Runar Ovesen Hjerpbakk

Software Philosopher

Xcode: Automatically show code completion pop up

Being used to Visual Studio’s excellent code completion features, one of my greatest annoyances with Xcode is the in-line code completion feature. Constantly hitting esc to bring up the code completion popup seems archaic and unnecessary in 2011.

xcode complete

Lucky I found a plugin which seems to correct Xcode’s behavior, xcode-auto-assistant. When editing an Objective-C file after installing the plugin, the completion popup list is triggered automatically while typing. If only a couple of characters are typed, the delay before the list appears is substantial. From the fourth character and onwards, the delay is minimal and it is easy to select the desired completion. I find this behavior must more effective while coding than the default Xcode behavior.


  1. Extract the xcode-auto-assistant.
  2. Move XcodeAutoAssistant.pbplugin to Xcode’s plugin directory, Developer/Library/Xcode/Plig-ins.
  3. Restart Xcode.