Tips & Tricks

Here are some time savers, productivity tips and practical tricks on how to get the most out of Tower.

Also be sure to watch our Tips & Tricks video on YouTube!

  • In Tower's preferences dialog, you can configure a Default directory for cloned repositories. Once configured, Tower will clone new repositories directly into this directory.
    Combined with the Service Manager, cloning your repos from GitHub / Bitbucket / GitLab / other hosting services literally becomes a matter of a single click.

  • To open or find a repository, you don't have to take your hands off the keyboard. Simply hit CTRL + O to show Tower's Open Quickly window:

    • Type some letters from the repository's name; Tower will show you all matching items, no matter if you've added them to Tower before.
    • When the input field is empty, the listed repositories are ordered by when they were last opened. This provides a quick access to your favorite bookmarks.
  • One of the things that make Git such a great tool is the ability to craft granular commits. With Git's staging area, you can determine which changes exactly you want to have in the next commit. Tower takes this one step further by allowing you to determine the exact chunks and even lines you want to add:

    Select a changed file in the Working Copy list. In the diff view on the right, you can then select the exact chunks & lines you want to add to the next commit.

  • In Tower, you can choose your favorite way to check out a branch:

    • by double-clicking the branch in the sidebar
    • by right-clicking the branch in the sidebar and selecting "Check Out"
    • by right-clicking the Working Copy item in the sidebar and selecting a branch in the "Check Out Revision…" option
    • by clicking the current branch's name above the list of changed files in the Working Copy view

    Additionally, you can even check out individual commits: right-click the commit and select the "Check Out" option from the contextual menu.

  • Many people use a dedicated diff tool to look at changesets in detail. To make opening your favorite diff tool as quick as possible, Tower offers a convenient shortcut: anywhere in the app, simply hit CTRL+D and Tower will try to open the most appropriate diff.

  • Crafting and confirming a commit can be done without taking your hands off the keyboard. In the Working Copy view, make sure that a changed file is selected:

    • hit the Spacebar to stage/unstage an item
    • use the up & down arrows on your keyboard to inspect other files
    • hit CTRL + ⇧ + C to focus the Commit area
    • after having entered a message, confirm the commit by hitting CTRL + Return
  • The Repositories view lets you order your bookmarks however you like - simply via drag and drop. Additionally, however, you can also have Tower re-sort them alphabetically: right-click a selection of items and choose Sort Items by Name from the contextual menu.

  • When informing someone about recent activity in your project, your best option is to point her to the repository's commit history. However, this is not an option for people who don't have access to your repository.
    In that case, you can still provide a quick overview by copy-pasting the commit info in Tower: select the commits in question, right-click, and select Copy Commit Info to Clipboard. This will copy these commit's hashes and subjects to your clipboard - a perfect helper for writing release notes, for example.

  • Although there are many different ways to switch / check out branches via Tower's interface, you can also use a purely keyboard-based approach:

    • simply hit CTRL + ⇧ + B to open the Check Out Revision dialog.
    • you can then instantly start typing the branch's name - and have Tower autocomplete it for you.