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#148: Using Behaviors to Automate Xcode 🤖🛠


Today we'll look at Behaviors in Xcode. Behaviors are a way for us to tell Xcode “whenever this specific thing happens, I want this other specific thing (or set of things) to happen automatically.” Let's get started.

We'll start by opening Xcode's preferences (Xcode > Preferences) or ⌘, and heading to the Behaviors tab:

In the sidebar on the left we'll find a list of events that can occur in Xcode. We can trigger something to happen off of any of these events.

On the right of the Behaviors tab, we can choose what actions we'd like triggered when the selected event occurs. We can select as many of these as we'd like and they'll all happen, like magic 🎩, each time the selected event occurs.

Let's start simple and play a sound each time a build fails. We'll select the appropriate item in the sidebar, then enable the “Play sound” checkbox.

Xcode uses Behaviors itself. For example, when an error is found, it shows the issue navigator. When our app finishes building, it shows the familiar “Build Succeeded” bezel. When our apps begins running it shows the debugger. (All things that, since we now know about Behaviors, we can customize).

There's a ton of power packed into Behaviors, and it's all quite simple to configure. We can hide/show different panels, jump to specific spots in Xcode's interface, even run a custom script. Try to examine the little things you find yourself doing in Xcode (hiding a panel, going over to the build log, etc.) maybe a Behavior could save you the trouble!