Xcode quickstart for the Visual Studio developer

I would like to use Apple's Xcode IDE to develop applications on the OS X, but I find the UI immensely confusing because I am so used to developing in Visual Studio on Windows.

Does anyone know of any Xcode quickstart guides for the Visual Studio developer that map common tasks and functionality from one to the other?

For example, I can't even work out how to launch the C/C++ command line tool being written in a new shell window (Terminal.app) i.e. what would happen if you pressed F5 in Visual Studio.


For viewing the shell when a command line app, that is done in the Console window, not in a terminal window. This allows full interaction with gdb. To open the Console window, hit Shift-Command-R to see the output of your program.

If you would like Xcode to show the Console window when you start your app, go into preferences. In the Debugger tab, there's a drop-down list labeled "On Start:" Select "Show Console" or "Show Console and Debugger" and they will open when you hit run.

As far as a quickstart or tutorial, I'm not sure of any specific online tutorials, but you may want check out the book Xcode 3 Unleashed by Fritz Anderson.

The Xcode 3 book is good, I agree. Specifically for learning the Xcode environment.

But, it's aim is to be compatible with Mac OS X 10.4, so there is no Garbage Collection or properties, etc being used.

As a learning tool - you can have fun refactoring the code to use the features of the new OS.

You would be better off (in my opinion) getting the Hillegass Cocoa Programming book and starting from there rather than trying to duplicate your VS workflow on a Mac.

I'm in a similar situation to you - I use Visual Studio at work and XCode at home, so the differences can be quite frustrating.

One tool that may interest you, especially if you use Resharper, is the new Jetbrains "AppCode" project - see http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/04/jetbrains-appCode

It's a code editing IDE that offers vastly improved code analysis, fixing, navigation and refactoring features. It's not a complete replacement for XCode - nib editing still needs done there - but IMO it's worth putting up with some switching between the two for the advantages it brings.

As a Visual Studio user you'll feel immediately at home as the UI is much closer to VS than to XCode.

Currently their early access program is open so you can download alpha builds.

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