WWDC24 SALE: Save 50% on all my Swift books and bundles! >>

How to create a page curl effect using UIPageViewController

Swift version: 5.10

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

When iBooks first launched in iOS 3.2, its page curl effect was almost addictive: it moved so fluently with your finger that it felt you were touching real paper. From iOS 5.0 on this page curl effect is available for every developer as part of the UIPageViewController class. Its API isn't immediately obvious to newbies, though, so I'm going to give you a complete example.

In the code below, the page view controller is created in viewDidLoad(). I also create five UIViewControllers to serve as pages inside the app, then tell the page view controller to start with the first one. I put in a couple of helper methods so that the view controllers could have random background colors so you can see it all working.

Most of the work is done by the viewControllerBefore and viewControllerAfter methods, which must either return a view controller to show before or after the current one (when the users starts to turn the page) or nil to mean the user is at the end and there are no more pages to show in that direction.

To make this work in your own app, you'll obviously want to replace the plain view controller pages with your own UIViewController subclass that does something more interesting. If you're showing quite a few different pages, you should probably create them on demand rather than creating an array of them all up front.

Anyway, here is the complete example – you can use this with the Xcode "Single View App” to get a page view controller up and running immediately:

import UIKit

class ViewController: UIViewController, UIPageViewControllerDataSource, UIPageViewControllerDelegate {
    var pageController: UIPageViewController!
    var controllers = [UIViewController]()

    override func viewDidLoad() {

        pageController = UIPageViewController(transitionStyle: .pageCurl, navigationOrientation: .horizontal, options: nil)
        pageController.dataSource = self
        pageController.delegate = self


        let views = ["pageController": pageController.view] as [String: AnyObject]
        view.addConstraints(NSLayoutConstraint.constraints(withVisualFormat: "H:|[pageController]|", options: [], metrics: nil, views: views))
        view.addConstraints(NSLayoutConstraint.constraints(withVisualFormat: "V:|[pageController]|", options: [], metrics: nil, views: views))

        for _ in 1 ... 5 {
            let vc = UIViewController()
            vc.view.backgroundColor = randomColor()

        pageController.setViewControllers([controllers[0]], direction: .forward, animated: false)

    func pageViewController(_ pageViewController: UIPageViewController, viewControllerBefore viewController: UIViewController) -> UIViewController? {
        if let index = controllers.firstIndex(of: viewController) {
            if index > 0 {
                return controllers[index - 1]
            } else {
                return nil

        return nil

    func pageViewController(_ pageViewController: UIPageViewController, viewControllerAfter viewController: UIViewController) -> UIViewController? {
        if let index = controllers.firstIndex(of: viewController) {
            if index < controllers.count - 1 {
                return controllers[index + 1]
            } else {
                return nil

        return nil

    func randomCGFloat() -> CGFloat {
        return CGFloat(arc4random()) / CGFloat(UInt32.max)

    func randomColor() -> UIColor {
        return UIColor(red: randomCGFloat(), green: randomCGFloat(), blue: randomCGFloat(), alpha: 1)
Save 50% in my WWDC sale.

SAVE 50% To celebrate WWDC24, all our books and bundles are half price, so you can take your Swift knowledge further without spending big! Get the Swift Power Pack to build your iOS career faster, get the Swift Platform Pack to builds apps for macOS, watchOS, and beyond, or get the Swift Plus Pack to learn advanced design patterns, testing skills, and more.

Save 50% on all our books and bundles!

Available from iOS 5.0

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 Pro Swift Buy Pro SwiftUI 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 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 Beyond Code

Was this page useful? Let us know!

Average rating: 4.1/5

Unknown user

You are not logged in

Log in or create account

Link copied to your pasteboard.