I'm looking for a tool that could help me understand the layout of a closed source Mac OS applications in term of Cocoa controls. I saw this for in Firefox with the 'inspect' feature (for HTML/CSS); I don't expect it to work for every application because of the variety of programming languages and custom classes.

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You can use a usability tool from Apple to see the structure of most user interfaces; try the Apple developer tool Accessibility Inspector. I believe it will do what you need.

The latest Xcode download may not include this tool as standard. You may need to download an additional package to find this tool.

  • 1
    I have found a sample application in XCode named UIElementInspector. Its bundle name is "Accessibility inspector" and it fits my needs. – alecail Jun 7 '12 at 15:02

I've not come across anything of this sort, howwever the only solution I could think of would be to view the app's package contents and find the NIB files, of which there can be just a few or hundreds, dependant on the app in question.

Using a tool such as NIB Decompiler (although I've never personally used it) to then view the decompiled NIB within InterfaceBuilder/Xcode. The project has not been updated in a few years and may not be up to date with the latest version of Xcode.

  • That's interesting. I didn't suspect the NIB files would still be present in the compiled application. – alecail Jun 7 '12 at 14:59

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