Working with Toolbar in SwiftUI

Updated on May 14th, 2021

⏱ Reading Time: 2 mins

This is a post contributed to AppCoda. Here you can read only the introduction.

SwiftUI is a great framework in order to build user interfaces, as it speeds up and automates many tasks comparing to UIKit. However several features were missing during the original release. Thankfully, over the course of time SwiftUI gets better, enriched with more capabilities and provides more and more built-in tools to use.

One of those missing features in the first release was the toolbar; the control we all know from UIKit that allows to place navigation and action buttons at the top or the bottom of a view. That absence lasted for almost a year though, as toolbar has become natively available in SwiftUI starting with iOS 14.

Once one gets the grasp of the toolbars, using them in SwiftUI turns to be a piece of cake. There are a few small details to know of and keep in mind, but we are going to meet all that in this post using a demo app that I’m discussing about right next. There is a downside with toolbars in SwiftUI, and that is that it cannot be used in iOS versions less than 14. If you are planning to support both iOS 13 and 14+, then I’m afraid that you are a bit out of luck, but not entirely. You may use the view modifiers related to the navigation bar instead of a toolbar at the top. However, implementing a custom view seems to be unavoidable as a replacement for the bottom toolbar, at least for iOS 13.

Right next I’m presenting a simple application that I’m using to demonstrate how toolbars are implemented and work in SwiftUI. Summarizing what is about to come next, we are going to see how to place toolbar items both at the top and bottom, as well as at toolbars inside modal sheets. We’ll talk about their placement and how we can be as flexible as possible while laying out both the toolbars, and the toolbar items. In addition, you will also find out how to create reusable toolbars and save yourself from repeating similar code. All that are just about to unfold in this post, so read on to explore their details.

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