Lightning Fast Xcode Documentation Searches

Ever noticed that it can take a long time for Xcode to lookup what seems should be easily accessible information? For example, if you highlight a method in Xcode and request help documentation, there can be a significant delay before the relevant information is shown.

And depending on how many documentation sets you have configured you may get more than one reference to the information you are after.

As an example, the image below shows the help output for a search on NSMutableArray.


The reason there are four entries, and also one of the two primary reasons for the delay, is that Xcode is searching four docsets for relevant information. Specifically, Xcode is searching the iOS 5.1, 6,0, 6.1 and OS X 10.8 docsets.

Which is where this tip comes in…

Click the magnifying glass (arrow) in the help dialog shown in the figure below:

Choosing Show Find Options will display a number of selections, including Find in where you can choose which docsets to search:

To quicken searches for help, select only those docsets you need. I typically use only the latest docset for iOS, however your mileage may vary.

Bonus Tip To Speed Xcode Documentation Searches

For the fastest searches (regardless of how many docsets you use) make sure to install the docs on your system, otherwise searches are done via the Internet.

To install docsets, from the Xcode Preferences dialog choose Downloads. From there select the Documentation tab. Select Install for the docsets that you need for your development.