Opinionated Settings for App Development in Xcode

Gordon Fontenot

Setting up a new Xcode project is as simple as ⇧⌘N. Unless you want to do things the right way, at which point there are a number of other configurations you need to worry about: .gitignore, .gitattributes, project level indentation settings, warning levels, etc. After doing the same setup procedure a few times, you can make it a relatively quick process. But it’s 2013, and we’re living in the future now. We have the technology to build tacocopters, but I still have to set my error levels manually? That’s just ridiculous.

Enter: liftoff.


liftoff is a small Ruby gem that we’ve been working on to make new Xcode project setup as fast and painless as possible. With one simple command, you’ll have a slew of defaults set up for your project, along with some things that we think will make your life in Xcode a bit nicer.


First, install the gem, which is as simple as gem install liftoff. Then, while in your project directory (wherever you are keeping the .xcodeproj file), just run liftoff. This will set up the project defaults we like to use:

These commands can be run individually as well. For example, setting the project’s indentation level to 2 spaces can be done with liftoff indentation 2.

The best part about using liftoff over another solution like a custom project template is that liftoff can be used to quickly add these settings to an existing project without worrying about stomping on your current setup.

liftoff is currently at version 0.6 and, as usual, the code is open source on GitHub. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.