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How to adjust the position of a view using its offset

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Fully updated for Xcode 11.4

All views have a natural position inside your hierarchy, but the offset() modifier lets you move them relative to that natural position. This is particularly useful inside ZStack, where it lets you control how views should overlap.

Important: Using offset() will cause a view to be moved relative to its natural position, but won’t affect the position of other views. This means you can make one view overlap another when normally it would have been positioned next to it, which may not be what you want.

For example, in this VStack we can use offset() to move the second item down by 15 points so that it begins to overlap the third item:

VStack {
    Text("Home")
    Text("Options")
        .offset(y: 15)
    Text("Help")
}

You will commonly find that using padding() together with offset() gives you the result you’re looking for, as that moves one view around while also adjusting the views next to it to match.

For example, this will move the second item down by 15 points, but add 15 points of padding to its bottom edge so that it doesn’t overlap the text view below:

VStack {
    Text("Home")
    Text("Options")
        .offset(y: 15)
        .padding(.bottom, 15)
    Text("Help")
}

When used in conjunction with a ZStack, offsets let us position one view inside another, which is particularly useful when you control the alignment of the ZStack. For example, if we have a ZStack showing a photo along with the name of the photographer, we might use bottomTrailing alignment to make the image take up all the available space while having the credit line sit in the bottom-right corner, then use offset(x: -5, y: -5) to pull the credit line back by five points:

ZStack(alignment: .bottomTrailing) {
    Image(item.mainImage)
    Text("Photo: \(item.photoCredit)")
        .padding(4)
        .background(Color.black)
        .foregroundColor(.white)
        .offset(x: -5, y: -5)
}
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