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How to draw polygons and stars

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Updated for Xcode 14.2

Once you understand SwiftUI’s basic path drawing system, you can add all sorts of shapes easily. For example, we could create a Star shape that is capable of representing a variety of star shapes, or even other polygons, with just a little mathematics.

Here’s that in code:

struct Star: Shape {
    // store how many corners the star has, and how smooth/pointed it is
    let corners: Int
    let smoothness: Double

    func path(in rect: CGRect) -> Path {
        // ensure we have at least two corners, otherwise send back an empty path
        guard corners >= 2 else { return Path() }

        // draw from the center of our rectangle
        let center = CGPoint(x: rect.width / 2, y: rect.height / 2)

        // start from directly upwards (as opposed to down or to the right)
        var currentAngle = -CGFloat.pi / 2

        // calculate how much we need to move with each star corner
        let angleAdjustment = .pi * 2 / Double(corners * 2)

        // figure out how much we need to move X/Y for the inner points of the star
        let innerX = center.x * smoothness
        let innerY = center.y * smoothness

        // we're ready to start with our path now
        var path = Path()

        // move to our initial position
        path.move(to: CGPoint(x: center.x * cos(currentAngle), y: center.y * sin(currentAngle)))

        // track the lowest point we draw to, so we can center later
        var bottomEdge: Double = 0

        // loop over all our points/inner points
        for corner in 0..<corners * 2  {
            // figure out the location of this point
            let sinAngle = sin(currentAngle)
            let cosAngle = cos(currentAngle)
            let bottom: Double

            // if we're a multiple of 2 we are drawing the outer edge of the star
            if corner.isMultiple(of: 2) {
                // store this Y position
                bottom = center.y * sinAngle

                // …and add a line to there
                path.addLine(to: CGPoint(x: center.x * cosAngle, y: bottom))
            } else {
                // we're not a multiple of 2, which means we're drawing an inner point

                // store this Y position
                bottom = innerY * sinAngle

                // …and add a line to there
                path.addLine(to: CGPoint(x: innerX * cosAngle, y: bottom))

            // if this new bottom point is our lowest, stash it away for later
            if bottom > bottomEdge {
                bottomEdge = bottom

            // move on to the next corner
            currentAngle += angleAdjustment

        // figure out how much unused space we have at the bottom of our drawing rectangle
        let unusedSpace = (rect.height / 2 - bottomEdge) / 2

        // create and apply a transform that moves our path down by that amount, centering the shape vertically
        let transform = CGAffineTransform(translationX: center.x, y: center.y + unusedSpace)
        return path.applying(transform)

// Draw our star shape in a view
struct ContentView: View {
    var body: some View {
        Star(corners: 5, smoothness: 0.45)
            .frame(width: 200, height: 200)


Download this as an Xcode project

A red five pointed star on a green square.

As stars are just polygons, if you increase smoothness to 1 you’ll find you can draw shapes like hexagons and octagons without having to change the code.

A regular red hexagon on a green square.

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