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NSControl is an abstract superclass that provides three fundamental features for implementing user interface devices: drawing devices on the screen, responding to user events, and sending action messages. It works closely with NSCell.

Class Ref.:

Controls & Cells:

To detect is a child of NSControl has focus (is first responder) try if ([aChildOfNScontrol currentEditor])

Also, see: NSCell

If you write an NSControl subclass without using cells, and you want to use target/actions, you have to link your Control with a NSActionCell by adding in your NSControl subclass implementation:

Otherwise the target/action will return nil even when they are set in Interface Builder.