Basics of Xcode Workspace for iOS Apps - dummies

Basics of Xcode Workspace for iOS Apps

By Rajiv Ramnath

The application workspace in Xcode is where you’ll do most of your work for creating iOS apps. This workspace is divided into four areas: the Navigator, the Editor, the Utility, and the Debug.

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Navigator area

The Navigator area consists of a collection of navigators each of which allows you to examine a different aspect of the application.

The navigator that you see when the project workspace is first shown looks like a hierarchical file browser. This is the Project navigator that shows all the files in the project, including the files with code that Xcode generates (based on the template used), as well as the files containing code you create.

The Project navigator is only one of several navigators in this area. As you slide your mouse across the icons at the top, tooltips for the Project, Symbol, Find, Issue, Test, Debug, Breakpoint, and Log navigators appear. Click each one to see what happens.

You can hide or show the entire Navigator area by choosing View→Navigators→Show/Hide Navigator or by pressing Command-0.

Editor area

The Editor area is where you do the actual development — that is, where you write the code or configure parameters of the app.

Utilities area

Choose View→Utilities→Show/Hide Utilities or press Command-Option-0 to show and hide the Utilities area. The icons at the top of this area are inspectors. As you slide your mouse across the icons for the inspectors, tooltips appear that display text such as: Show the File Inspector and Show the Quick Help Inspector.

More inspectors will show, depending on what is selected in Navigator area. There are actually six inspectors – File, Quick Help, Identity, Attributes, Size and Connection. These inspectors allow you to provide and change information about the current selection. The Utilities area also lists the iOS Framework classes and libraries you need for your project.

Debug area

At the bottom of the Utilities area, you will find the Debug area. If you don’t see it, click View→Show/Hide Debug Area or press Shift-Command-Y. As its name signifies, you use this area when debugging your app — to inspect variables, see exceptions thrown, view output from any print or log statements in your app, and so on.