Episode #385

Styling Custom Cells

Series: Making a Podcast App From Scratch

15 minutes
Published on April 5, 2019

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In this episode we add our tableview cell styling to match the design, using autolayout to arrange the views and using the Xcode View Debugger to find and fix a visual glitch when using dark background cells.

Creating a View Model for our Cells

struct SearchResultViewModel {
    let artworkUrl: URL?
    let title: String
    let author: String

We can now use this in our cell subclass to configure the views.

// in SearchResultCell.swift
func configure(with result: SearchResultViewModel) {
    podcastTitleLabel.text = result.title
    podcastAuthorLabel.text = result.author
    // image download will come later

Styling the Cell

We can configure a lot of the styling in the storyboard, however we want to be able to reference the theme's color constants.

override func awakeFromNib() {

    backgroundColor = Theme.Colors.gray4
    backgroundView = UIView()
    backgroundView?.backgroundColor = Theme.Colors.gray4

    podcastTitleLabel.textColor = Theme.Colors.gray0
    podcastAuthorLabel.textColor = Theme.Colors.gray1

This looks good until you tap on a cell. The selected style makes the labels unreadable.

To fix this, we'll add this to the awakeFromNib() method.

    selectedBackgroundView = UIView()
    selectedBackgroundView?.backgroundColor = Theme.Colors.gray3

Configuring the Table View

For the tableView separator, we can customize the color and indentation, as well as the background color for the overall view:

override func viewDidLoad() {

    tableView.backgroundColor = Theme.Colors.gray4
    tableView.separatorColor = Theme.Colors.gray3
    tableView.separatorInset = .zero

This episode uses Swift 4.2, Xcode 10.1.