10 Essential Xcode Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know

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If you create applications in Xcode then you know that there can be a lot of menu clicking, opening and closing of panels and files, and switching panel contents.

It is essential in my opinion that to stay on top of workflow productivity that you use keyboard shortcuts to save valuable time.

Here are my suggested top ten keyboard shortcuts for Xcode that you should be able to use without thinking.

> Shift + Command + O

Forget trying to find the file you want to open in the navigator, with this shortcut you activate the Open Quickly entry panel. Start typing a file name and you will be presented with a list of possible matches, hit return and bam!

An interesting and useful feature is that you can match non-consecutive characters. For example enter ‘mvc’ and it will match ‘MainViewController’.

A bonus for you, if you select the file with Option + Alt + Enter, it will open the file in the assistant editor rather than the main editor.

The Navigator Panel

> Command + 1-9

Quickly switch between navigators in the left panel by using the command key along with 1 to 9.

> Command + 0

Whilst we are talking about the navigator panel, you can show and hide it by using the command + 0 shortcut.

The Standard Editor

> Control + 6

This shortcut will give you access to the bar above the editor, specifically the items within a document.

For example, if you are viewing a code file, it will present a list of functions and properties for that file. You can use the arrow keys to navigate the list and select an item with the enter key to jump to it.

If you have a Storyboard open, you can use the arrow keys to navigate the list to select items in the current view.

> Command + Alt + Enter

Open the assistant editor with this simple keystroke for the currently selected item in the main editor.

For example, if you are working on a Storyboard, you can use the keyboard shortcut to open the ViewController for it.

If you have a code file open, you can use it to open the header file.

> Command + Enter

This will close the assistant editor if you have it open. Perfect for small screen work when used with the shortcut above, think of them as a toggle for the assistant editor.

Utilities Panel

> Option + Command 1-6

Just like the navigator, you can switch tabs in the utilities panel using this shortcut and the associated number.

> Control + Option + Command 1-4

You can switch library views with this shortcut. As a bonus, the cursor will also be placed in the filter field ready for searching.

> Control + Option + Command + 0

Toggle the utilities panel, this is a lifesaver on screen space. It is worth noting that if you use one of the shortcuts or menu items to view a utility tab, the panel will be toggled to open automatically.

The Most Used Shortcut

> Command + R

This one should need no introduction, perform a build and run with this keystroke. Absolutely the most used keyboard shortcut in my daily routine.


> Option + Command + C

Readers of my site know that I am an advocate of source control management. This shortcut will open the commit window ready for you to enter a commit message and push those changes to the repository.