Objective-C/Swift-compatible library for easier and safer interacting with data inside HTML content
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ObjectiveGumbo is a library that makes it easier and safer to interact with the data inside HTML content. Rather than use Regex to extract some data, ObjectiveGumbo uses Gumbo - Google's fast HTML5 parsing library (written in C). Gumbo mimics how a browser parses HTML including when tags are missing or the HTML is not properly formed. ObjectiveGumbo fully abstracts aways the C Gumbo data-structures to provide an easy-to-understand modern interface for use in Objective-C and Swift.


Why not just use a WebView? ObjectiveGumbo is headless in this sense - it is just a lightweight HTML data model that is similar to HTML DOM.

This means it can be used to create linters, validators, converters, etc. Other possibile uses include:

  • Extracting Facebook OpenGraph tags from a URL
  • Extracting links from a URL
  • Extracting the text content of a webpage
  • Validating a webpage's structure
  • Ensuring certain meta tags exist on a webpage
  • Transforming HTML to a new format


Via CocoaPods - see installation instructions.

Example usage

Fetch all of the links from the Hacker News homepage and log them (see the Hacker News example for a more advanced method):


OGNode *data = [ObjectiveGumbo nodeWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"https://news.ycombinator.com"]
NSArray *tableRows = [data elementsWithClass:@"title"];
for (OGElement *tableRow in tableRows)
	if (tableRow.children.count > 1)
		OGElement *link = (OGElement *)tableRow.children[0];
		NSLog(@"%@", link.attributes[@"href"]);


let data = try! ObjectiveGumbo.document(with: URL(string:"https://news.ycombinator.com")!,
                                        encoding: String.Encoding.utf8.rawValue)
let tableRows = data.elements(withClass: "title")
for tableRow in tableRows {
    if (tableRow.children.count > 1),
        let link = tableRow.children.first as? OGElement,
        let href = link.attributes["href"] {

Get the body text of BBC News:


OGNode *doc = [ObjectiveGumbo documentWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"http://bbc.co.uk/news"]
OGElement *body = doc.body;
NSLog(@"%@", body.text);


let doc = try! ObjectiveGumbo.document(with: URL(string:"http://bbc.co.uk/news")!,
                                        encoding: String.Encoding.utf8.rawValue)
if let body = doc.body {

Use basic CSS selectors to extract elements


OGNode *doc = [ObjectiveGumbo documentWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"https://www.reddit.com/"]
NSArray *storyLinks = doc[@".entry a.title"];

for (OGElement *link in storyLinks) {
    NSLog(@"Link Text: %@", link.attributes[@"href"]);


let doc = try! ObjectiveGumbo.document(with: URL(string:"https://www.reddit.com/")!,
                                        encoding: String.Encoding.utf8.rawValue)
let storyLinks = doc[".entry a.title"] as! [OGElement]
for link in storyLinks {
    if let linkText = link.attributes["href"] {
        print("Link Text: \(linkText)")

Extract Facebook Open Graph Tags


OGNode *doc = [ObjectiveGumbo documentWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"https://www.facebook.com/"]
OGElement *imageElement = [doc firstElementForRDFaProperty:@"og:image"];
NSLog(@"Image URL: %@", imageElement.attributes[@"content"]);


let doc = try! ObjectiveGumbo.document(with: URL(string:"https://www.facebook.com/")!,
                                        encoding: String.Encoding.utf8.rawValue)
let imageElement = doc.firstElement(forRDFaProperty: "og:image")!
let imageURLString = imageElement.attributes["content"] as! String
print("Image URL: \(imageURLString)")

Why use this over the plain C API?

This has been written with object-orientation and Cocoa in mind to make it a lot easier to interact with from Objective-C, which also gains the benefits of not having to worry about C-style pointers and releasing memory. Furthermore, it also uses 'native' Objective-C paradigms such as dictionaries and arrays rather than the Vector implementation provided Gumbo. It also reduces the amount of code you have to write by allowing you to quickly fetch tags based on tag, ID or class (like jQuery).



This class should be used for parsing HTML from NSStrings, NSURLs or NSData. Please note that, like Gumbo, ObjectiveGumbo only supports UTF8 web pages.


All tags and pieces of text get converted to an OGNode (and its subclasses). So the following HTML would be parsed as follows:

<p>This is a paragraph. <b>This is bold</b></p>
Paragraph (OGElement)
	'This is a paragraph. ' (OGText)
	Bold (OGElement)
		'This is bold'	

OGNode provides a variety of utility functions such as fetching the plaintext content and finding child nodes quickly:

  • elementWithID: returns an element with the given matching ID
  • elementsWithClass: allows you to quickly find all elements with the given class
  • elementsWithTag: finds all elements of a certain type (such as links)
  • elementsWithTag:class: finds all elements of a certain type (such as links) that contain a given CSS class attribute
  • elementsWithAttribute:value: find all elements with a particular HTML attribute that contains the given value
  • elementsForRDFaProperty: finds all elements that match a given RDFa property name e.g. og:image


A subclass of OGNode that provides an array of child elements, a dictionary of attributes and an array of classes.


A subclass of OGElement that includes DOCTYPE information.


A subclass of OGNode that represents some plain text. Note that all OGNodes have a -(NSString*)text function, however OGElement recursively searches its children.


The current recommended method for adding ObjectiveGumbo to your iOS project (currently not supported for OSX) is to install it via CocoaPods. You can do that by adding the following to your Podfile and running pod install:

target 'AppName' do
	pod "ObjectiveGumbo", :git => 'https://github.com/rwarrender/ObjectiveGumbo.git'

When you want to use ObjectiveGumbo in your project, simply import the header:

@import ObjectiveGumbo; // If using use_frameworks! option in podfile

If you don't want to use dynamic frameworks then import the header like so:

#import "ObjectiveGumbo/ObjectiveGumbo.h"; // If not using use_frameworks! option in podfile

Alternatively if you'd like to use ObjectiveGumbo with Swift, you'll need to add a bridging header to your project and import as above. You can then use ObjectiveGumbo as normal.

Additional Notes

It is a fork of https://github.com/thomasdenney/ObjectiveGumbo