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It’s been a while since I wrote anything practical here, but Dominik Hauser’s recent tip on filtering the Issue Navigator inspired me to share a technique for navigating Xcode that saves me time.

There’s a wealth of genuinely helpful functionality in navigator-pane filter bars, and one I use all the time is in the Project Navigator filter field’s “Show only files with source-control status” feature.

I don’t use Xcode for source control tasks, but that button is still useful. It filters the Project Navigator tree to contain only modified and uncommitted files, which, by definition, are often the files you’re working with. I find that filtered view combined with “Open Quickly…” to open new tabs with unmodified files to be a powerful combination of always having the file you need within reach. I find having lots of open editor tabs confusing, so I close them reasonably often, and the filtered Project Navigator is an excellent summary of contextually important files.

Then, once I make a commit, I commonly modify the same files I have open in tabs as I continue on my branch, returning them to a modified state and bringing them back to the filtered Project Navigator.

This works exceptionally well if you like committing smaller changesets, but even if you prefer working with larger commits, you’ll still be looking at a much smaller set of files than an unfiltered tree!

Anyway, that’s my practical tip for today! I hope it’s helpful. Next, I need to learn to summarise this in two pictures, like Dominik does!

Dave Verwer  

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