Set of tools and utilities (command line, GUI, Mac Service) to transform NIB files for the iPhone into Objective-C code files

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nib2objc - NIB to Objective-C converter

This utility converts NIB files (or XIB ones) into Objective-C code, including all the properties of each instance, the documented constructor calls, and also the view hierarchy. It uses the output of the ibtool utility bundled with the Xcode tools. For more information about ibtool, please check the ibtool man page.


Compile and put the utility in your path, and then call

nib2objc yourfile.xib > code.m

This will generate a file with the output of the conversion, similar to this (check out the included sample.m file for the full version):

// ...
UIView *view6 = [[UIView alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(0.0, 0.0, 320.0, 460.0)];
view6.frame = CGRectMake(0.0, 0.0, 320.0, 460.0);
view6.alpha = 1.000;
view6.autoresizingMask = UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleWidth | UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleHeight;
view6.backgroundColor = [UIColor colorWithWhite:0.750 alpha:1.000];
view6.clearsContextBeforeDrawing = NO;
// ...

UIButton *button9 = [UIButton buttonWithType:UIButtonTypeRoundedRect];
button9.frame = CGRectMake(167.0, 65.0, 72.0, 37.0);
button9.adjustsImageWhenDisabled = YES;
button9.adjustsImageWhenHighlighted = YES;
button9.alpha = 1.000;
button9.autoresizingMask = UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleRightMargin | UIViewAutoresizingFlexibleBottomMargin;
button9.clearsContextBeforeDrawing = NO;
button9.clipsToBounds = NO;
button9.contentHorizontalAlignment = UIControlContentHorizontalAlignmentCenter;
// ...
[button9 setTitleShadowColor:[UIColor colorWithWhite:0.000 alpha:1.000] forState:UIControlStateSelected];

// ...
[view6 addSubview:button9];
// ...

The generated code takes into account the real class hierarchies in the UIKit, and it outputs the correct constructors and/or method calls for each object, depending on its class, including the enum values corresponding to the properties using them.

Mac OS X GUI Application

The “GUI” folder contains a Mac OS X application that can be used to open several nib files and to see their contents as Objective-C code.

The GUI application uses the Fragaria library as a submodule, to provide syntax highlighting of the generated Objective-C code. Prior to compilation, please do the following:

$ git submodule init
$ git submodule update

Mac OS X Service

A secondary project in the “Convert with nib2objc” folder creates an Automator action, that can be used to create Mac OS X services with Automator. The “Convert with” file contains an example of such a service, ready to be installed in ~/Library/Services, and which can be called from the Finder after selecting a nib file. The result of the conversion will be placed in the clipboard for pasting into any application.



This project includes the Perl script by Rudi Farkas, which allows users to perform batch transformations of nib files in a folder. Thanks Rudi for the contribution!