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

How to create custom menus using UIMenuController

Swift version: 5.2

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

iOS has a built-in menu system that, while useful, doesn't actually get much use – because users don't expect to see it, developers don't use it, thus making it even less likely that users expect to see it.

Anyway, if you want to attach multiple actions to elements in your UI – pieces of text in a text view or web view, table view rows, and so on – you might find iOS menus are for you, so you need to turn to UIMenuController. This has extremely simple API: you just create a UIMenuItem object for every action you want, then register them all and wait for the user to do something.

Below is a complete example for a view controller that has a web view inside it – you'll need to create that in your storyboard. The code sets up a new menu item named "Grok" that runs the runGrok() method when tapped. I've made it do something real: when the user selects some text, they tap Grok to have that printed out to the Xcode console.

Here's the code:

class ViewController: UIViewController, UITextViewDelegate {
    @IBOutlet var webView: UIWebView!

    override func viewDidLoad() {
        super.viewDidLoad()

        webView.loadHTMLString("<p>Hello, world!</p>", baseURL: nil)
        enableCustomMenu()
    }

    func enableCustomMenu() {
        let lookup = UIMenuItem(title: "Grok", action: #selector(runGrok))
        UIMenuController.shared.menuItems = [lookup]
    }

    func disableCustomMenu() {
        UIMenuController.shared.menuItems = nil
    }

    @objc func runGrok() {
        let text = webView.stringByEvaluatingJavaScript(from: "window.getSelection().toString();")
        print(text)
    }
}

Subscribe to Hacking with Swift+

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

Available from iOS 3.0

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: 4.5/5

Link copied to your pasteboard.