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Creating a form

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Many apps require users to enter some sort of input – it might be asking them to set some preferences, it might be asking them to confirm where they want a car to pick them up, it might be to order food from a menu, or anything similar.

SwiftUI gives us a dedicated view type for this purpose, called Form. Forms are scrolling lists of static controls like text and images, but can also include user interactive controls like text fields, toggle switches, buttons, and more.

You can create a basic form just by wrapping a text view inside Form, like this:

var body: some View {
    Form {
        Text("Hello, world!")
    }
}

If you’re using Xcode’s canvas, you’ll see it change quite dramatically: before Hello World was centered on a white screen, but now the screen is a light gray, and Hello World appears in the top left in white.

What you’re seeing here is the beginnings of a list of data, just like you’d see in the Settings app. We have one row in our data, which is the Hello World text, but we can add more freely and have them appear in our form immediately:

Form {
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
}

In fact, you can have as many things inside a form as you want. For example, this code shows ten rows of text just fine:

Form {
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
    Text("Hello, world!")
}

If you want to split your form up into visual chunks, just like the Settings app does, you can use Section like this:

Form {
    Section {
        Text("Hello, world!")
    }

    Section {
        Text("Hello, world!")
        Text("Hello, world!")
    }
}

There’s no hard and fast rule when you should split a form into sections – it’s just there to group related items visually.

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