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How to Use SFSymbols with UIImageView

iOS development, SFSymbols, UIImageView2 min read

If you're an iOS developer, you've probably heard of SFSymbols. These are a set of over 3,000 icons that Apple introduced in iOS 13, designed to be easy to use and highly customizable. You can use them in your app's user interface to provide visual cues, such as indicating a button's purpose or showing the current state of a feature.

One great way to incorporate SFSymbols into your app is by using them with UIImageView. UIImageView is a standard view that displays images, and it's super simple to use. Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Choose Your Symbol

The first step is to choose which symbol you want to use. You can browse all of the available symbols in Apple's SF Symbols app (available for free on the App Store), or you can search for a specific symbol using the search bar at the top of the window.

Once you've found the symbol you want, take note of its name. This will be important in the next steps.

Step 2: Add the Symbol to Your Project

The next step is to add the symbol to your Xcode project. To do this, simply drag and drop the symbol from the SF Symbols app onto your project's asset catalog. Xcode will automatically generate the necessary files for you.

Alternatively, you can download the symbol directly from the SF Symbols website and add it to your project manually.

Step 3: Create the UIImageView

Now it's time to create the UIImageView that will display the symbol. You can do this in Interface Builder or programmatically, depending on your preference.

To create the UIImageView in Interface Builder, simply drag a UIImageView from the Object Library onto your storyboard or xib file. Then, select the image view and open the Attributes Inspector. In the Image field, type the name of the symbol you want to display (e.g. "").

To create the UIImageView programmatically, you'll need to use the UIImage(systemName:) initializer. Here's an example:

1let imageView = UIImageView(image: UIImage(systemName: ""))

Step 4: Customize the Appearance

By default, the symbol will be displayed in its standard color and size. However, you can customize these attributes to fit your app's design.

To change the color of the symbol, simply set the tintColor property of the UIImageView:

1imageView.tintColor = .red

To adjust the size of the symbol, you can set the contentMode property of the UIImageView to .scaleAspectFit or .scaleAspectFill, depending on your needs:

1imageView.contentMode = .scaleAspectFit

In addition to these properties, you can also adjust the alpha, corner radius, and other attributes of the UIImageView as you would with any other view.


Using SFSymbols with UIImageView is a quick and easy way to add scalable vector graphics to your iOS app. By following these simple steps, you can customize your app's user interface and provide visual cues to your users.