inessential by Brent Simmons

Super-simple Xcode user script for header files

Sometimes a little naggy thing can be solved really, really easily.

Here’s the thing:

I usually create my methods in my .m file, then decide if I want to copy and paste the top line into the .h file.

If I do, then I have the issue where I’ve copied something like this…

- (void)someMethod {

…but I want the following in the .h file:

- (void)someMethod;

I wrote a little Xcode user script to deal with this. I gave it a cmd-{ keystroke. I find that I use it all the time.

The incredibly simple script looks like this:

#!/usr/bin/env ruby
s =
s.gsub!(" {\n", ";\n")
print s

The way it works: I copy from the .m file, hit cmd-option-upArrow to go to the .h file, paste, select the line (shift-upArrow, since the cursor is on the line immediately below), then hit cmd-{ to run the script. Saves me from manually changing the { to ;.

It’s safe to run over multiple lines, too.

That’s still too many steps, by the way — I’d really love to be able select the line in the .m file, then hit a keyboard shortcut to insert it in the .h file at the end of the list. But I haven’t gotten that far yet. (Though this page on Cocoa with Love might provide some good tips.)

Update: I’m fully aware that both of the following are legal in .m files…

- (void)someMethod; {

- (void)someMethod;

…but, no offense to Andrew Stone (who I first saw write about this), I don’t like it. The ; is unneccessary, and I’m compelled to delete it. I know myself — I will never, ever, ever allow that extra ; to sit there. I don’t think I could even sleep, knowing there are lovely little semicolons to delete.