Episode #184 | 9 minutes | published on August 27, 2015
In this episode we take a look a DZNEmptyDataSet, a useful library for providing a more inviting UI when you have no content to display inside of a table view or collection view. We'll also see how to leverage NSAttributedString to provide styling of the text that is displayed on the screen.

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Installing with CocoaPods

In your Podfile, add:

use_frameworks! # if using Swift

pod 'DZNEmptyDataSet'

Then run pod install.

Setting Your Table View

import DZNEmptyDataSet

class ViewController: UITableViewController, DZNEmptyDataSetSource, DZNEmptyDataSetDelegate {

    override func viewDidLoad() {

        self.tableView.emptyDataSetSource = self
        self.tableView.emptyDataSetDelegate = self


We can hide the fake table view rows we get when using a Plain-style table view that has no rows by adding a blank footer. This causes the fake rows to not appear, and the footer has a height of 0, so it effectively removes the effect.

self.tableView.tableFooterView = UIView()

Configuring the empty view

    func imageForEmptyDataSet(scrollView: UIScrollView!) -> UIImage! {
        return UIImage(named: "empty-book")

    func titleForEmptyDataSet(scrollView: UIScrollView!) -> NSAttributedString! {
        let text = "You have no items"
        let attribs = [
            NSFontAttributeName: UIFont.boldSystemFontOfSize(18),
            NSForegroundColorAttributeName: UIColor.darkGrayColor()

        return NSAttributedString(string: text, attributes: attribs)

    func descriptionForEmptyDataSet(scrollView: UIScrollView!) -> NSAttributedString! {
        let text = "Add items to track the things that are important to you. Add your first item by tapping the + button."

        var para = NSMutableParagraphStyle()
        para.lineBreakMode = NSLineBreakMode.ByWordWrapping
        para.alignment = NSTextAlignment.Center

        let attribs = [
            NSFontAttributeName: UIFont.systemFontOfSize(14),
            NSForegroundColorAttributeName: UIColor.lightGrayColor(),
            NSParagraphStyleAttributeName: para

        return NSAttributedString(string: text, attributes: attribs)

    func buttonTitleForEmptyDataSet(scrollView: UIScrollView!, forState state: UIControlState) -> NSAttributedString! {
        let text = "Add First Item"
        let attribs = [
            NSFontAttributeName: UIFont.boldSystemFontOfSize(16),
            NSForegroundColorAttributeName: view.tintColor

        return NSAttributedString(string: text, attributes: attribs)

Handling the button tap

    func emptyDataSetDidTapButton(scrollView: UIScrollView!) {
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