Fast, modern, simple iOS snapshot testing written purely in Swift.
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PixelTest is a modern, Swift-first snapshot testing tool.

Snapshot testing compares one of your views rendered into an image, to a previously recorded image, allowing for 0% difference or the test will fail.

Snapshot tests are perfect for quickly checking complex layouts, while at the same time future proofing them against accidental changes.

Unlike other snapshot testing options, PixelTest supports declaring which resolution to record your snapshots in, so it doesn't matter which simulator you run your snapshot tests on. (This isn't currently working but it's high on the list of things to figure out)

As an added bonus, PixelTest also clears up after itself. If you fix a failing test, the failure and diff images are automatically removed for you.

Key features

PixelTest is an excellent alternative to other options because PixelTest:

  • Is written in Swift so it's able to take advantage of modern Swift features, like powerful enums.
  • Handles laying out your views for you, leaving your project free of ugly layout code.
  • Supports multiple subprojects/modules in your workspace, finding the right directory to store snapshots automatically.
  • Helps you by showing you the diff image of failed tests directly in the test logs, with no need to leave Xcode.
  • If tests fail, PixelTest automatically creates HTML files with interactive split overlays to see what went wrong.
  • Automatically cleans up after itself by removing failed/diff images and HTML files stored on disk when the corresponding test is fixed and passes.

Why snapshot test?

Snapshot tests are an excellent (and super fast) way to ensure that your layout never breaks.

Logic is covered with unit tests, behaviour with automation/UI tests, and snapshot tests cover how the app actually looks. It ensures that complex layouts aren't broken from the start, which means less time going back and forth running the app, but also means you or anyone else is free to refactor a view without fear of breaking the way it looks.


PixelTest is available on Cocoapods.

Add PixelTest to a test target in your Podfile:

target 'YourAppTarget' do
  target 'YourAppTestTarget' do
    pod 'PixelTest'

Then navigate to where your Podfile is located in Terminal and run pod update.


Step 1

First things first, you need to tell PixelTest where to store reference images. To do this, in Xcode click on:

[your scheme name] > [edit scheme...] > [Run] > [Arguments]

Scheme Settings

And then add a new environment variable named PIXELTEST_BASE_DIR with a value of $(SOURCE_ROOT).

This lets PixelTest know where your project/workspace base directory is. PixelTest will use this base directory to find the correct place to store reference, failure and diff images for testing for each test target.

Internally, when running a test, PixelTest finds the directory that contains the test target, and then stores everything for that test target in that directory.

This means snapshots are stored in the same directory that your module is located in, making it easier to extract your module - with all its tests - in the future.

Step 2

Next you'll want to create a unit test case (not a UI test case, this is important!), and then subclass PixelTestCase:

import PixelTest
@testable import YourAppTarget

class TestClass: PixelTestCase {


Step 3

Start writing some tests. Check out the example project for some simple examples! Once you've written your tests, you'll need to first record some reference images. To record images, override setUp() and set mode to .record:

class TestClass: PixelTestCase {

  override func setUp() {
    mode = .record

  func test_someViewLaysOutProperly() {
    let view = MyCustomView()
    verify(view, layoutStyle: .dynamicHeight(fixedWidth: 100))


Once you've overridden setUp(), simply run your tests. Each test that runs while mode is set to .record will record a reference image. Once you disable record mode (either by removing the line of code or by setting mode to .test), each subsequent run of your tests will check the saved reference image. If even 1 pixel is different, the test will fail.

If a test fails, you'll find two images in the Diff and Failure directories located in the directory that contains the test target. You can use these images to see what's changed and what went wrong. If it was an intentional change, you can re-record your snapshots. Be careful to only run the tests you want to re-record in record mode, because it will overwrite any tests that run.

You can decide whether PixelTest tests your view with dynamic height or width, or fixed height and width. When you call verify(view) you're also required to pass in an LayoutStyle. Typically this would be .dynamicHeight(fixedWidth: 320), which means that PixelTest will attempt to test your view with a fixed with of 320, but allow it to dynamically resize in height based on its content.

This leaves you free to populate your view without having ugly layout code in your project or modules.

Known limitations

The way UIKit works with reusable views like UITableViewCells and UITableViewHeaderFooterViews means that sometimes PixelTest needs to be used in a slightly different way.

The PixelTest example app has examples for how to do it, but with cells specifically you'll need to snapshot test the contentView, not the cell itself.


PixelTest currently only works in iOS projects.




PixelTest is available under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for more info.

The original idea for snapshot testing was FBSnapshotTest which was deprecated and later inherited by Uber. PixelTest is a much Swiftier alternative, with more features, less code to write and easier to follow open-source code.