Nested NSDocuments

What's New


  • Some documentation improvements
  • 1.0 release

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ContainedDocument allows you to nest NSDocument instances inside of abstract containers. These can be anything you need, including other NSDocument instances. This turns out to be a very tricky thing to do, and requires careful management of an NSDocumentController to make it possible.

Supporting the full range of NSDocument operations and interactions is challenging. I was able to pull off many of them, but the coordination still requires subclassing both NSDocument and NSDocumentController.


dependencies: [
    .package(url: "")



An NSDocumentController subclass that manages the NSDocument life-cycle and relationship to your containers. To use it, you must override the three container-document association methods. Restorable state is supported, but is optional.

open func associateDocument(_ document: NSDocument, to container: Container)
open func disassociateDocument(_ document: NSDocument)
open func documentContainer(for document: NSDocument) -> Container?

open func encodeRestorableState(with coder: NSCoder, for document: NSDocument)
open func restoreState(with coder: NSCoder, for document: NSDocument)
// ...

Also, don't forget that an NSDocumentController is global to your AppKit process. You must instantiate your subclass as soon as possible to ensure it is being used.


This is an NSDocument subclass that makes it possible to support document duplication and window restoration.

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  • Swift Tools 5.5.0
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Last updated: Mon Jan 15 2024 06:44:43 GMT-1000 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)