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Using SnapKit with UIKit Views

iOS, SnapKit, Auto Layout2 min read

Auto Layout is an essential part of iOS app development, allowing you to create flexible and adaptive user interfaces. However, working with Auto Layout constraints using the traditional NSLayoutConstraint API can be cumbersome and error-prone. SnapKit is a popular third-party library that provides a more intuitive and expressive syntax for creating Auto Layout constraints in UIKit-based applications. In this article, we'll explore how to use SnapKit with UIKit views and see how it can streamline your constraint code.

Installing SnapKit

Before we dive into using SnapKit, let's make sure it is installed in your project. SnapKit can be easily added using CocoaPods, a popular dependency manager for iOS projects. To install SnapKit with CocoaPods, follow these steps:

  1. Open Terminal and navigate to your project's directory.
  2. Create a Podfile by running the command pod init.
  3. Open the Podfile using a text editor and add the following line to the appropriate target:
1pod 'SnapKit'
  1. Save the Podfile and run pod install in Terminal.
  2. Once the installation is complete, close Xcode and open the .xcworkspace file created by CocoaPods.

SnapKit is now ready to be used in your project!

Creating Constraints with SnapKit

To demonstrate how SnapKit simplifies the process of creating Auto Layout constraints, let's consider a simple scenario where we have a UILabel centered horizontally and vertically within its superview.

  1. Import the SnapKit framework at the top of your file:
1import SnapKit
  1. Create an instance of the UILabel:
1let label = UILabel()
2label.text = "Hello, SnapKit!"
  1. Add the label to its superview (e.g., a UIView):
  1. Use SnapKit to define the constraints:
1label.snp.makeConstraints { make in
2 make.centerX.equalToSuperview()
3 make.centerY.equalToSuperview()

By chaining methods like equalToSuperview() and equalTo() with the appropriate attributes, SnapKit allows you to define constraints in a more readable and declarative manner.

Additional SnapKit Features

SnapKit offers a range of features that go beyond basic constraint creation. Here are a few examples:

Aspect Ratio

SnapKit makes it easy to define aspect ratio constraints for views. For instance, if you want a UIView to maintain a specific aspect ratio of 1:1, you can use the aspectRatio method:

1view.snp.makeConstraints { make in
2 make.width.equalTo(view.snp.height)
3 make.aspectRatio(1.0, contentMode: .fit)

Insets and Margins

SnapKit also provides methods to apply insets and margins to views. For example, you can add 16 points of padding to all sides of a UILabel using the inset method:

1label.snp.makeConstraints { make in
2 make.edges.equalToSuperview().inset(16)


SnapKit allows you to specify the priority of constraints using the priority method. This can be useful when you have conflicting constraints and need to

prioritize one over the other:

1label.snp.makeConstraints { make in
2 make.leading.equalToSuperview().priority(.high)
3 make.trailing.equalToSuperview().priority(.low)

Wrapping Up

SnapKit offers many more features beyond what we've covered here, so I encourage you to explore its documentation for a deeper understanding of its capabilities. Start integrating SnapKit into your UIKit-based projects and experience the benefits it brings to your Auto Layout workflow.