UIView’s frame, bounds, center, origin, when to use what


UIView has the properties frame, bounds, center, and origin, and they all seem to be interrelated. Most of the time, I deal with frame when setting the position and size of a UIView. I understand that frame is using global coordinate system and bounds is using coordinate of the local view (therefore its x and y are 0, but not always), but it's still confusing to me when to use what.

Under what context (and what's the right time) the other properties (bounds, center, origin) should be used?

Best Solution

Marco's answer above is correct, but just to expand on the question of "under what context"...

frame - this is the property you most often use for normal iPhone applications. most controls will be laid out relative to the "containing" control so the frame.origin will directly correspond to where the control needs to display, and frame.size will determine how big to make the control.

center - this is the property you will likely focus on for sprite based games and animations where movement or scaling may occur. By default animation and rotation will be based on the center of the UIView. It rarely makes sense to try and manage such objects by the frame property.

bounds - this property is not a positioning property, but defines the drawable area of the UIView "relative" to the frame. By default this property is usually (0, 0, width, height). Changing this property will allow you to draw outside of the frame or restrict drawing to a smaller area within the frame. A good discussion of this can be found at the link below. It is uncommon for this property to be manipulated unless there is specific need to adjust the drawing region. The only exception is that most programs will use the [[UIScreen mainScreen] bounds] on startup to determine the visible area for the application and setup their initial UIView's frame accordingly.

Why is there an frame rectangle and an bounds rectangle in an UIView?

Hopefully this helps clarify the circumstances where each property might get used.

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