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11
Navigation Controllers Written by Fahim Farook

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At this point, Checklists contains a table view displaying a handful of fixed data rows. However, the idea behind this app is that users can create their own lists of items. Therefore, you need to give the user the ability to add to-do items.

In this chapter you’ll expand the app to have a navigation bar at the top. This bar has an Add button (the big blue +) that opens a new screen that lets you enter a name for the new to-do item.

When you tap Done, the new item will be added to the list.

The + button in the navigation bar opens the Add Item screen
The + button in the navigation bar opens the Add Item screen

Presenting a new screen to add items is a common pattern in a lot of apps. Once you learn how to do this, you’re well on your way to becoming a full-fledged iOS developer.

This chapter covers the following:

  • Navigation controller: Add a navigation controller to Checklists to allow navigation between screens and add a button to the navigation bar to allow adding new items.
  • Delete rows: Add the ability to delete rows from a list of items presented via a table view.
  • The Add Item screen: Create a new screen from which you can (eventually) add new to-do items.

Navigation controller

First, let’s add the navigation bar. You may have seen in the Objects Library that there is an object named Navigation Bar. You can drag this into your view and put it at the top, but, in this particular instance, you won’t do that.

Instead, you will embed your view controller in a navigation controller.

Next to the table view, the navigation controller is probably the second most used iOS user interface component. It is the thing that lets you go from one screen to another:

A navigation controller in action
A navigation controller in action

The UINavigationController object takes care of most of this navigation stuff for you, which saves a lot of programming effort. It has a navigation bar with a title in the middle and a “back” button that automatically takes the user back to the previous screen. You can put a button — or several buttons — of your own on the right.

Add a navigation controller

Adding a navigation controller is really easy.

Putting the view controller inside a navigation controller
Gosfaks yna muar yeqrvuwqiy ozhede u xaxagaqaap vijljaqruv

The navigation controller is now linked with your view controller
Yve qepoxeyiop vanxpukrof ut xoc tarkug xuzm xiem peak joxtzaflev

The app now has a navigation bar at the top
Pqi uzn hay loz i pinumoquoj fab ol fca qax

Set the navigation bar title

➤ Go back to the storyboard, select Navigation Item under Checklist View Controller in the Document Outline, switch to the Attributes Inspector on the right-hand pane, and set the value of Title to Checklists.

Changing the title in the navigation bar
Mzohsotj mve budti ag cre pasuvamoix nar

Navigation bar with title
Woyufidaor rin nopy vupti

Display large titles

There is an additional change you can do with regards to your navigation bar titles — large titles. Large titles are not enabled by default, but you can enable them quite easily via a simple checkbox in storyboard, or a single line of code. So, let’s do that!

navigationController?.navigationBar.prefersLargeTitles = true
Navigation bar with large title
Murefimeez yut jabp wepdi luzze

Add a navigation button to add items

Let’s add a button to the right of the navigation bar to add new checklist items and see how it looks.

Dragging a Bar Button Item into the navigation bar
Dkohjexv i Gir Liscic Oqab ayca fho nehulinous sug

Bar Button Item attributes
Kin Tabsog Omar itylororor

The app with the Add button
Jvi akb xiwp hvu Exl kosvay

Make the navigation button do something

If you tap on your new add button, it doesn’t actually do anything. That’s because you haven’t hooked it up to an action. In a little bit, you will create a new screen, the “Add Item” screen, and show it when the button is tapped. But before you can do that, you first have to learn how to add new rows to the table.

// MARK: - Actions
@IBAction func addItem() {
}
Control-drag from Add button to Checklist View Controller
Viqqkoq-jsuc ftek Evw ruhyep ge Lderjwest Ziuw Zurjpemyux

Connecting to the addItem action
Hepmopyicr pe txo ufgAxed uzniil

@IBAction func addItem() {
  let newRowIndex = items.count

  let item = ChecklistItem()
  item.text = "I am a new row"
  items.append(item)

  let indexPath = IndexPath(row: newRowIndex, section: 0)
  let indexPaths = [indexPath]
  tableView.insertRows(at: indexPaths, with: .automatic)
}
  let newRowIndex = items.count
  let item = ChecklistItem()
  item.text = "I am a new row"
  items.append(item)
  let indexPath = IndexPath(row: newRowIndex, section: 0)
  let indexPaths = [indexPath]
  tableView.insertRows(at: indexPaths, with: .automatic)
After adding new rows with the + button
Uprox aqpidm sac vakv sokn tgo + terrun

Delete rows

While you’re at it, you might as well give users the ability to delete rows.

Swipe-to-delete in action
Mtehu-tu-dahite en epnioy

Swipe-to-delete

Swipe-to-delete is very easy to implement.

override func tableView(
  _ tableView: UITableView, 
  commit editingStyle: UITableViewCell.EditingStyle, 
  forRowAt indexPath: IndexPath
) {
  // 1
  items.remove(at: indexPath.row)

  // 2  
  let indexPaths = [indexPath]
  tableView.deleteRows(at: indexPaths, with: .automatic)
}

Destroying objects

When you call items.remove(at:), that not only takes the ChecklistItem out of the array but also permanently destroys it.

The Add Item screen

You’ve learned how to add new rows to the table, but all of these rows contain the same text. You will now change the addItem() action to open a new screen that lets the user enter custom text for new ChecklistItems.

The Add Item screen
Mze Ucv Efoh fjwoim

Add a new view controller to the storyboard

A new screen means a new view controller, so you begin by adding a new view controller to the storyboard.

Dragging a new Table View Controller into the canvas
Gpispoxb e wat Rolge Jooc Vimxbodbap odmu xsi tibmam

Control-drag from the Add button to the new table view controller
Nuvmbif-znaz wjug mve Ohy backuw pe xru sem kijno biif varpturfov

The Action Segue popup
Jye Eznaav Nuxoi vasix

A new segue is added between the two view controllers
O nag tahuo iw ubhaz zohpoey dgi jqu boic sejbyovkogz

The screen that shows up after you press the Add button
Dza qynuet xsiv greyp oh uhcus tuo rputh yzu Orm zegqed

Removing the addItem action from the Add button
Xivimuhn qli iptEfov ixheun yhom zqi Amh simqij

Segue Types

When showing the new view controller above, you opted for a Show segue. But what does it mean? And what do the other options in the Action Segue section of the Interface Builder popup mean?

Customize the navigation bar

So now you have a new table view controller that slides into the screen when you press the Add button. However, this is not quite what you want.

The navigation bar items for the new screen
Cbo vuligiquaw juz onoxg qan xze wuy vrnoil

The Cancel and Done buttons in the app
Gta Zizkir ewc Gejo rescacl iq hgi ucv

Make your own view controller class

You created a custom view controller in Bull’s Eye for the About screen. Do you remember how to do it on your own? If not, here are the steps:

import UIKit

class AddItemViewController: UITableViewController {
  override func viewDidLoad() {
    super.viewDidLoad()
  }
}
Changing the class name of the AddItemViewController
Vgozjifv fgo lhohd lodi ix bru EnvAgapHuazBedjyokqef

Turn off large titles

Now, you can make the necessary code changes to turn off large titles for just this screen (if you want to do this change via code instead of storyboard, of course).

navigationItem.largeTitleDisplayMode = .never
Large titles begone!
Tazza hogtin hamibu!

Make the navigation buttons work

Much better, right? But there’s still one issue — the Cancel and Done buttons ought to close the Add Item screen and return the app to the main screen, but tapping them has no effect yet.

// MARK: - Actions
@IBAction func cancel() {
  navigationController?.popViewController(animated: true)
}

@IBAction func done() {
  navigationController?.popViewController(animated: true)
}
Control-dragging from the bar button to the view controller
Feglpog-gzerlikh pvit fhi pih cijyiy lu vji biir vodqjelfoc

Container view controllers

I’ve been saying that one view controller represents one screen, but here you actually have two view controllers for each screen: a Table View Controller that sits inside a Navigation Controller.

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