Optionals are a powerful source of safety in Swift, but can also be annoying if you find them littered throughout your code. Swift's nil coalescing operator helps you solve this problem by either unwrapping an optional if it has a value, or providing a default if the optional is empty.
Here's an example to get you started:
let name: String? = nil let unwrappedName = name ?? "Anonymous"
name is an optional string, we need to unwrap it safely to ensure it has a meaningful value. The nil coalescing operator –
?? – does exactly that, but if it finds the optional has no value then it uses a default instead. In this case, the default is "Anonymous". What this means is that
unwrappedName has the data type
String rather than
String? because it can be guaranteed to have a value.
You don't need to create a separate variable to use nil coalescing. For example, this works fine too:
print("Hello, \(name ?? "Anonymous")!")
Available from iOS 7.0
Did this solution work for you? Please pass it on!
Other people are reading…
About the Swift Knowledge Base
This is part of the Swift Knowledge Base, a free, searchable collection of solutions for common iOS questions.
Swift on the server is here
Get ahead of the game and learn server-side Swift with my latest book – build real-world projects while you learn!