Meeting Interface Builder

For a program with just a few windows and not too many options, Interface Builder can be surprisingly daunting to new users. Fortunately, Interface Builder is composed of just a few key components that allow you to lay out and customize application interfaces. After just a little bit of hands-on experience, these tools begin to make a lot more sense. The windows you’ll use in Interface Builder include:

  • The NIB file window

  • Palette

  • Info window

  • Window and menu editors

These windows are described in the following sections.

NIB file window

The NIB file window, shown in Figure 7-2, contains all the items in your NIB file. In general, these items consist of windows, menus, and instantiated objects. Instantiated objects are those programmed elements that have been created from the NIB file’s embedded class definitions. The NIB window’s Instances pane shows each NIB item that you can lay out, inspect, edit, or connect to programmatically.

The Instances pane can be viewed in two ways: as a series of icons (as shown in Figure 7-2), or as an expandable outline, by clicking the outline button at the top of the right-hand scroll area (as shown in Figure 7-3). This expandable outline offers a hierarchical representation of the interface objects and their components. Typical components include the subviews, buttons, and text fields that one can add to windows.

The NIB file window.

Figure 7-2. The NIB ...

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