Use the Symbol Navigator in Xcode - dummies

By Neal Goldstein, Dave Wilson

Xcode’s Symbol navigator allows you to browse through the symbols in your project — just click the Symbol button on the Navigator selector bar. Note that you need to wait until Xcode finishes indexing your project before you can use this feature.

Symbol button in Xcode.

You can display symbols in a hierarchical or flat list using the buttons at the top of the Symbol navigator.

You can specify which symbols are displayed by using the buttons at the bottom of the navigator. Buttons are blue when on and black when off. Use the following buttons in any combination:

  • The first button on the Symbol navigator shows only class symbols and hides global symbol types.

  • The middle button shows only symbols in this project.

  • The third button shows only containers (classes and categories).

You can refine the Results list still more by entering text in the Filter field at the bottom of the navigator.

If you select a symbol to display, its header file definition will be displayed in the source editor. In this figure, the app developer has hidden everything but the member symbols. In the resulting list, the developer selected the RTDetailViewController viewDidLoad method, and its definition was highlighted in the source editor.

The Symbol navigator in Xcode.
The Symbol navigator in Xcode.