.g.:


... becomes:

[myObject ]

The advantage of the latter (2) is that code completion will filter on the methods of your object. Whereas with the former (1) if you try to invoke code completion immediately after myObject, it won't be filtered. Another advantage to (2) is it behaves more like other programming languages that use dot notation. You type the name of the object then simply ] instead of . to access a method.

thanks - this is quite handy!
Faisal Vali

Use xcodebuild command line to do a clean build on the shared build machine:

cd project_directory xcodebuild -configuration Release -alltargets clean xcodebuild -configuration Release -alltargets


Sort contents of Groups in Xcode's Groups & Files pane by selecting the Group, then Edit > Sort By > Name.

You expect to find this in the contextual menu for the group, but it isn't there.


Matt Andersen
This is a good one. One of my favs. I also setup a key binding so I don't have to go to the menu. I like cmd+shift+z
+2  A: 

When typing a method press ESC to see the code completion options (no doubt this has been mentioned before). I already knew about this, but TODAY I discovered that if you press the button in the lower-right-hand corner of the code completion window (it'll be either an 'A' or Pi) you can toggle between alphabetical sorting and what appears to be sorting by class hierarchy.

All of a sudden this window is useful!

+3  A: 

A different way to set the your company name in a project template is to:

  • Add a contact for yourself in Address Book
  • Edit Company field in your contact to your Company name
  • Now select your contact then go to menu and select Card -> Make This My Card
  • Your contact card should now be bold in address book to confirm this.

This should now add your company name to all your project templates as well as providing other applications with more autofill information!

Daniel Granger
+1  A: 

I have created my own file templates for NSObject, UIView and UIViewController so when I create new classes, the files are all set up with private sections and logging of class' address in init and dealloc.

Example (NSObject derived class named 'test' will start like this):

// Private Interface

@interface test (private)

// Public Implementation

@implementation test

- (void)dealloc {
    NSLog(@">>> Dealloc: test [0x%X]", self);
    [super dealloc];
    NSLog(@"<<< Dealloc: test");

- (id) init
    self = [super init];
    if(self) {
        NSLog(@">>> Alloc: test [0x%X]", self);
    return self;


// Private Implementation

@implementation test (private)

Plenty of resources available for this, e.g.:

As of ObjC2, you can use an extension instead of a category to implement private methods by simply omitting the category name (i.e just have "@interface test ()" ). This works like a category would except it expects the methods to be implemented in the main implementation block. I prefer it because it lets me put the private methods right with related public ones.
Boaz Stuller
Oh - thanks. I actually use this convention of separating the two in C++ too so I guess it is just individual taste
+2  A: 

There are many adjustments you can make to how Xcode treats the formatting of your code, but only if you change the settings via command line. I threw together a little program that lets you adjust them to your liking. Enjoy :)

Xcode Formatting Options

+1  A: 

As for "Open Quickly" feature - it's great, but I've always missed TextMate's cmd-shift-t for browsing the projects and files (symbols, methods, etc).

That's why I've released an Xcode plugin that provides just that. It's called Code Pilot and you might want to take a look at it:

Code pilot looks promising. At first use I've noticed that you cannot paste into the search field. Is that right?
Nikolai Ruhe
Copying, pasting, along with automatic copying what you have selected in the editor window into Code Pilot are among the upcoming features - should be available shortly.
+2  A: 

In shell build phases you can write to stderr using the following format:

<filename>:<linenumber>: error | warn | note : <message>\n

It's the same format gcc uses to show errors. The filename:linenumber part can be omitted. Depending on the mode (error, warn, note), Xcode will show your message with a red or yellow badge.

If you include an absolute file path and a line number (if the error occurred in a file), double clicking the error in the build log lets Xcode open the file and jumps to the line, even if it is not part of the project. Very handy.

Nikolai Ruhe
+3  A: 

Control+R to execute selected text as a shell script which returns with the pasted output following the selection!

+4  A: 

cmd + ctrl + up / down collapses all of your functions or uncollapses them.

Johnny Mast
+2  A: 

To display the current Autocompletion options in a popup menu by default (without having to press ESC first), type

defaults write XCCodeSenseAutoSuggestionStyle List

in Terminal and restart Xcode.

Ole Begemann
+2  A: 

Select a block of text and use

Command + '/' 

To comment out the block of text. Selected the commented block and use the same shortcut to uncomment it.

cool. now I wonder how to do that in Ruby in Netbeans, where we cannot use `/*`...
Why doesn't that work for me ? I only know that shortcut from eclipse and I think tried it from the beginning as I came to XCode 3.x. I can only test it in XCode 4 now and it doesn't work there either.
No idea. Works fine in xcode 3.2 and 4 for me.
Update... it works fine in XCode 3.2, I was forced to reinstall 3.2 (got broken recently cause I played with forbidden files) and now I can use this shortcut. Still doesn't work in XCode 4 though (which I reinstalled too, to have everything fresh and clean)
+6  A: 

Being able to quickly see all the methods that can be overriden from a super class. For example when extending UITableViewController I just type in my implementation:

- ta

and then I hit ESC to see all the methods from my superclass that begin with "ta" such as

- (UITableViewCell *) tableView:(UITableView *)tableView cellForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath

This also works when adopting protocols.

+4  A: 

XCode Code formatting... is one of the thing you need when you want to make your code readable and looks good.

You can do the code formatting by your self or save some time using scripts.

One good way is.. use Uncrustify explained here

+1 for Uncrustify, even though it's not strictly an Xcode tip. Xcode is useless at keeping track of whitespace and indentation.
+7  A: 

Command ⌘ alt ⌥ shift T : reveal the current edited file in the project tree.

fantastic tip, thank you. This is so useful when working on someone else's code, like when you are called in to work on a project after it has been in development a while.
Aran Mulholland
+4  A: 

For me it’s always been: Command ⌘ + 0:

After you debug or run or anything, if you quit the iPhone Simulator or the debugging app, you’re left with the debugger window.

When you’re using “Single-Window Layout”, going back to the editor must be done with a click in the toolbar which is annoying (plus you later need to “remove the detail pane”).

The above shortcut does it and leaves you ready to code.

Martín Marconcini

My favorites have to be these general editor shortcuts:

  • Cmd+0 returns you back to your editor from debug mode.
  • Cmd+Shift+R takes you from debug mode to editor view (project mode)
  • Cmd+Shift+E "maximizes" the editor (This is very useful when you have build results etc. displayed above your editor and you just want to make your source editor taller)
  • Ctrl+2 displays an outline of your current code
  • Cmd+Return runs the app