Creating custom views in iOS for multiple reuse

Jan 7 · 3 min read

This is a repost of an answer I wrote on Stack Overflow.

When you find yourself reusing a view layout over and over, this is a good candidate for creating a custom view. The directions below are a basic walk through using Swift.

Add custom view files

The following two files will form your custom view:

  • .xib file to contain the layout
  • .swift file as UIView subclass

The details for adding them are below.

Xib file

Add a .xib file to your project (File > New > File… > User Interface > View). I am calling mine ReusableCustomView.xib.

Create the layout that you want your custom view to have. As an example, I will make a layout with a UILabel and a UIButton. It is a good idea to use auto layout so that things will resize automatically no matter what size you set it to later. (I used Freeform for the xib size in the Attributes inspector so that I could adjust the simulated metrics, but this isn't necessary.)

Swift file

Add a .swift file to your project (File > New > File… > Source > Swift File). It is a subclass of UIView and I am calling mine ReusableCustomView.swift.

import UIKit
class ResuableCustomView: UIView {

Make the Swift file the owner

Go back to your .xib file and click on “File’s Owner” in the Document Outline. In the Identity Inspector write the name of your .swift file as the custom class name.

Add Custom View Code

Replace the ReusableCustomView.swift file's contents with the following code:

import UIKit@IBDesignable
class ResuableCustomView: UIView {
let nibName = "ReusableCustomView"
var contentView:UIView?
@IBOutlet weak var label: UILabel! @IBAction func buttonTap(_ sender: UIButton) {
label.text = "Hi"
required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
super.init(coder: aDecoder)
override init(frame: CGRect) {
super.init(frame: frame)
func commonInit() {
guard let view = loadViewFromNib() else { return }
view.frame = self.bounds
contentView = view
func loadViewFromNib() -> UIView? {
let bundle = Bundle(for: type(of: self))
let nib = UINib(nibName: nibName, bundle: bundle)
return nib.instantiate(withOwner: self, options: nil).first as? UIView

Be sure to get the spelling right for the name of your .xib file.

Hook up the Outlets and Actions

Hook up the outlets and actions by control dragging from the label and button in the xib layout to the swift custom view code.

Use you custom view

Your custom view is finished now. All you have to do is add a UIView wherever you want it in your main storyboard. Set the class name of the view to ReusableCustomView in the Identity Inspector.

I originally learned a lot of this from watching this Youtube video series. Later I updated my answer based on this article, and still later from this comment. Thanks to all. The current version has been tested with Swift 4.


Written by


An Android and iOS developer who has transitioned to Flutter.

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