An easy way to create and layout UI components for iOS.





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An easy way to create and layout UI components for iOS 8 and above.
There is also a Swift version available.

Macros for create NSString, UIFont, UIColor, UIImage and Common structs

You can convert nearly everything to NSString by using Str() macro.
Similarly, you can log variables using Log() macro.

Str(100);           //@"100"
Str(3.14);          //@"3.14"
Str(@0.618);            //@"0.618"
Str(view.frame);        //@"{{0, 0}, {100, 100}}"
Str(;       //@"{50, 50}"
Str(_cmd);          //@"viewDidLoad"
Str(NSString.class);        //@"NSString"
Str("C-String");        //@"C-String"
Str(@"1 + 1 = %d", 1 + 1);  //@"1 + 1 = 2"

Log(@"1 + 1 = %d", 1 + 1);

//Appending String
@"1".a(@"2").a(3).a(nil).a(4.0f).a(@5).a(@"%d", 6);    //@"123456"

You can create NSAttributedString with AttStr() macro.

AttStr(@"hello, 101").match(@"[0-9]+").underline;   //mark 101 with underline
AttStr(@"A smile ", Img(@"smile"), @" !!");     //attributedString with image attachment

You can create UIFont with Fnt() macro.

Fnt(15);            //[UIFont systemFontOfSize:15]
Fnt(@15);           //[UIFont boldSystemFontOfSize:15]
Fnt(@"body");           //UIFontTextStyleBody
Fnt(@"Helvetica,15");       //helvetica font with size 15

You can create UIColor with Color() macro.

Color(@"red");          //[UIColor redColor]
Color(@"0,0,255");      //RGB color
Color(@"#0000FF");      //Hex color
Color(@"random");       //random color

//also can have an optional alpha value
Color(@"red,0.5");              //red color with alpha 0.5
Color(@"0,0,255,0.8");          //blue color with alpha 0.8

Color(Img(@"pattern"));         //pattern image color

You can create UIImage with Img() macro.

Img(@"imageName");      //[UIImage imageNamed:]
Img(@"#imageName");     //prefixed with # will return an stretchable image
Img(@"red");            //1x1 square image with red color

You can also create CGPoint, CGSize, CGRect, NSRange and UIEdgeInsets with XY(), WH(), XYWH(), Range(), Insets() macros.

CGPoint     p = XY(20, 20);
CGSize      s = WH(50, 50);

CGRect      f1 = XYWH(20, 20, 50, 50);
CGRect      f2 = XYWH(f1.origin, f1.size);
CGRect      f3 = XYWH(f2.origin, 50, 50);
CGRect      f4 = XYWH(20, 20, f3.size);

NSRange     r = Range(10, 20);

UIEdgeInsets i1 = Insets(10);           //{10, 10, 10, 10}
UIEdgeInsets i2 = Insets(10, 20);       //{10, 20, 10, 20}
UIEdgeInsets i3 = Insets(10, 20, 30);       //{10, 20, 30, 20}
UIEdgeInsets i4 = Insets(10, 20, 30, 40);   //{10, 20, 30, 40}

These macros exist not only because they simplify the process of creating common types, but also indicate a new way of setting properties as you will see soon.

Quick access to frame property and Screen size

someView.x = 10;
someView.y = someView.x;
someView.xy = XY(10, 10);
someView.w = 50;            //width
someView.h = someView.w;        //height
someView.wh = WH(50, 50);
someView.frame = XYWH(10, 10, 50, 50); = 25; =; = XY(25, 25);

someView.maxX = 60;
someView.maxY = someView.maxX;
someView.maxXY = XY(60, 60);

//qucik access screen size
someView.wh = WH(Screen.width, Screen.height);

Easy way to set up UI components

NerdyUI make it very easy to create UI components and config properties by using a chaining syntax.

UIView *view1 = View.xywh(20, 30, 50, 50).bgColor(@"red").opacity(0.7).border(3, @"3d3d3d");
UIView *view2 = View.xy(80, 30).wh(view1.wh).bgColor(@"blue,0.7").borderRadius(25).shadow(0.8).onClick(^{
UIImageView *moose = ImageView.img(@"moose").x(20).y(100).shadow(0.6, 2, -3, -1);
UILabel *quiz = Label.str(@"%d+%d=?", 1, 1).fnt(@17).color(@"66,66,66").fitSize.x(moose.maxX + 10).cy(;
id title = AttStr(@"TAP ME").fnt(15).underline.range(0, 3).fnt(@18).color(@"random");
UIButton *button1 = Button.str(title).insets(5, 10).fitSize.border(1).xy(20, 150).onClick(^(UIButton *btn) {
    //Exp allows you to execute codes in any position.
    quiz.text = Str(@"%d+%d=%d", 1, 1, Exp(btn.tag += 1)); 
    [quiz sizeToFit];

UIButton *button2 = Button.str(@"HAT").highColor(@"brown").img(@"hat").gap(8);
button2.xywh(button1.frame).x(button1.maxX + 10).borderRadius(5).bgImg(@"blue,0.5").highBgImg(@"orange");
//highBgImg with color string is a very useful trick to set highlighted background color for UIButton.
id pinField = TextField.x(button1.x).y(button1.maxY + 15).wh(170, 30).onChange(^(NSString *text) {
    //self has been weakified, no need to warry about retain cycle.
    [(id)[self.view viewWithTag:101] setText:text];
}).numberKeyboard.maxLength(4).hint(@"pin code").fnt(15).roundStyle;

id textView = TextView.xywh(20, 240, 170, 100).border(1).insets(8).hint(@"placeholder").fnt([pinField font]).tg(101);

As you can see, most of the chainable properties are quite straight forward and self-explained. Some of them are very versatile and can take many kind of arguments. By the way, View is just a Macro for [UIView new], same as others.

You use .opacity() and .tg() to set view's alpha and tag.

You use .x(), .y(), .xy(), .w(), .h(), .wh(), .xywh(), .cx(), .cy(), .cxy(), .maxX(), .maxY(), .maxXY() to set view's position and size.

You use .touchEnabled, .touchDisabled to enable or disable touch.

You use .flexibleLeft, .flexibleRight, .flexibleTop, .flexibleBottom, .flexibleLR, .flexibleTB, .flexibleLRTB, .flexibleWidth, .flexibleHeight, .flexibleWH to set autoresizingMask.

You use .centerAlignment, .rightAlignment to set alignment.

You use .fnt() to set font with the same format as Fnt().

You use .str() to set text or attribtedText with the same format as Str().

You use .img(), .highImg(), .bgImg() and .highBgImg() to set image, highlightedImage, backgroundImage and highlightedBackgroundImage, with the same format as Img().

You use .tint(), .color(), .bgColor(), .highColor() to set tintColor, textColor, backgroundColor and highlightedTextColor, with the same format as Color().

You use .border(), .borderRadius() and .shadow() to config border styles and drop shadows.

You use .fitWidth, .fitHeight and .fitSize to change bounds to fit content.

You use .onClick() to add click handler to any UIView.

For UITextField and UITextView, you use .hint() to set placeholder, .maxLength() to limit the total length, .onChange() for adding text change handler.

For UIButton, UITextField and UITextView, you use .insets() to add padding to contents.

An there are many more. Check the corresponding header file for more information.

##Enhancements to UILabel You can add line spacing to UILabel by simply use .lineGap().

You can add link to UILabel as well. All you have to do is create an NSAttributedString that marked as .linkForLabel, and then add a link click handler to UILabel with .onLink().

id str = @"Lorem ipsum 20 dolor sit er elit lamet, consectetaur cillium #adipisicing pecu, sed do #eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et 3.14 dolore magna aliqua.";
id attStr = AttStr(str).range(0, 5).match(@"lamet").match(@"[0-9.]+").matchHashTag.linkForLabel;

Label.str(attStr).multiline.lineGap(10).xywh(self.view.bounds).onLink(^(NSString *text) {

##Easy way to Setup Constraints Manual updating frame could be a pain sometimes. NerdyUI provide some chainable properties and a Masonry like approach to setup constraints.

You use .fixWidth(), .fixHeight(), .fixWH() to setup width and height constraints.

You use .embedIn() to add to superview with edge constraints.

You use .horHugging(), .horResistance(), .verHugging(), .verResistance(), .lowHugging, .lowResistance, .highHugging and .highResistance to adjust contentHuggingPriority and contentCompressionResistancePriority. These properties are useful when the view is embedded in a StackView (like HorStack or VerStack).

For more complicated constraints, you use .makeCons(), .remakeCons() and .updateCons() to start the constraints making process.


id hello = Label.str(@"HELLO").fnt(@20).wh(80, 80).centerAlignment;
id mac = Label.str(@"MAC").fnt(@20).wh(80, 80).centerAlignment;

//In order to use makeCons, the view must be in the view hierarchy.
EffectView.darkBlur.fixWH(80, 80).addTo(self.view).makeCons(^{
    //you can use 'make' directly without the need to declare it

    make.left.bottom.equal.view(self.view).center.constants(0, 0);

    make.size.equal.constants(80, 80), 40);

id subImg = Img(@"macbook").subImg(95, 110, 80, 80).blur(10);
ImageView.img(subImg).addTo(self.view).makeCons(^{[self.view viewWithTag:101]).centerX.bottom.constants(0);


##Easy way to Layout

Adding constraints for every views by hand could be tedious. Luckily, you can build most of the layouts by simply using HorStack and VerStack (which are similar to UIStackView) and hopefully without creating any explicit constirants.

_indexLabel = Label.fnt(17).color(@"darkGray").fixWidth(44).centerAlignment;
_iconView = ImageView.fixWH(64, 64).borderRadius(10).border(Screen.onePixel, @"#CCCCCC");

//Setting preferWidth here will improve performance.
_titleLabel = Label.fnt(15).lines(2).preferWidth(Screen.width - 205);
_categoryLabel = Label.fnt(13).color(@"darkGray");

_ratingLabel = Label.fnt(11).color(@"orange");
_countLabel = Label.fnt(11).color(@"darkGray");

_actionButton = Button.fnt(@15).color(@"#0065F7").border(1, @"#0065F7").borderRadius(3);
_actionButton.highColor(@"white").highBgImg(@"#0065F7").insets(5, 10);
_iapLabel = Label.fnt(9).color(@"darkGray").lines(2).str(@"In-App\nPurchases").centerAlignment;

//.gap() will add spacing between all items.
id ratingStack = HorStack(_ratingLabel, _countLabel).gap(5);
id midStack = VerStack(_titleLabel, _categoryLabel, ratingStack).gap(4);
id actionStack = VerStack(_actionButton, _iapLabel).gap(4).centerAlignment;

         @10,           //Add spacing betweens two items.
         NERSpring,     //Using spring to ensure actionStack always stay in the right most position.
).embedIn(self.contentView, 10, 0, 10, 15);

Here we create a cell mimic the AppStore Top Charts list cell. As you can see, the usages of HorStack and VerStack are quite simple. You divide your UI into small part of stacks, and embed them together with optional spacing. You can see how they are stack visually by click "Debug View Hierarchy".


After creation, all you have to do is setting item's values. Their appearance will update automatically according to you configurations.

##Lightweight Styling Nearly all the chainable properties can be set as style.

//global style

Style(@"button").fixHeight(30).insets(0, 10).borderRadius(5); //local style id actionButtonStyle = Style().styles(@"button h1").bgImg(@"red").highBgImg(@"blue").highColor(@"white");

Here you create two global styles (which can be referred globally by name later) and a local style. The local style is inherit from both two global styles with .styles() properties. After creation, you can apply styles to any UIView or NSAttributedString using the same syntax.

id foo = Label.styles(@"h1").str(@"hello world");

id bar = Button.styles(actionButtonStyle).str(@"Send Email");


You can create Static TableView with PlainTV and GroupTV, which may be useful for Settings page.

PlainTV(Row.str(@"Row1"), Row.str(@"Row2"), Row.str(@"Row3")).embedIn(self.view);

You can present Alert And ActionSheet using the chaining syntax as well.

Alert.title(@"Title").message(@"Message").action(@"OK",^{}), cancel(@"Cancel").show();
ActionSheet.title(@"Title").message(@"Message").action(@"OK",^{}), cancel(@"Cancel").show();

For NSArray, we also provide you .forEach(), .map(), .filter() and .reduce().

id result = @[@1, @2, @3, @4].map(^(NSInteger n) {
    return n * 2;
}).filter(^(NSInteger n) {
    return n < 5;
}).reduce(^(NSInteger ac, NSInteger n) {
    return ac + n;

##Cautions Inside .onClick(), .onLink(), .onChange() and .onFinish(), self has been weakified so you can use self directly without worrying retain cycle. Sometimes you may want to make a strong reference of self inside handler in order to prolong its life time.

NerdyUI use a lot of macros and category methods without prefixing. It's likely will clash with your own codes or third party frameworks, so use carefully.


pod "NerdyUI"

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