Learn More About Xcode

This guide introduced you to features and capabilities of Xcode. To help you become an expert Xcode user, Apple provides additional documentation within Xcode. You'll find identical Xcode documentation online in the iOS Developer Library and Mac Developer Library.

Get a Hands-On Introduction

If you’re new to iOS or Mac programming, work through Start Developing iOS Apps Today or Start Developing Mac Apps Today. Each document provides a perfect starting point for app development. In each, you use Xcode to create a simple app, and you learn the basics of programming with Objective-C using either the Cocoa Touch or Cocoa framework.

For a guided tour through the development of a game project that can be built for both iOS and Mac, look at code:Explained Adventure, which includes a link to download the complete Xcode project.


Find Step-by-Step Instructions

As you saw earlier, step-by-step instructions for performing common tasks are available directly in Xcode. Control-click areas of the Xcode user interface to see a short list of the most common operations. Choose Show All Help Topics to see a larger list. Select an operation from the list, and a help article appears in the Xcode documentation viewer window.


Many articles include links to additional articles describing related tasks. Many articles also include links to lengthier discussions in user guides, which offer additional context and details about performing tasks in Xcode.

The Help menu also offers quick access to help articles. Type a search term or phrase, and a list of relevant help articles and related documents appears directly in the menu.


You can also use the search bar in the Xcode documentation viewer to locate help for a task. In Xcode, choose Help > “Documentation and API Reference” to display the documentation viewer. As you type into the search field, a menu appears of top search results. Select a document directly from this list, or click Show All Results at the bottom of the list to see a comprehensive list of search results.


Xcode obtained these results by searching through all of the documentation relevant to your project’s SDK. You’ll find results for API symbols listed under API Reference, programming guide results under SDK Guides, and Xcode documentation results under Tools Guides, thereby providing access to all of the relevant material for a complex programming task.

Learn from Detailed User Guides

Apple provides detailed teaching guides for developer tool topics, including iOS Simulator, Instruments, app distribution, and continuous integration. To locate user guides for features in Xcode, use the search bar in the Xcode documentation viewer and look for results under Tools Guides.


The Instruments User Guide, for example, explains how to use the Instruments app to examine program behavior. Like many developer tool guides, it begins with a quick start tutorial.

To hide or show a list of the chapter and section titles for the document, click the table of contents button (../art/TOCIcon_2x.png) to the left of the search bar .


Click the documentation navigator button (../art/DocSetNavigator_2x.png) to the left of the table of contents button to display a navigation sidebar. To browse the list of Apple developer documentation installed in Xcode, click the documentation library button (../art/DocLibraryIcon_2x.png).


Use the tab bar in the doc viewer to keep multiple related documents open at once. To create a tab, choose File > New > Tab (or click the Add button (+) in the tab bar).


To have quicker access to documents that you’ll return to, click the bookmark icon (../art/BookmarkIcon_2x.png) next to a chapter or section title. To display all of your bookmarks, click the documentation navigator button (../art/DocSetNavigator_2x.png) to display the navigation sidebar, then click the bookmark button (../art/BookmarkButton_2x.png) at the top of the sidebar.


Stay Up to Date

Apple continually produces new and updated help articles, user guides, programming guides, and API reference. As updated documentation becomes available, it downloads to Xcode in the background. Be sure to keep your documentation up to date by leaving the default download behavior intact or by manually checking for documentation updates on a regular basis.

Documentation is installed in the form of documentation sets, also called doc sets. Apple doc sets associated with your projects’ SDKs are installed with Xcode, and access to updates for them is controlled by subscription. For your convenience, Xcode can keep these subscriptions up to date. This feature is controlled by the option “Check for and install updates automatically,” which you can select in the Downloads pane (available by choosing Xcode > Preferences).


To check for updates manually, click “Check and Install Now.” If no new updates are available, Xcode displays a message to that effect. When an update for a doc set is available but not yet installed on your system, Xcode displays a Download button on the subscription line for that doc set. Click the Download button (../art/DownloadButton_2x.png) to download and install the updated doc set on your system.