Plain Text Editor With Document Browser.

3 pane Mac application with select folder button list of files and text editor

This is a sample project I decided to publish together with the blog post with everything I learned so far about working with the file system on macOS. There are not many modern working AppKit code examples out there. It’s fun to develop for the Mac, and I hope this helps someone, it always great to see more native applications out there.


  • Mac running macOS 13.1 or newer
  • Xcode installed


  • SwiftUI
  • Monitors file changes with DispatchSource
  • Basic text editing
  • Working example of how to use NSDocument
  • Pick a root folder and get permanent read/write access to all non-nested files inside without violating the Sandobx
  • No need for full disk access or permission dialogues
  • Conflicts resolution
  • Potentially compatible with UIKit

Contributions and Disclosure

This project is learning process for me, feel free to suggest changes and raise issues. I am not looking to add any new UI features, but instead interested in improving app, document, and editor models.

I can’t guarantee that the code is written in the best way and bug-free.


  • Any improvements which utilise more of the NSDocument features, and using more higher level APIs, like NSDocumentController
  • iOS and iPadOS compatibility
  • Customisation for conflict resolution, allowing a user to update documents from disk from changes made externally. The app will possibly need a setting to change behaviour
  • Possibly this can be turned into a Swift Package for easier integration into larger projects
  • Handling a scenario when root folder is moved or renamed

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