About the Editor Area

Most development work in Xcode is done in the editor area, the main area that is always visible within the workspace window.

You can use the view selector in the workspace toolbar to hide or show the navigator, debug, and utility areas:

  • ../Art/TB_ViewNavigators_2x.png  Navigator area (left button)

  • ../Art/TB_ViewDebugger_2x.png  Debug area (center button)

  • ../Art/TB_ViewUtilities_2x.png  Utility area (right button)

The figure shows the editor area with those three optional areas hidden to maximize the content display.


You can further configure the editor area for a given task by using the editor selector (../Art/editor_selector_2x.png) in the workspace toolbar:

  • Standard (../Art/TB_ViewSegment-Basic_2x.png): fills a single editor pane with the contents of the selected file.

  • Assistant (../Art/TB_ViewSegment_Assistant_2x.png): presents a separate editor pane with content logically related to that in the standard editor pane. Use the split controls in the Assistant pane to split the pane. Use View > Assistant Layout to set your preferred assistant pane and split configuration.

  • Version (../Art/TB_ViewSegment-Versions_2x.png): shows the differences between the selected file in one pane and another version of that same file in a second pane.

The figure shows the implementation file SKTDocument.m open in the standard editor pane. The Assistant pane is split into two panes, with the header file SKTDocument.h in the top pane and the header file for the NSDocument superclass in the bottom one.

Each pane includes a jump bar—an interactive, hierarchical mechanism for navigating directly to items at any level in your workspace. The configuration and behavior of each jump bar is customized for the context in which it appears. The darker jump bar indicates that the standard editor pane is the active pane.

  • Source editor: Write and edit source code, set and enable or disable breakpoints, and control program execution.

  • Project editor: View and edit project and target settings, such as build options, target architectures, and code signing characteristics.

  • Property list editor: View and edit various types of property lists, or plists—small, highly structured files whose data is organized into hierarchies of specific types of objects.

  • Rich text editor: Open, write, and edit rich text (.rtf) files, much as you would with TextEdit.

  • Core Data model editor: Implement or modify a Core Data model.

  • Mapping model editor: Graphically create and edit a mapping between an old Core Data store and a new one.

  • Interface Builder: Graphically create and edit user interface files.

  • Script editor: Create and edit AppleScript script files.

  • Scripting dictionary editor: Create and edit the scripting definition (.sdef) file for your application.

Xcode provides viewers to display some files for which it has no editor (some audio, video, and graphics files, for example). If you select a file for which Xcode does not have an editor or viewer, Xcode attempts to display the file using the same Quick Look facility used by the Finder.

To open and edit a file in hexadecimal format, Control-click the file in the project navigator and choose Open As > Hex from the shortcut menu.