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Xcode® 4 by Richard Wentk

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Appendix B: Working with Other Editors

In This Appendix

Understanding plists Editing plists Editing Core Data model files Using external editors

Xcode includes a number of other built-in editors and supports links to external editors.

Editing plists

Plists (or property lists) define application settings. When you create a new iOS or OS X app, Xcode automatically creates a file called info.plist, prefixed with the app name—for example, myApp-info.plist.

This file includes important app settings—the name of the nib file loaded on launch, the application icon, version number, and so on—which are discussed later in this appendix. You can also create your own separate custom plists for your own use—for example, to define application preferences.

Plist editing is more complex than it looks. Xcode 4 has a number of non-obvious features that can simplify the editing process, if you know they exist and understand how to use them.

Understanding plists

Internally, a plist is an XML file saved with the .plist extension. The content is a standard Cocoa NSDictionary. It holds a hierarchy of named key objects that either store a single value or hold an array or dictionary object with its own contents.

If you're new to iOS and OS X, think of a key/value pair as an entity with two components: a key, which is a name string, and a value, which can be a simple or complex object.

Simple values are one of the following: a string, a number, a date, a Boolean, and a general data field.

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