The secret to enjoying Xcode

One of the things that made me like Xcode more and become more efficient with it is realizing that while all coders are insane, me and Xcode’s designers are insane in different ways.

By that, I mean that aside from the standard keyboard shortcuts (Save, Copy… that sort of thing), none of the keyboard shortcuts made sense to me.

So I duplicated one of the keyboard shortcut profiles and deleted most of the keyboard bindings. I was brutal with it — if the combination didn’t make sense to me OR it was something I’d rarely use it was removed. Then I added keyboard shortcuts that I needed. By using about an hour to customize these settings, I ended up having keyboard shortcuts that I fully understood and rolled off my fingertips.

At this point — and this is where it became a useful exercise — I added my ~/Library/Application Support/Xcode to version control so I could easily sync it between computers. So when I find something that isn’t quite working out for me, I make a change and propagate it to my other system.

Am I going to share what I ended up with? No, because that’s not the point of this. Rather, I want to point out a simple fact of Xcode: Xcode will adapt to how you want to use it, and if you feel like you’re suffering at all with it you should spend the time it to takes to make it enjoyable to use.

And when someone tells me I can do something with a particular keyboard shortcut, I switch back to the defaults and see what it’s bound to.