Multi-cursor editing in Xcode
Table of Contents
What is a cursor?
A cursor is a position indicator of where we are editing our code. Typically, one cursor is all we need.
What is multi-cursor editing?
Multi-cursor editing is a feature that allows you to place multiple cursors in your code and edit them simultaneously.
How to use it?
There are a few ways to enable multi-cursor editing.
Add a cursor with a click
To add a new cursor, hold Control and SHIFT then click.
⌃ – Control + ⇧ - SHIFT + Click
Add a cursor with an arrow key
If you want to add multiple cursors at the same column, instead of wasting time aiming and clicking, you can use the arrow key to navigate. Hold ⌃ – Control and ⇧ - SHIFT then ↑ or ↓ to add cursors to the line above and below your current position. You can deselect a cursor by hit the arrow in the opposite direction.
⌃ – Control + ⇧ - SHIFT + ↑
⌃ – Control + ⇧ - SHIFT + ↓
Add a cursor with a drag
If you don't want to hold multiple keys at the same time, this is the method with the least keys holding. To add multiple cursor, hold Option then drag your cursor around.
⌥ – Option + Drag
Remove a cursor with a click
To remove a cursor, hold Control and SHIFT then click on the existing cursor. You can use this regardless of whatever method you add a cursor.
⌃ – Control + ⇧ - SHIFT + Click
Exit multi-cursor editing mode
To go back to single-cursor editing, just hit esc.
Why do we need this?
If you never see this trick before, you might wonder what the benefit of editing in multiple places at the same time is. There are countless ways to use this multi-cursor editing, which you might pick up along the way. I will show some of them to get you started. After you see these examples, you might come up with the one that suits your workflow.
Initialize custom CodingKey
Let's say you have a struct that you want to have a custom coding key. Define all the key for all property in the struct is a tiring process. Multi-cursor editing can help make the process easier.<1> First, I copy all the property in the struct. <2> Then, we paste them into the `CodingKeys` enum. <3> We use a multi-cursor to replace `let` with `case` and remove each property type. <4> After that, we exit multi-cursor mode and add a necessary change.
Change method parameter indentation style
We add cursors before each parameter with Control + SHIFT + click then add a new line to expand our parameter into multiple lines.
Multi-cursor is one of my favorite features. I hope you find this trick useful and got it under your belt.
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