Hi, I’m Sam

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Cancel Borderless Window

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I just spent the last hour trying to figure out why cancelOperation wasn’t getting called in an NSWindowController subclass. At first I tried performKeyEquivalent in the window controller or in a custom NSWindow subclass. That didn’t work. I then resorted to keyDown in the window subclass and that wasn’t getting called.

After a long while, I figured out that my window wasn’t becoming key even after I called makeKeyAndOrderFront. It turns out windows with borderless in the styleMask cannot become key by default. You can solve this with a tiny amount of code in a window subclass:

class MyWindow: NSWindow {
    override var canBecomeKey: Bool {
        return true

So ya. Frustrating. This is actually documented, but it took me a really long time to realize the window wasn’t becoming key and then why.

When you present your window, you’ll need to make sure your app is active. In this case, I have LSUIElement set to YES (this hides the app from the doc so it isn’t ever active by default) so I had to explicitly make my app active like this:

NSApp.activate(ignoringOtherApps: true)

So now, all I want to do is let you press escape in the window and have it close the window from the window controller. Turns out cancelOperation isn’t called in the window controller for some reason. It looks to call cancel instead. This isn’t a method on NSResponder or anything. So weird.

Anyway, add this to your window controller subclass:

func cancel(_ sender: Any?) {

And there you go. Now you can press escape to dismiss a borderless window. There goes my night. Hopefully this will save you some time.