Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

Preferences

Add a preferences window to your macOS app in minutes

Just pass in some view controllers and this package will take care of the rest.

Requirements

  • macOS 10.10+
  • Xcode 11+
  • Swift 5.1+

Install

SwiftPM

.package(url: "https://github.com/sindresorhus/Preferences", from: "1.0.1")

Carthage

github "sindresorhus/Preferences"

CocoaPods

pod 'Preferences'

Usage

Run the PreferencesExample target in Xcode to try a live example.

First, create some preference pane identifiers:

import Preferences

extension PreferencePane.Identifier {
	static let general = Identifier("general")
	static let advanced = Identifier("advanced")
}

Second, create a couple of view controllers for the preference panes you want. The only difference from implementing a normal view controller is that you have to add the PreferencePane protocol and implement the preferencePaneIdentifier, toolbarItemTitle, and toolbarItemIcon properties, as shown below. You can leave out toolbarItemIcon if you're using the .segmentedControl style.

GeneralPreferenceViewController.swift

import Cocoa
import Preferences

final class GeneralPreferenceViewController: NSViewController, PreferencePane {
	let preferencePaneIdentifier = PreferencePane.Identifier.general
	let preferencePaneTitle = "General"
	let toolbarItemIcon = NSImage(named: NSImage.preferencesGeneralName)!

	override var nibName: NSNib.Name? { "GeneralPreferenceViewController" }

	override func viewDidLoad() {
		super.viewDidLoad()

		// Setup stuff here
	}
}

AdvancedPreferenceViewController.swift

import Cocoa
import Preferences

final class AdvancedPreferenceViewController: NSViewController, PreferencePane {
	let preferencePaneIdentifier = PreferencePane.Identifier.advanced
	let preferencePaneTitle = "Advanced"
	let toolbarItemIcon = NSImage(named: NSImage.advancedName)!

	override var nibName: NSNib.Name? { "AdvancedPreferenceViewController" }

	override func viewDidLoad() {
		super.viewDidLoad()

		// Setup stuff here
	}
}

In the AppDelegate, initialize a new PreferencesWindowController and pass it the view controllers. Then add an action outlet for the Preferences… menu item to show the preferences window.

AppDelegate.swift

import Cocoa
import Preferences

@NSApplicationMain
final class AppDelegate: NSObject, NSApplicationDelegate {
	@IBOutlet private var window: NSWindow!

	lazy var preferencesWindowController = PreferencesWindowController(
		preferencePanes: [
			GeneralPreferenceViewController(),
			AdvancedPreferenceViewController()
		]
	)

	func applicationDidFinishLaunching(_ notification: Notification) {}

	@IBAction
	func preferencesMenuItemActionHandler(_ sender: NSMenuItem) {
		preferencesWindowController.show()
	}
}

Preferences Tab Styles

When you create the PreferencesWindowController, you can choose between the NSToolbarItem-based style (default) and the NSSegmentedControl:

// …
lazy var preferencesWindowController = PreferencesWindowController(
	preferencePanes: [
		GeneralPreferenceViewController(),
		AdvancedPreferenceViewController()
	],
	style: .segmentedControl
)
// …

.toolbarItem style:

NSToolbarItem based (default)

.segmentedControl style:

NSSegmentedControl based

API

public protocol PreferencePane: NSViewController {
	var preferencePaneIdentifier: PreferencePane.Identifier { get }
	var preferencePaneTitle: String { get }
	var toolbarItemIcon: NSImage { get } // Not required when using the .`segmentedControl` style
}

public enum PreferencesStyle {
	case toolbarItems
	case segmentedControl
}

public final class PreferencesWindowController: NSWindowController {
	init(
		preferencePanes: [PreferencePane],
		style: PreferencesStyle = .toolbarItems,
		animated: Bool = true,
		hidesToolbarForSingleItem: Bool = true
	)

	func show(preferencePane: PreferencePane.Identifier? = nil)
}

As with any NSWindowController, call NSWindowController#close() to close the preferences window.

Recommendation

The easiest way to create the user interface within each pane is to use a NSGridView in Interface Builder. See the example project in this repo for a demo.

Known issues

The preferences window doesn't show

This can happen when you are not using auto-layout or have not set a size for the view controller. You can fix this by either using auto-layout or setting an explicit size, for example, preferredContentSize in viewDidLoad(). We intend to fix this.

There are no animations on macOS 10.13 and earlier

The animated parameter of PreferencesWindowController.init has no effect on macOS 10.13 or earlier as those versions don't support NSViewController.TransitionOptions.crossfade.

FAQ

How can I localize the window title?

The PreferencesWindowController adheres to the macOS Human Interface Guidelines and uses this set of rules to determine the window title:

  • Multiple preference panes: Uses the currently selected preferencePaneTitle as the window title. Localize your preferencePaneTitles to get localized window titles.
  • Single preference pane: Sets the window title to APPNAME Preferences. The app name is obtained from your app's bundle. You can localize its Info.plist to customize the title. The Preferences part is taken from the "Preferences…" menu item, see #12. The order of lookup for the app name from your bundle:
    1. CFBundleDisplayName
    2. CFBundleName
    3. CFBundleExecutable
    4. Fall back to "<Unknown App Name>" to show you're missing some settings.

Why should I use this instead of just manually implementing it myself?

It can't be that hard right? Well, turns out it is:

How is it better than MASPreferences?

  • Written in Swift. (No bridging header!)
  • Swifty API using a protocol.
  • Supports segmented control style tabs.
  • Fully documented.
  • Adheres to the macOS Human Interface Guidelines.
  • The window title is automatically localized by using the system string.

Related

You might also like Sindre's apps.

Used in these apps

Want to tell the world about your app that is using Preferences? Open a PR!

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