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FXLabel improves upon the standard UILabel by providing a subclass that supports soft shadows, inner shadow and gradient fill, and which can easily be used in place of any standard UILabel.

branch: master
README.md

Purpose

The standard iOS UILabel is fairly limited in terms of visual customisation; You can set the font, colour and a hard-edged shadow, and that's about it.

FXLabel improves upon the standard UILabel by providing a subclass that supports soft shadows, inner shadow and gradient fill, and which can easily be used in place of any standard UILabel.

FXLabel also provides more control over layout options such as leading (line spacing) and kerning (letter spacing) and automatic avoidance of orphans (words left on their own on the last line of a multi-line label).

Supported iOS & SDK Versions

  • Supported build target - iOS 7.1 (Xcode 5.1, Apple LLVM compiler 5.1)
  • Earliest supported deployment target - iOS 5.0
  • Earliest compatible deployment target - iOS 4.3

NOTE: 'Supported' means that the library has been tested with this version. 'Compatible' means that the library should work on this iOS version (i.e. it doesn't rely on any unavailable SDK features) but is no longer being tested for compatibility and may require tweaking or bug fixes to run correctly.

ARC Compatibility

As of version 1.4, FXLabel requires ARC. If you wish to use FXLabel in a non-ARC project, just add the -fobjc-arc compiler flag to the FXLabel.m class. To do this, go to the Build Phases tab in your target settings, open the Compile Sources group, double-click FXLabel.m in the list and type -fobjc-arc into the popover.

If you wish to convert your whole project to ARC, comment out the #error line in FXLabel.m, then run the Edit > Refactor > Convert to Objective-C ARC... tool in Xcode and make sure all files that you wish to use ARC for (including FXLabel.m) are checked.

Installation

To use FXLabel, just drag the class files into your project. You can create FXLabels programatically, or create them in Interface Builder by dragging an ordinary UILabel into your view and setting its class to FXLabel.

If you are using Interface Builder, to set the custom properties of FXLabel (ones that are not supported by regular UILabels) either create an IBOutlet for your label and set the properties in code, or use the User Defined Runtime Attributes feature in Interface Builder (introduced in Xcode 4.2 for iOS 5+).

NSString extensions

FXLabel extends NSString with the following methods:

- (CGSize)sizeWithFont:(UIFont *)font
           minFontSize:(CGFloat)minFontSize
        actualFontSize:(CGFloat *)actualFontSize
              forWidth:(CGFloat)width
         lineBreakMode:(NSLineBreakMode)lineBreakMode
      characterSpacing:(CGFloat)characterSpacing
          kerningTable:(NSDictionary *)kerningTable;

This method calculates the size of a rendered string when using the FXLabel characterSpacing and kerningTable properties. This method is suitable for calculating the size of strings rendered on a single line and doesn't work for multi-line strings. Pass nil for the kerningTable if you do not require that feature.

- (CGSize)drawAtPoint:(CGPoint)point
             forWidth:(CGFloat)width
             withFont:(UIFont *)font
          minFontSize:(CGFloat)minFontSize
       actualFontSize:(CGFloat *)actualFontSize
        lineBreakMode:(NSLineBreakMode)lineBreakMode
   baselineAdjustment:(UIBaselineAdjustment)baselineAdjustment
     characterSpacing:(CGFloat)characterSpacing
         kerningTable:(NSDictionary *)kerningTable;

This method renders the a string when using the FXLabel characterSpacing and kerningTable properties. This method is suitable for rendering single-line strings and doesn't work for multiline strings. Pass nil for the kerningTable if you do not require that feature.

- (CGSize)sizeWithFont:(UIFont *)font
     constrainedToSize:(CGSize)size
         lineBreakMode:(NSLineBreakMode)lineBreakMode
           lineSpacing:(CGFloat)lineSpacing
      characterSpacing:(CGFloat)characterSpacing
          kerningTable:(NSDictionary *)kerningTable
          allowOrphans:(BOOL)allowOrphans;

This method calculates the size of a rendered string when using the FXLabel lineSpacing, characterSpacing, kerningTable and allowOrphans properties. It is suitable for use with mult-line strings. Pass nil for the kerningTable if you do not require that feature.

- (CGSize)drawInRect:(CGRect)rect
            withFont:(UIFont *)font
       lineBreakMode:(NSLineBreakMode)lineBreakMode
           alignment:(NSTextAlignment)alignment
         lineSpacing:(CGFloat)lineSpacing
    characterSpacing:(CGFloat)characterSpacing
        kerningTable:(NSDictionary *)kerningTable
        allowOrphans:(BOOL)allowOrphans;

This method renders a string using the FXLabel lineSpacing, characterSpacing, kerningTable and allowOrphans properties. It is suitable for use with mult-line strings. Pass nil for the kerningTable if you do not require that feature.

FXLabel properties

@property (nonatomic) CGFloat shadowBlur;

The softness of the text shadow. Defaults to zero, which creates a hard shadow, identical to the standard UILabel shadow. Note that the shadow's other properties such as shadowOffset and shadowColor are inherited from UILabel and can be found in the standard Apple docs.

@property (nonatomic) CGFloat innerShadowBlur;

The softness of the text inner shadow. Defaults to zero, which creates a hard shadow.

@property (nonatomic) CGSize innerShadowOffset;

The offset for the inner shadow. Works the same way as shadowOffset.

@property (nonatomic, strong) UIColor *innerShadowColor;

The colour of the inner shadow. Defaults to transparent.

@property (nonatomic, copy) NSArray *gradientColors;

An array of colors used to produce a gradient effect across the text. The minimum number of gradient colours you can specify is two - if the array contains fewer than two colours it will be ignored. If the alpha component of any of the colours is less than 1.0, it will be blended with the textColor. Patterned, indexed or HSV colours are not supported. The direction of the gradient is controlled by the gradientStartPoint and gradientEndPoint properties. The default direction is vertical.

@property (nonatomic, strong) UIColor *gradientStartColor;

The starting/upper color of the gradient. This property is just a convenience accessor for the first element in the gradientColors array.

@property (nonatomic, strong) UIColor *gradientEndColor;

The ending/lower color of the gradient. This property is just a convenience accessor for the last element in the gradientColors array.

@property (nonatomic) CGPoint gradientStartPoint;

The starting position of the gradient. The x and y coordinates are in the range 0 to 1, where (0, 0) is the top-left of the text and (1, 1) is the bottom-right. This means that use can use the same settings for multiple strings and the gradient will scale to fit. The default value is (0.5, 0.0), i.e. the top, center.

@property (nonatomic) CGPoint gradientEndPoint;

The ending position of the gradient. The x and y coordinates are in the range 0 to 1, where (0, 0) is the top-left of the text and (1, 1) is the bottom-right. This means that use can use the same settings for multiple strings and the gradient will scale to fit. The default value is (0.5, 0.75), which is the center of the baseline for most strings. For string with a lot of descenders (characters that hang below the baseline), you may find that a value of (0.5, 1.0) looks better.

@property (nonatomic) NSUInteger oversampling;

You may find that for some combinations of effects, the quality of the text edges is poor, particularly on non-Retina devices, and when using innerShadow. In these cases, you can make use of the oversampling property, which will cause the text to be drawn at higher resolution and then downscaled to improve the quality of the drawing, at a slight cost to performance. The default (and minimum) value of the oversampling property matches the [UIScreen mainScreen].scale value. For best results, set oversampling to a power of two, i.e. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. For performance reasons, you should use the lowest value that yields acceptable results.

@property (nonatomic) UIEdgeInsets textInsets;

FXLabel effects cannot be drawn outside of the bounds of the label view. For labels that are not centre aligned, you may need to make use of the textInsets property to inset the text from the edge of the view so that text effects such as shadows are not cropped.

@property (nonatomic) CGFloat lineSpacing;

The lineSpacing property allows you to control the amount of space between lines in the label. Defaults to zero. Note: as of version 1.5, this value is relative to the pointSize of the font instead of being specified in absolute points.

@property (nonatomic) CGFloat characterSpacing;

The characterSpacing property allows you to control the amount of space between letters in the label. The value defaults to zero and is relative to the pointSize of the font. For this reason, if you are using the minimumFontSize/minimumScaleFactor feature then the characterSpacing will also reduce proportionally when the font size shrinks.

@property (nonatomic) CGFloat baselineOffset;

The baselineOffset property adjusts the vertical offset of the text relative to the label frame. This property is useful for fixing fonts where the baseline is set incorrectly in the font file. It only affects how the text is displayed and makes no difference to the label frame or text metrics, wrapping, etc. The baselineOffset value defaults to zero and is relative to the pointSize of the font.

@property (nonatomic, copy) NSDictionary *kerningTable;

The kerningTable property is used to individually control the spacing for each character in a font. The dictionary consists of NSNumber values keyed by character string. The values are relative to the pointSize of the font. So for example, if you wanted to increase the spacing for the letter "a" by half the point size, you'd set the kerningTable value to @{ @"a": @0.5 }. If you wanted to reduce the space for an exclamation mark by 25% of the point size, you'd use @{ @"!": @-0.25 }.

@property (nonatomic) BOOL allowOrphans;

The allowOrphans property allows you to prevent a common layout issue where a word ends up on its own on the last line of a paragraph. By default, allowOrphans is set to YES, but if you set it to NO, FXLabel will automatically ensure that a minimum of two words will appear on the last line of each paragraph.

FXLabel methods

- (void)setUp;

You should not call this method directly. It is called when an FXlabel instance is created, either in code or from a nib file. You can override this method when subclassing instead of having to duplicate your setup code in initWithFrame: and initWithCoder: (be sure to call [super setUp] in your implementation.

Notes

FXLabels have a nice additional layout feature, which is that (unlike UILabels) they respect the contentMode property with regard to vertical layout. Setting the contentMode to top, center or bottom will vertically align the text to the top, center or bottom of the view respectively. Note however that for horizontal alignment, the FXLabel ignores contentMode in favour of the textAlignment property.

FXLabel effects cannot be drawn outside of the bounds of the label view. For labels with shadowBlur or shadowOffset values, you will need to increase the size of the label frame to prevent the shadow being cropped. If your text is not center-aligned, you will also need to make use of the textInsets property to inset the text from the edge of the view so the text effects are not cropped.

The gradientColor properties do not support patterned, indexed or HSV colours.

Release notes:

Version 1.5.7

  • Fixed some additional warnings under iOS 7.1

Version 1.5.6

  • Fixed performance regression introduced in version 1.5.5
  • Reverted fix for translucent overlapping text for performance reasons
  • Improved performance when using a background color on the label

Version 1.5.5

  • Fixed infinite loop when targeting iOS7+
  • Fixed text color bug when targeting iOS7+
  • Fixed linewrapping and clipping issues when targeting iOS7+
  • Translucent text is no longer rendered incorrectly if it overlaps itself due to tight kerning
  • Baseline adjustment now works correctly if not using custom linespacing
  • Now conforms to -Weverything warning level

Version 1.5.4

  • Fixed distortion when using textInset with gradient

Version 1.5.3

  • Fixed line wrap issue when using character wrap
  • Now compiles for iOS 7+ without deprecation warnings
  • Now complies with -Wall and -WExtra warning levels

Version 1.5.2

  • Fixed a bug in the autoshrink logic when creating labels programatically (as opposed to using a nib)

Version 1.5.1

  • Fixed rounding error that caused layout for multiline labels to not work correctly

Version 1.5

  • Added innerShadowBlur property
  • Added characterSpacing property
  • Added kerningTable property for per-character spacing
  • Added baselineOffset property
  • LineSpacing property is now relative to pointSize

Version 1.4.2

  • Fixed crash when calling sizeToFit or sizeThatFits: methods
  • Fixed crash when label height is less than the height of a single line
  • Fixed bug with text alignment for multiline labels

Version 1.4.1

  • Fixed a bug when deployment target < 6.0
  • Made setUp method public to aid subclassing.

Version 1.4

  • FXLabel now requires ARC (see README for details)
  • It is now possible to control line spacing for multiline labels
  • FXLabel can now automatically avoid orphans (a single word left alone on the last line of a label)
  • Improved layout algorithm to more closely match UILabel behaviour for single-line labels
  • sizeToFit method now takes textInsets into account

Version 1.3.7

  • Moved ARCHelper macros out of .h file so they do not affect non-ARC code in other classes

Version 1.3.6

  • Fixed bug with baseline alignment when text is autoshrunk
  • Fixed bug when using textInset property that could result in text appearing squashed or stretched

Version 1.3.5

  • Fixed deprecation warnings under iOS 6
  • Updated ARC Helper to version 2.1

Version 1.3.4

  • Updated ARC Helper to version 1.3
  • Fixed warning under Apple LLVM compiler 4.0

Version 1.3.3

  • Fixed ARC crash introduced in version 1.3.2

Version 1.3.2

  • Fixed bug when using non RGB blending colors (e.g. [UIColor blackColor])
  • Fixed issue where inner shadow is applied to the label frame when background color is not transparent

Version 1.3.1

  • Added automatic support for ARC compile targets
  • Now requires Apple LLVM compiler 3.0 target

Version 1.3

  • Added new gradientColors array for specifying multi-part gradients
  • Added new textInsets property to prevent effects being truncated
  • Fixed bug where multi-line fields were truncated to a single line
  • Highlighted color is now respected when highlighted property is set
  • Replaced oversample property with oversampling property that allows the developer to specify the degree of oversampling required
  • Added additional example projects

Version 1.2

  • Added oversample property to improve drawing quality for some effects.
  • Fixed issue where labels without any effects or shadow were not drawn.

Version 1.1

  • Added gradientStartPoint and gradientEndPoint properties.
  • Gradient colours now support monochromatic colours and colour constants (e.g. [UIColor whiteColor]).
  • Eliminated spurious coloured halo around gradient fonts by pre-blending gradient colours with text colour prior to drawing.
  • Shadow opacity is now more consistent for different font settings.
  • Fixed drawing glitch for fonts without an inner shadow.
  • Fixed some memory leaks.
  • Slightly improved performance by reducing overdraw.

Version 1.0

  • Initial release
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