Code Quality Rank: L2
Programming language: Objective-C
License: MIT License
Tags: UI     TextField & TextView    
Latest version: v0.1.0

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ARAutocompleteTextView is a subclass of UITextView that automatically displays text suggestions in real-time. This is perfect for automatically suggesting the domain as a user types an email address, #hashtag or @handle.



Add the following files to your project:

  • ARAutocompleteTextView.m
  • ARAutocompleteTextView.h
  • ARAutocompleteManager.m
  • ARAutocompleteManager.h

Quickstart Guide

Create an ARAutocompleteTextView instance exactly as as you would UITextView. You can do eith either programmitcally or in Interface Builder. Programmatically, this looks like:

Objective C
ARAutocompleteTextView* textField = [[ARAutocompleteTextView alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(0,0,100,31)];
let textField = ARAutocompleteTextView(frame: CGRectMake(0, 0, 100, 31))

The data source is the brains of the autocomplete logic. If you just want to autocomplete email addresses, #hashtags or @handles, use ARAutocompleteManager from the example project as follows:

textField.autocompleteDataSource = [ARAutocompleteManager sharedManager];
textField.autocompleteType = ARAutocompleteTypeEmail;
textField.autocompleteDataSource = ARAutocompleteManager.sharedManager()
textField.autocompleteType = ARAutocompleteType.Mail


Autocompletion Data Source

ARAutocompleteManager (included in the example project) provides email address autocompletion out of the box. It comes with a list of the top email domains. You may want to tailor this list of email domains to match your own customers, or you may want to write autocomplete logic for a different type of text view (in the demo, names of colors are autocompleted).

Alternatively, you may wish to create your own data source class and user the autocompleteType property to differentiate between textviews with different data types. A ARAutocompleteTextView's data source must implement the following method, as part of the ARAutocompleteDataSource protocol.

- (NSString *)textField:(ARAutocompleteTextView*)textField completionForPrefix:(NSString *)prefix

You may also set a default dataSource for all instances of ARAutocompleteTextView. In the example project, we use a ARAutocompleteManager singleton:

 [autocompleteTextOffset setDefaultAutocompleteDataSource:[ARAutocompleteManager sharedManager]];

Positioning and Formatting

To adjust the position of the autocomplete label by a fixed amount, set autocompleteTextOffset:

textField.autocompleteTextOffset = CGPointMake(10.0, 10.0);

For more dynamic positioning of the autocomplete label, subclass ARAutocompleteTextView and override - (CGRect)autocompleteRectForBounds:(CGRect)bounds.

To adjust the properties (i.e. font, textColor) of the autocomplete label, do so via the `[AutocompleteTextField autocompleteLabel] property.

textField.autocompleteLabel.textColor = [UIColor grayColor];

Event Listening

In addition to observing the standard UITextView notifications (i.e. UITextViewTextDidChangeNotification and friends), you can use [ARAutocompleteTextView autoCompleteTextFieldDelegate] to listen for certain events. This is particularly useful if you are collecting analytics.


  • Use this in your apps whenever you can, particularly email addresses -- your users will appreciate it!
  • Contributions are very welcome.
  • Attribution is appreciated (let's spread the word!), but not mandatory.

Use it? Love/hate it?

Tweet the author @alexruperez, and check out alexruperez's blog: http://alexruperez.com

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*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the ARAutocompleteTextView README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.