Quick tip on how to learn Xcode keyboard shortcuts efficiently

An easy way to memorize Xcode keyboard shortcuts

22 Sep 2019 · 2 min read

Learning Xcode keyboard shortcuts is key to be a productive iOS developer. But memorizing a lot of shortcuts can be annoying, especially when starting out with Xcode.

In this post, I will share a quick tip of how to integrate an efficient learning process into your workflow. The key is to be able to lookup a shortcut really quickly, so you can learn them on the fly when developing.

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The first step is to be able to open Xcodes help menu quickly. There is no default shortcut for it, but you can easily create your own custom shortcut in System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts > Show Help menu. I chose ⌘ ⌥ ⌃ H, but you can use whatever serves you best. Be careful though not to choose a shortcut that is already occupied.

Now, open Xcodes help menu with your custom shortcut and start typing the name of the action. Xcode will make suggestions and you will directly see the shortcut. Then use the escape key to close the help menu. Now use the looked up shortcut to perform the action.

Workflow example

Integrate this workflow into your every day coding. It will payout real soon, you will memorize the shortcuts automatically when using them on a daily basis and your performance will increase continuously.

Note: It is tempting to simply use enter to perform the action. Don't do that, because just seeing the shortcut will not have the desired learning effect.