Chapter 6. Anatomy of an Xcode Project

Xcode is the application used to develop an iOS app. An Xcode project is the entire collection of files and settings needed in order to construct an app. The source for an app is an Xcode project. To develop and maintain an app, you must know how to manipulate an Xcode project. That means you must know your way around a project, as displayed by Xcode. By the same token, you must know your way around Xcode sufficiently to manipulate a project.


The term “Xcode” is actually used in two ways. It’s the name for the entire suite of developer tools — the Xcode tools — and it’s the name of one application within that suite, the application in which you edit and build your app. This ambiguity should generally present little difficulty.

Xcode is a powerful, complex, and extremely large program. My approach when introducing Xcode to new users is to suggest that they adopt a kind of deliberate tunnel vision: if you don’t understand something, don’t worry about it, and don’t even look at it (and don’t touch it, because you might change something important). That’s the approach I’ll take here. This and subsequent chapters will undertake a simplified survey of Xcode, charting a somewhat restricted path, focusing on aspects of Xcode that you most need to understand immediately and resolutely ignoring those that you don’t.

For full information, study Apple’s own documentation (choose Help → Xcode Help); it may seem overwhelming at first, but what you need ...

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