How to use xcconfig files in Xcode projects

Jul 21, 2023#xcode#swift#ios

Using xcconfig files in Xcode projects can be beneficial for managing project settings, build configurations, and environment-specific variables. xcconfig stands for Xcode Configuration Files, and they’re a plain text file containing key-value pairs that help in defining or overriding existing build settings for any project or target’s build configuration.

// Sample xcconfig content
SOME_KEY = some_value
OTHER_KEY = other_value

You can create as many xcconfig files as you want, and you can specify different build configuration files for debug and release builds, and for different platforms and architectures. You can also use xcconfig files to store variables like URLs, tokens, keys, etc. that may vary depending on the build environment.

To use xcconfig files in Xcode projects, you need to do the following steps:

  • Create a new file with the .xcconfig extension and add it to your project.
  • Deselect all targets to prevent Xcode from embedding the file as a resource in the target’s bundle.
  • Edit the file and add your key-value pairs for the build settings you want to modify or define.
  • Select your project in the project editor and click the Info tab.
  • Click the disclosure triangles to expand the Debug and Release build configurations in the Configurations area.
  • Choose configuration settings files for your Debug and Release builds from the pop-up menus. You can also select a file that applies to both build types.

Using xcconfig files can make it easier to manage different build configurations, especially in team environments where multiple developers may have their specific settings without affecting the shared project file.

Benefits of using xcconfig files

  • You can store your build settings in the form of key/value pairs, similar to what you did in dictionaries.
  • You can define build parameters for each build, such as URLs, tokens, bundle identifiers.
  • You can manage your build settings outside of Xcode and in plain text files, which are easier to inspect and edit.
  • You can change the settings quickly for your target or project by choosing different configuration files.
  • You can layer configuration files on top of other settings and specify different files for debug and release builds.