How to Use Xcode’s Jump Bar for iOS App Development - dummies

How to Use Xcode’s Jump Bar for iOS App Development

By Jesse Feiler

A Jump bar appears at the top of each Editor area pane to provide an alternative way to navigate through the iOS app files and symbols in your project. You can use the Jump bar to go directly to items at any level in the Workspace.

A Jump bar is an interactive, hierarchical mechanism for browsing items in your workspace. Each editor area includes a Jump bar, as do Interface Builder and the documentation organizer. The configuration and behavior of each Jump bar is customized for the context in which it appears.

The active pane is indicated by slightly darker arrows in the Jump bar. Experiment for yourself and you’ll soon notice the difference.

The Standard editor Jump bar

Xcode's Standard editor jump bar.

The Standard editor Jump bar has the basic configuration, which includes the following:

  • Context-related items: Click the Related Items menu (represented by an icon showing a cluster of tiny rectangles on the far left side) to see additional selections relevant to the current context, such as recently opened files or the interface (.h) header file for an implementation (.m) code file you’re editing.

    Previous and next buttons in Xcode.

  • Previous and Next buttons: These are the left- and right-arrow buttons on the left side of the Jump bar. You use these to step back and forth through your navigation history just as you would with a web browser.

  • A hierarchical path menu: This menu shows the same structure that you see in the Project navigator, down to individual files and the symbols inside the files.

    The hierarchical path menu in Xcode.

The hierarchical path menu lets you quickly choose a file.

Drop down menu that appears when you click the hierarchical path menu in Xcode.

Selecting the last item in the hierarchical path menu provides a list of all the symbols in that file.

A list of the symbols in an Xcode file.

The Assistant modes and the Jump bar

When you use the Assistant, you’ll find that the Jump bar differs somewhat from the Jump bar of the Standard editor. The Assistant’s Jump bar has two modes: Tracking (or Automatic) mode and Manual mode:

  • Manual mode: You select the file to display in the Assistant pane on your own, rather than have the Assistant choose for you. (You can also split the Assistant editor pane to create multiple assistant editors.)

  • Tracking mode: You can automatically see the counterpart files (.h files for .m files and vice versa), the interface files, and other related files. This can be a great time-saver because most of the files you are probably looking for are only a click away.

Hold down the Option key when selecting an item in the Project navigator to open the Assistant and display that item in the Assistant editor pane.

If you have any questions about what something does, just position the mouse pointer above the icon; a tooltip appears to explain it.

The Xcode workspace.