How to add a background color to a cell or section in a UICollectionView
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SCSectionBackground Storyboard fix + license + read Mar 3, 2016
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SCSectionBackgroundUITests First commit Feb 28, 2016
LICENSE Storyboard fix + license + read Mar 3, 2016 Update Mar 3, 2016

UICollectionView section background

This project shows how to apply colour to background sections (or cells) on a UICollectionView. The code is written in Swift, and inspired by Eric Chapman's article (Objective-C GitHub project). You can apply different colours according to the NSIndexPath of the cells. Here is an example of a UICollectionView 4 sections, 3 cells with green background on the even sections and 7 cells on a blue background on the odd ones.

Section Background in UICollectionView

How does it work?

The idea is to override UICollectionViewLayoutAttributes to add a color attribute. And then override UICollectionReusableView apply the color to the view background. Easy peasy :)

class SCSBCollectionViewLayoutAttributes : UICollectionViewLayoutAttributes { 
    var color: UIColor = UIColor.whiteColor()

    override func copyWithZone(zone: NSZone) -> AnyObject {
        let newAttributes: SCSBCollectionViewLayoutAttributes = super.copyWithZone(zone) as! SCSBCollectionViewLayoutAttributes
        newAttributes.color = self.color.copyWithZone(zone) as! UIColor
        return newAttributes
class SCSBCollectionReusableView : UICollectionReusableView {
    override func applyLayoutAttributes(layoutAttributes: UICollectionViewLayoutAttributes) {       
        let scLayoutAttributes = layoutAttributes as! SCSBCollectionViewLayoutAttributes self.backgroundColor =         scLayoutAttributes.color

How to use it?

All this happens in the UICollectionViewFlowLayout used on your UIcollectionView. Here is an example of layoutAttributesForElementsInRect:

// Create decoration attributes
let decorationAttributes = SCSBCollectionViewLayoutAttributes(forDecorationViewOfKind: "sectionBackground", withIndexPath: attr.indexPath)
// Set the color(s)
if (attr.indexPath.section % 2 == 0) {
    decorationAttributes.color = UIColor.greenColor().colorWithAlphaComponent(0.5)
} else {
    decorationAttributes.color = UIColor.blueColor().colorWithAlphaComponent(0.5)

You will find all the details in the SectionBackgroundFlowLayout.swift file and if you want more details, please have a look at my the article I've written about it: How to create a Section Background in a UICollectionView in Swift.


You can ping me on Twitter @cath_schwz, open an issue on GitHub or leave a comment on my blog :)