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

How to use UISearchController to let users enter search words

Swift version: 5.2

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

UISearchController is a small component designed to make it easy and consistent to add searching to any view controller. Adding it only takes a few small steps:

  1. Embed your view controller in a navigation controller.
  2. Add a conformance to UISearchResultsUpdating.
  3. Create the search controller and assign it to your view controller.
  4. Implement its sole required method: updateSearchResults().

Let’s go through them here. First, open Main.storyboard, select your view controller, then embed it in a navigation controller – go to the Editor menu and choose Embed In > Navigation Controller.

Second, modify your view controller’s definition so that it includes a conformance for UISearchResultsUpdating.

Third, add some code to viewDidLoad() to create the search controller and assign it to the current view controller. The search controller actually belongs as a property of the navigation item of the view controller, which automatically places it inside your navigation bar when the view controller is displayed.

let search = UISearchController(searchResultsController: nil)
search.searchResultsUpdater = self
search.obscuresBackgroundDuringPresentation = false
search.searchBar.placeholder = "Type something here to search"
navigationItem.searchController = search

Finally, implement the updateSearchResults() method to update your search results. This method gets called every time the user types anything into the search bar, so it’s your job to use their new text to filter your data however you want:

func updateSearchResults(for searchController: UISearchController) {
    guard let text = searchController.searchBar.text else { return }
    print(text)
}

That’s it!

Hacking with Swift is sponsored by Fernando Olivares

SPONSORED Ever ask for help and your reviewer immediately notices issues you missed? Fernando Olivares is a 10-year veteran from Big Nerd Ranch and Lambda School who can help hone your app building skills, and he's just launched a new book that does just that – use the code "hacking" to save $5!

Buy the book

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

Available from iOS 8.0

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: 3.7/5

Link copied to your pasteboard.