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.

closed as off topic by Loïc Wolff, nohillside, daviesgeek, bmike Aug 15 '12 at 17:28

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  • I'm sorry but questions relating to programming are off-topic for Ask Different. More information can be found in our FAQs. This type of question belongs on Stack Overflow, which is a site specifically for programming. – daviesgeek Aug 15 '12 at 5:15
  • Please edit in your end-user rationale for wanting this answered - since development is off topic here, you may not even get an answer, but that at least would make it on topic for this site. – bmike Aug 15 '12 at 17:28

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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