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How to style text views with fonts, colors, line spacing, and more

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Updated for Xcode 14.0 beta 1

Not only do text views give us a predictably wide range of control in terms of how they look, they are also designed to work seamlessly alongside core Apple technologies such as Dynamic Type.

By default a Text view has a “Body” Dynamic Type style, but you can select from other sizes and weights by calling .font() on it like this:

Text("This is an extremely long text string that will never fit even the widest of phones without wrapping")
    .font(.largeTitle)
    .frame(width: 300)

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A very long sentence wrapped across multiple lines.

We can control the color of text using the .foregroundColor() modifier, like this:

Text("The best laid plans")
    .foregroundColor(.red)

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The words “The best laid plans” in red text

You can also set the background color, but that uses .background() because it’s possible to use more advanced backgrounds than just a flat color. Anyway, to give our layout a yellow background color we would add this:

Text("The best laid plans")
    .padding()    
    .background(.yellow)
    .foregroundColor(.white)
    .font(.headline)

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The words “The best laid plans” in white text over a rectangular dark yellow background

Tip: You might wonder why foregroundColor() has color in the name, whereas background() does not. This is because SwiftUI lets us recolor text however we want, but it must always be a simple color, whereas you can place any kind of view in the background – a color, yes, but also a shape, some other text, and more.

There are even more options. For example, we can adjust the line spacing in our text. The default value is 0, which means there is no extra line spacing applied, but you can also specify position values to add extra spacing between lines:

Text("This is an extremely long text string that will never fit even the widest of phones without wrapping")
    .font(.largeTitle)
    .lineSpacing(50)
    .frame(width: 300)

Download this as an Xcode project

A very long sentence with multiple widely spaced lines.

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