IGHTMLQuery is a lightweight XML/HTML parser for Objective-C, built on top of libxml.
Objective-C HTML JavaScript Ruby
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What is it?

IGHTMLQuery is a lightweight XML/HTML parser for iOS, built on top of libxml. It is inspired by jQuery and nokogiri. Consider following snippets:

IGXMLDocument* node = [[IGXMLDocument alloc] initWithXMLString:catelogXml error:nil];
NSString* title = [[[node queryWithXPath:@"//cd/title"] firstObject] text];
[[node queryWithXPath:@"//title"] enumerateNodesUsingBlock:^(IGXMLNode *title, NSUInteger idx, BOOL *stop) {
    NSLog(@"title = %@", title.text);

// or use CSS Selector
[[node queryWithCSS:@"title"] enumerateNodesUsingBlock:^(IGXMLNode *title, NSUInteger idx, BOOL *stop) {
    NSLog(@"title = %@", title.text);

// quick manipulation
[[node queryWithXPath:@"//title"] appendWithXMLString:@"<message>Hi!</message>"];


  • Use XPath and CSS Selector for document searching.
  • jQuery style chainable syntax.
  • XML traversal and manipulation.


IGHTMLQuery is available through CocoaPods, to install it simply add the following line to your Podfile:

pod "IGHTMLQuery", "~> 0.8.4"


  1. Add all the source files in Classes to your Xcoe project
  2. In "Build Phases" > "Link Binary With Libraries, add libxml2.
  3. In "Build Setting", find "Header Search Paths" and add "$(SDK_DIR)/usr/include/libxml2"


Import header

For each files using IGHTMLQuery, import IGHTMLQuery.h:

#import 'IGHTMLQuery.h'

Create a document

Create a XML document:

IGXMLDocument* node = [[IGXMLDocument alloc] initWithXMLString:xml error:nil];

Create a HTML document:

IGHTMLDocument* node = [[IGHTMLDocument alloc] initWithHTMLString:html error:nil];


Use parent, nextSibling, previousSibling, children and firstChild to traverse the document.

Query using XPath or CSS Selector

You can query the document or any node with queryWithXPath: or queryWithCSS: methods. They will always return a IGXMLNodeSet object, which is a set like object that you can chain query and operations.

IGXMLNodeSet* contents = [doc queryWithXPath:@"//div[@class='content']"];
[contents enumerateNodesUsingBlock:^(IGXMLNode* content, NSUInteger idx, BOOL *stop){
    NSLog(@"%@", content.xml);

// use a @try/@catch block for queryWithCSS, as it can throw an exception if 
// the CSS Selector cannot be converted to XPath.
@try {
  contents = [doc queryWithCSS:@"div.content"];
  [contents enumerateNodesUsingBlock:^(IGXMLNode* content, NSUInteger idx, BOOL *stop){
      NSLog(@"%@", content.xml);
} @catch(NSException * e) {
  // handle error

Document Manipulation

You can change the document using methods in IGXMLNodeManipulation protocol.

@protocol IGXMLNodeManipulation <NSObject>

-(instancetype) appendWithNode:(IGXMLNode*)child;

-(instancetype) prependWithNode:(IGXMLNode*)child;

-(instancetype) addChildWithNode:(IGXMLNode*)child;

-(instancetype) addNextSiblingWithNode:(IGXMLNode*)child;

-(instancetype) addPreviousSiblingWithNode:(IGXMLNode*)child;

-(void) empty;

-(void) remove;


JavaScript/Ruby support

All classes in IGHTMLQuery supports JavaScriptCore exports. Additionally there are Ruby wrappers to used with JavaScriptCoreOpalAdditions, which allow you to manipulate DOM with Ruby in Objective-C like this ...

#import "JSContext+IGHTMLQueryRubyAdditions.h"
#import "JSContext+OpalAdditions.h"

// load IGHTMLQuery ruby wrapper classes
[context configureIGHTMLQuery];

// create a lambda that evalulate script on the fly
JSValue* instanceEval = [context evaluateRuby:@"lambda { |doc, script| XMLNode.new(doc).instance_eval(&eval(\"lambda { #{script} }\")) }"];

// a simple script that find the title of first cd have a price less than 9.0
JSValue* node = [instanceEval callWithArguments:@[doc, @"self.xpath('//cd').find {|node| node.xpath('./price').text.to_f < 9.0 }.xpath('./title').text"]];

// convert the result to string
NSString* title = [node toString];
XCTAssertEqualObjects((@"Greatest Hits"), title, @"title should be Greatest Hits");

To use IGHTMLQuery with Ruby support, add following line to your Podfile:

pod "IGHTMLQuery/Ruby"

See Test Cases for more detail.

Breaking Changes


In previous version, the method [[IGHTMLDocument alloc] initWithHTMLString:] will create html element without implied HTML tag. (HTML_PARSE_NOIMPLIED option in libxml). Since 0.7.2, HTML_PARSE_NOIMPLIED will no longer be the default.

If you want to maintain the old behavior, check the [[IGHTMLDocument alloc] initWithHTMLFragmentString:] method.


MIT License.