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XCode 4: Editor's pointer I-beam is invisible

4567 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Jan 22, 2014 5:18 PM by eric1980 RSS
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Gnarlodious Level 4 Level 4 (3,220 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 10, 2011 7:06 AM
Does anyone know how to set the I-beam pointer to a smart color like white or preferably "XOR'd"? It is always the same grey regardless of background and I can never see where it is.
2.4 MBP, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 1983 biodiesel Vanagon
  • Mark Szymczyk Level 4 Level 4 (1,865 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2011 11:02 AM (in response to Gnarlodious)
    In Xcode's Fonts and Colors preferences, there is a Cursor color button. Click the button to change the cursor's color.
    Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,215 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2011 1:10 PM (in response to Gnarlodious)
    The 'i-beam' cursor is standard OS X - it is used to indicate a variety of text operations, some of which include editing.

    If you desire something different, I would suggest goggleing for any of the third party apps that provide customization of OS X.
    Intel Mac X•VII, 3-D iTunes Desktop
  • K T Level 7 Level 7 (23,215 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 10, 2011 7:59 PM (in response to Gnarlodious)
    It's a 'text' cursor/indicator - sometimes you can edit text...sometimes you can't - doesn't matter. Same as with Terminal, Safari, Mail, InterFace Builder, etc.

    It's system wide and Xcode is just along for the ride.
    Intel Mac X•VII, 3-D iTunes Desktop
  • petermarks Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2011 12:25 PM (in response to Gnarlodious)

    I'm also looking for a contrasting i-beam in xcode 4. The standard grey makes working with a dark background pretty much unusable. Did you find a solution?

  • laurent demaret Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2011 12:56 PM (in response to Gnarlodious)

    You are right but it also tells you that you'll be able to select and copy text, that's not editing for sure but it requires a beam pointer to show where the selection starts doesn't it ?

    sorry for the late answer.

  • Peter Weil2 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 10, 2012 5:55 AM (in response to Gnarlodious)

    Terminal uses its own "shadowed" i-beam (black with a white shadow) that makes it visible on a dark background.




    Other third-party Mac text editors, such as TextMate, and more recently, Sublime, have supplied custom i-beams. Others (Eclipse, Komodo) have not done so yet (AFAIK), but may have to do something soon to address this if Apple continues to ignore it. BBEdit, I believe is still a Carbon app, and apparently this issue affects only Cocoa apps.


    It's a ridiculous oversight, and Apple really ought to do something about it at the OS level, rather than force every editor to supply an alternate i-beam. If you haven't done so already, send a message to Apple Feedback for OS X and ask them to fix it ASAP.

  • Chris Dragon Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 19, 2012 5:52 PM (in response to Gnarlodious)

    I spent most of my weekend figuring this out, but the i-beam cursor in XCode CAN Be edited.  It's simply a TIFF file in the following location for XCode 3.2.6 (and earlier, I assume, but have not tested):
    /Developer/Library/PrivateFrameworks/XcodeEdit.framework/Versions/A/Resources/T Ibeam.tiff


    XCode 4.1 has the same file but it does not affect the i-beam in the main editor (I assume it's used somewhere, though).  Instead, the main editor in XCode 4.1 uses this file: /Developer/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DVTKit.framework/Versions/A/Resources/DVTI beamCursor.tiff


    XCode does NOT use the system-wide i-beam cursor as everyone I found talking about it stated as if it was a known fact.  If I hadn't believed those people, I wouldn't have spent two days figuring out how to alter the system i-beam cursor by editing /System/Library/Frameworks/ApplicationServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/ CoreGraphics.framework/Versions/A/CoreGraphics only to find that xcode's ibeam doesn't change.

  • Chris Dragon Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 19, 2012 8:34 PM (in response to Gnarlodious)

    It's frustrating they have to relocate files in seemingly every release, but I did a search in Mountain Lion:


    find / -name '*Ibeam*' -print


    and found the i-beam cursors are now here in XCode 4.4:


    /Applications/ Resources/TIbeam.tiff

    /Applications/ sources/DVTIbeamCursor.png

    /Applications/ sources/DVTIbeamCursor@2x.png


    Editing DVTIbeamCursor.png was enough to change the i-beam in the main editor on my system.  I'm guessing DVTIbeamCursor@2x.png will be used on a retina display and who knows if TIbeam.tiff is even used anymore since they didn't update it to png.

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