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If you find you'd like to learn more, see iOS App Development Essential Training, Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals, or any of the other programming courses in our library.
- Installing Xcode
- Creating an Xcode project
- Configuring the iOS Simulator
- Understanding variables
- Connecting visual objects to variables
- Understanding functions, methods, and selectors
- Connecting a button to a function
- Using conditional statements
- Setting up the user interface
- Connecting code elements to build an app
Skill Level Beginner
With all of its features, Xcode can be quite intimidating. But once you get used to it, everything makes a lot of sense. Let's take a quick tour of the Xcode interface. At the top of the screen, there's something called the toolbar that contains useful buttons to help you navigate through your project quickly. You can change the settings in the toolbar by right-clicking anywhere in the blank space on the toolbar. So I can chose to show icons with text, just the icons which I have now, or I can hide the toolbar.
I'm going to click to hide the toolbar. Sometimes you'll open Xcode and it will look like this. There won't be any buttons at the top of the screen. To get those buttons back, just right-click in the toolbar and choose Icon Only, or Icon and Text. And there are my icons. On the right side of the toolbar, there are two groups of three buttons each. The group on the left specifies how you'll see your code. For this course, I am always going to be using the left button which shows the standard editor. The right group of buttons control the view of your application.
Buttons highlighted in blue are objects that are showing. If I click this button, for example, on the left, then the left side of the screen will hide. If I click it again, it will come back. Same with the other two buttons. If you ever feel lost when you're watching this course, make sure these buttons match mine. In other words, that the same buttons are highlighted in blue. The center of the screen changes depending on the last thing that you clicked. As an example of that, look at the left side of the screen. There are several different files and folders in what is called the Project Navigator.
The folders here in Xcode are called groups, and usually mirror the folders on your hard drive. Now, I said usually because you can create a group of files without Xcode creating a folder for you. So just keep that in mind in the back of your head. If I click any one of these code files, I'll see the code up here in the middle of my screen. If I click Main.storyboard, I'm going to see options for editing the visual interface of my application. And by the way, the three main files we'll be working with in this course are Main.storyboard, ViewController.h, and ViewController.m.
One final word about the left area of the screen. In that area, there is a row of buttons at the top. This row of buttons changes what you see on the left side of the screen. Now for this course, I'm always going to have the Project Navigator selected, which is the button all the way on the left. However, if you're writing code and there's an error in your code and you run the code, Xcode will automatically take you to a different area. So you'll either see the error or the break points, or some other portion of this side of the screen.
So if you are missing those files and folders, again, look at my screen and see what I have selected in this area, which will always be this button here. So the main thing to remember about the Xcode interface is that the center of the screen changes with what you last clicked. Left side of the screen holds all your code files. And the top of the screen, the toolbar, has options for you to quickly perform commands and control the interface of Xcode.