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How to read a title from a UIPickerView using titleForRow

Swift version: 5.2

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

As soon as you start using UIPickerView for the first time, you realize it doesn't have a built-in way to read the title of any of its items. The reason for this is obvious in retrospect, but don't worry if you didn't get it at first: you should read the title straight from the picker's data source.

You should already have conformed to the UIPickerViewDataSource and UIPickerViewDelegate protocols, which means implementing the titleForRow picker view method. If you want to read the title of the selected item later, you can do one of the following:

  • Read straight from the array you used to populate the picker view. This is the most common method, but of course it only works if the data is simple.
  • Write a new method named something like titleForPickerRow() that you can use in your data source and to read the title later. This is preferred if it takes some work to calculate row titles, but really it's better to cache this kind of thing if the work is non-trivial.
  • Use the same method call as the picker view: pickerView(_:titleForRow:forComponent:). Yes, that just calls the method you implemented, but it's neat and self-describing so as long as your data doesn't take time to calculate this is fine to use.

If you want to try the last option, here's some example code:

let title = pickerView(yourPickerView, titleForRow: 0, forComponent: 0)

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