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HTCopyableLabel is a subclass of UILabel that makes it easy to allow users to copy a label's text.


Read the accompanying blog post on the HotelTonight Engineering Blog. For an excellent explanation how copying on a UILabel is implemented, be sure to read UIMenuController on NSHipster.



With Cocoapods:

  • Add pod 'HTCopyableLabel' to your Podfile

Without Cocoapods:

Manually add the following files into your project:

  • HTCopyableLabel.m
  • HTCopyableLabel.h

Quickstart Guide

Create an HTCopyableLabel instance exactly as as you would UILabel, or subclass HTCopyableLabel if you'd like. You can do this or in Interface Builder. Programmatically, this looks like:

HTCopyableLabel *copyableLabel = [[HTCopyableLabel alloc] init];
[self.view addSubview:copyableLabel];

Now, long pressing on the label will make a UIMenuController appear with a "Copy" option. Pressing "Copy" will copy the label's text. Make sure the superview of the label has userInteractionEnabled set to YES.

Advanced Usage

Implementing the HTCopyableLabelDelegate protocol allows you more fine-tuned control of the UIMenuController's position, as well as the actual string that is to be copied.

UIMenuController appearance and position

UIMenuController positions itself according to a frame passed to it by HTCopyableLabel. By default, HTCopyableLabel will pass its own bounds. To specify the frame explicitly, implement the following in your HTCopyableLabelDelegate:

- (CGRect)copyMenuTargetRectInCopyableLabelCoordinates:(HTCopyableLabel *)copyableLabel

Furthermore, UIMenuController will try to intelligently position itself above, below, or along side the frame you pass it according to its position within the screen. If you wish to override this behavior, you should set [HTCopyableLabel copyMenuArrowDirection] explicitly.

Specifying the text to be copied

If you wish to specify which string is copied to the pasteboard, implement the following method in your HTCopyableLabelDelegate:

- (NSString *)stringToCopyForCopyableLabel:(HTCopyableLabel *)copyableLabel


  • Use this in your apps whenever you can, particularly email addresses -- your users will appreciate it!
  • Contributions are very welcome.
  • Attribution is appreciated (let's spread the word!), but not mandatory.

Use it? Love/hate it?

Tweet the author @jonsibs, and check out HotelTonight's engineering blog:

Also, check out HotelTonight's other iOS open source: