4 Xcode shortcuts to get back your screen space

⋅ 2 min read ⋅ Xcode Development

Table of Contents

Working on Xcode without an external monitor is my nightmare. The screen resource is already limited on the MacBook. And many parts of Xcode try to take a portion of this valuable resource.

Here is an example of an Xcode project on a Macbook.

Xcode project on limited screen space.
Xcode project on limited screen space.

In this article, I will share the four Xcode shortcuts I use to control a different part of the Xcode, so you can choose to show/hide when needed.

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Debug Area

By default, Xcode will show the debug area when output is generated, which is helpful in debugging. But you don't need this when coding, so you might need to close it as soon as you finished debugging.

To show/hide this debug area, we use this shortcut.

⌘ - command + ⇧ - shift + Y or
View menu > Debug Area > Show/Hide Debug Area

command+option+Y to toggle debug area.
command+option+Y to toggle debug area.

I use this only when I add a new file and manage project structure from time to time. So, most of the time, I close this pane.

To show/hide navigator area, we use this shortcut.

⌘ - command + 0 or
View menu > Navigators > Show/Hide Navigator

command+0 to toggle navigator area.
command+0 to toggle navigator area.

Inspector Area

I use this a lot back when I use Storyboard, but I rarely use it anymore.

To show/hide inspector area, we use this shortcut.

⌘ - command + ⌥ - option + 0 or
View menu > Inspectors > Show/Hide Inspector

command+option+0 to toggle inspector area.
command+option+0 to toggle inspector area.

Focus Editor

I usually have two editors sitting side by side, but sometimes I need more space on one editor. You can make an editor take up the entire editor area with Focus.

To expand an editor to occupy the whole editor area, put the cursor on the editor you want to expand, then use the following shortcut.

⌘ - command + ⌃ – control + ⇧ - shift + ⏎ Return or
View menu > Editor > Focus/Hide Focus

This will expand the current editing editor to the entire area.

command+shift+control+return to enter focus mode.
command+shift+control+return to enter focus mode.

To leave the focus mode, just hit the shortcut again.

Move Focus to Next Editor

To make the focus even more useful, here is a shortcut to move the cursor to the next editor.

⌃ – control + ` or
Navigate menu > Editor > Move Focus to Next Editor

Using this with the Focus Editor Area shortcut will make you focus on the left or right editor without leaving your keyboard.

⌃+` to move focus to next editor.
⌃+` to move focus to next editor.

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Conclusion

You will make better use of your limited screen space with these shortcuts. I find these shortcuts really helpful when I don't have an external monitor nearby.


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