Local history/revision of files in Xcode

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Hello friends ..extra-xcode

hope things are going good on your desk ..

Last night I was going through my tweets, and there I found something really interesting; I crawled it for few minutes and after reading some blog posts I came to know about a very useful but hidden feature that I always miss in Xcode .i.e. local history/revision of your code files; (What!! what did you say!!! Say again … )


Surprised !! Ya its natural; I was too when I first tested this feature; Oliver Drobnik first highlighted this feature in his blog post here after discussing with some Apple engineer. Infact Xcode autosaves the versions of all of your code files you created inside your project; (oh waoo, why I did never know this before? That sounds great) You can view those revisions with respect to their time, compare them and can revert any file to your desire revision; You can even delete a revision to cleanup version history; (man, enough; I can’t wait more, Tell me where is that option? File menu, edit, project? in which menu? )

Well, unlike eclipse (a well know editor to develop java based applications) Xcode doesn’t provide any viewer to view those revisions; (What!! are you in your senses!! No viewer? Then why the Xcode saves those revisions if it doesn’t allow us to view them? No man you are kidding han!!) No, I’m not kidding, its true; Xcode doesn’t provide any viewer to view those revisions; The questions why Xcode saves them, is still unanswered to me; But hold your breath, there is always a back door to step into home; (: We shall use TextEdit application to view and restore those revisions; (TextEdit application!!! Man you know what, too many surprises in a row are injurious to health; Take care of me bro please) 

To view the revision of any file, open it in TextEdit and chose File -> Revert Document option; You will see the current version and all previous revisions side by side as shown in below screenshot;

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

I think the layout is pretty self descriptive; Select the revision from timeline at right and Restore it; To delete any revision just click the file name in title bar and select Delete Revision option; (Yess, its showing me complete history, from the day when I created this file; Thumbs up bro, +1)

Usage: Sometimes when you are working on a module or fixing a bug, soon you feel that you have messed up all the code; Even the previously implemented thing are not working now; You try to undo your changes but you aren’t sure  what was the stable state of your code; Don’t worry; Just take a sip of coke and revert your code; Simple enough; You can do it by reverting your code to, let say, the code of 2 hours before, or the code state at day end of yesterday;

Smiling han!!! You should; (:
Happy development;

Next Step: File a feature request at Apple development forum to add viewer to view, compare and restore the revisions; (Ya they should add such viewer inside the Xcode; I’m gone add my ticket there)

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12 thoughts on “Local history/revision of files in Xcode

    santoshc said:
    June 25, 2015 at 09:20

    great thanks…

    emre said:
    August 17, 2015 at 17:59

    thank you man! saved the rest of my day!

      Ans responded:
      August 20, 2015 at 03:11

      Your comment made my day as well ((: good luck ..

    Liron said:
    September 1, 2015 at 14:14

    Brilliant! Btw, in OSX Yosemite it’s in: File->Revert to->Browse all versions.

    Gorcyn said:
    September 17, 2015 at 01:21

    3hours on a iOS XIB saved

    […] way out lies in a hidden feature of Xcode, something we Java lovers have been spoiled by for years… Local History! That’s right, […]

    Rupal said:
    July 5, 2016 at 03:13

    literally a LIFESAVER, git reset –hard had almost lost me hours of work and nothing had been helping, until I tried this. Thanks so much.

      Ans responded:
      July 19, 2016 at 18:11

      Thanks for your kind comments. I’m glad it helped you.

      Ans responded:
      July 19, 2016 at 18:11

      Thanks for your kind comments. I’m glad it helped you.

    kalyan said:
    October 16, 2017 at 10:51

    Give me path

    frankie90210 said:
    January 2, 2018 at 00:34

    Man, you live saver!!

    cdcd said:
    February 23, 2018 at 06:59

    saved my life

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