NEW: Subscribe to Hacking with Swift+ and accelerate your learning! >>

How to insert images into an attributed string with NSTextAttachment

Swift version: 5.2

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

If you've ever tried to lay out multiple UILabels mixed in with UIImageViews, you'll know it's almost impossible to make them line up correctly even after you add dozens of Auto Layout rules.

If you are able to use it, there is a much simpler suggestion: NSAttributedString and NSTextAttachment. Attributed strings are strings with formatting attached (bold, italics, alignment, colors, etc), but you can also attach images inside attributed strings, and they just get drawn right along with the text.

Here's an example to help you get started:

// create an NSMutableAttributedString that we'll append everything to
let fullString = NSMutableAttributedString(string: "Start of text")

// create our NSTextAttachment
let image1Attachment = NSTextAttachment()
image1Attachment.image = UIImage(named: "awesomeIcon.png")

// wrap the attachment in its own attributed string so we can append it
let image1String = NSAttributedString(attachment: image1Attachment)

// add the NSTextAttachment wrapper to our full string, then add some more text.
fullString.append(image1String)
fullString.append(NSAttributedString(string: "End of text"))

// draw the result in a label
yourLabel.attributedText = fullString

Using this technique is much easier than Auto Layout, because iOS becomes responsible for drawing the image directly inside the string. This means if your user interface adjusts because of things like rotation or multi-tasking, the string – and its images – will redraw smoothly, with no further work from you.

Hacking with Swift is sponsored by Instabug

SPONSORED Are you tired of wasting time debugging your Swift app? Instabug’s SDK is here to help you minimize debugging time by providing you with complete device details, network logs, and reproduction steps with every bug report. All data is attached automatically, and it only takes a line of code to setup. Start your free trial now and get 3 months off exclusively for the Hacking with Swift Community.

Start your free trial!

Sponsor Hacking with Swift and reach the world's largest Swift community!

Available from iOS 7.0

Similar solutions…

About the Swift Knowledge Base

This is part of the Swift Knowledge Base, a free, searchable collection of solutions for common iOS questions.

BUY OUR BOOKS
Buy Pro Swift Buy Swift Design Patterns Buy Testing Swift Buy Hacking with iOS Buy Swift Coding Challenges Buy Swift on Sundays Volume One Buy Server-Side Swift (Vapor Edition) Buy Advanced iOS Volume One Buy Advanced iOS Volume Two Buy Advanced iOS Volume Three Buy Hacking with watchOS Buy Hacking with tvOS Buy Hacking with macOS Buy Dive Into SpriteKit Buy Swift in Sixty Seconds Buy Objective-C for Swift Developers Buy Server-Side Swift (Kitura Edition) Buy Beyond Code

Was this page useful? Let us know!

Average rating: 4.7/5

Link copied to your pasteboard.