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How to color the padding around a view

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Updated for Xcode 13.0

The padding() modifier lets us add some spacing around a view, and the background() modifier lets us set a background color. However, the way you use them matters, so it’s important to be clear about your goal in order to get the best results.

As an example, this creates a text view with a red background and white foreground, then adds system default padding to it:

Text("Hacking with Swift")
    .background(Color.red)
    .foregroundColor(.white)
    .padding()

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The text “Hacking with Swift” on a red background. There is little space between the text's edges and the rectangle's edges.

And this adds system default padding then sets a red background color and a white foreground:

Text("Hacking with Swift")
    .padding()
    .background(Color.red)
    .foregroundColor(.white)

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The text “Hacking with Swift” on a red background. There is some red space around the text between its edges and the rectangle's.

Those two pieces of code might look similar, but they yield different results because the order in which you apply modifiers matters. In the second example the view is padded then colored, which means the padding also gets colored red. In contrast, the first example colors then pads, so the padding remains uncolored.

So, if you want some text to have a background color wider than the text itself, make sure to use the second code example – pad then color.

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