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How to get translucent lists on macOS

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Fully updated for Xcode 11 GM

One subtle but important feature of macOS is the way sidebars are automatically made slightly transparent when a window is active, then made opaque when the window moves to the background – it’s a small hint to the user which window is active, but also lets a little of their background show through, giving them a little context of their environment.

SwiftUI allows us to create these translucent sidebars using the listStyle() modifier on List, passing in SidebarListStyle(), like this:

List(1..<51) {
    Text("\($0)")
}
.listStyle(SidebarListStyle())

There’s nothing stopping you from using that with any list, but the clue is in the name: it’s specifically designed for lists that are shown on the side of your main window, as you can see in Xcode’s navigators.

Note: this is available only on macOS.

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