Ios – How to wrap text in a UITableViewCell without a custom cell


This is on iPhone 0S 2.0. Answers for 2.1 are fine too, though I am unaware of any differences regarding tables.

It feels like it should be possible to get text to wrap without creating a custom cell, since a UITableViewCell contains a UILabel by default. I know I can make it work if I create a custom cell, but that's not what I'm trying to achieve – I want to understand why my current approach doesn't work.

I've figured out that the label is created on demand (since the cell supports text and image access, so it doesn't create the data view until necessary), so if I do something like this:

cell.text = @""; // create the label
UILabel* label = (UILabel*)[[cell.contentView subviews] objectAtIndex:0];

then I get a valid label, but setting numberOfLines on that (and lineBreakMode) doesn't work – I still get single line text. There is plenty of height in the UILabel for the text to display – I'm just returning a large value for the height in heightForRowAtIndexPath.

Best Solution

Here is a simpler way, and it works for me:

Inside your cellForRowAtIndexPath: function. The first time you create your cell:

UITableViewCell *cell = [tableView dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:CellIdentifier];
if (cell == nil)
    cell = [[[UITableViewCell alloc] initWithStyle:UITableViewCellStyleDefault reuseIdentifier:CellIdentifier] autorelease];
    cell.textLabel.lineBreakMode = UILineBreakModeWordWrap;
    cell.textLabel.numberOfLines = 0;
    cell.textLabel.font = [UIFont fontWithName:@"Helvetica" size:17.0];

You'll notice that I set the number of lines for the label to 0. This lets it use as many lines as it needs.

The next part is to specify how large your UITableViewCell will be, so do that in your heightForRowAtIndexPath function:

- (CGFloat)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView heightForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath
    NSString *cellText = @"Go get some text for your cell.";
    UIFont *cellFont = [UIFont fontWithName:@"Helvetica" size:17.0];
    CGSize constraintSize = CGSizeMake(280.0f, MAXFLOAT);
    CGSize labelSize = [cellText sizeWithFont:cellFont constrainedToSize:constraintSize lineBreakMode:UILineBreakModeWordWrap];

    return labelSize.height + 20;

I added 20 to my returned cell height because I like a little buffer around my text.