Custom UITableViewCell Using Interface Builder

Hey everyone, welcome to my first of many screencasts coming in the next few weeks. Today I am going to show you how to layout a UITableViewCell in Interface Builder and have a UITableView populate with those type of cells. I am adopting a new structure for my screencasts which will be 5 or so mintues of keynote slides giving background info followed by 20 – 25 mintues of step by step development. The entire video will be directly below this paragraph, but scrolling down you will see a text based step by step of the whole tutorial as well. Hope you guys enjoy.

Skill Level MEDIUM

Here is a link to the screencast to watch. We are working on getting an embedded version in, but I figure this is basically just as functional. Have fun!

Custom UITableViewCell Screencast Video

Source Code

Available Here

Background Information












Building The App

Step 1


This step shouldn’t require any extra information.

Step 2



Step 3


In CustomTableCellTutorialViewController.m you must define the two required UITableViewDataSource methods. These methods will fill up the table view with data. For now we will put in dummy data just to make sure all of our connections are working.

– (NSInteger)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView numberOfRowsInSection:(NSInteger)section


return 10;


– (UITableViewCell *)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView cellForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath


static NSString *CellIdentifier = @”Cell”;

UITableViewCell *cell = [tableView dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:CellIdentifier];

if (cell == nil){

cell = [[[UITableViewCell alloc] initWithStyle:UITableViewCellStyleDefault reuseIdentifier:CellIdentifier] autorelease];


[cell setText:[NSString stringWithFormat:@”I am cell %d”, indexPath.row]];

return cell;


Step 4


Here you will need to be in xCode and go to File -> New File…

Select Objective C Class and make sure it is a UITableViewCell subclass, depending on your version of the SDK selecting this will differ. Look around and you will find it, call it iCodeBlogCustomCell. With this done enter these IBOutlets in the iCodeBlogCustomCell.h file enter the following IBOutlets:

IBOutlet UILabel *articleName;
IBOutlet UILabel *authorName;
IBOutlet UILabel *date;

IBOutlet UIImageView *imageView;
IBOutlet UIView *viewForBackground;

Add the @property and synthesize them in the main.

Step 5


This step does not require and code but does require a lot of work in Interface Builder. I highly recommend you watch the screencast to see the step by step procedure here. Essentially what I do is create a new View XIB file. Opening this, I delete the standard UIView in the XIB and drag a UITableViewCell from my library into my document window. I assign the UITableViewCell to be of type iCodeBlogCustomCell. With this done layout the interface with the proper elements and hook them up by right clicking on the UITableViewCell in the document window.

Step 6


This is where the real magic is. We are going to return to CustomTableCellTutorialViewController.m and edit the UITableViewDataSource methods we implemented earlier. The code I use has me putting in 4 separate PNG files that I add to my project. You can find your own to put inside the cells. Make sure the UIImageView inside the cell is set for Aspect Fit so you don’t have to worry about resizing the images. The functions should be changed to be:

– (NSInteger)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView numberOfRowsInSection:(NSInteger)section
return 100;

– (UITableViewCell *)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView cellForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath
static NSString *CellIdentifier = @”iCodeBlogCustomCell”;

iCodeBlogCustomCell *cell = [tableView dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:CellIdentifier];

if (cell == nil){
NSLog(@”New Cell Made”);

NSArray *topLevelObjects = [[NSBundle mainBundle] loadNibNamed:@”iCodeBlogCustomCell” owner:nil options:nil];

for(id currentObject in topLevelObjects)
if([currentObject isKindOfClass:[iCodeBlogCustomCell class]])
cell = (iCodeBlogCustomCell *)currentObject;


if(indexPath.row % 4 == 0)
[[cell authorName] setText:@”Collin Ruffenach”];
[[cell articleName] setText:@”Test Article 1″];
[[cell date] setText:@”May 5th, 2009″];
[[cell imageView] setImage:[UIImage imageNamed:@”1.png”]];

else if(indexPath.row % 4 == 1)
[[cell authorName] setText:@”Steve Jobs”];
[[cell articleName] setText:@”Why iPhone will rule the world”];
[[cell date] setText:@”May 5th, 2010″];
[[cell imageView] setImage:[UIImage imageNamed:@”2.png”]];

else if(indexPath.row % 4 == 2)
[[cell authorName] setText:@”The Woz”];
[[cell articleName] setText:@”Why I’m coming back to Apple”];
[[cell date] setText:@”May 5th, 2012″];
[[cell imageView] setImage:[UIImage imageNamed:@”3.png”]];

else if(indexPath.row % 4 == 3)

[[cell authorName] setText:@”Aaron Hillegass”];
[[cell articleName] setText:@”Cocoa: A Brief Introduction”];
[[cell date] setText:@”May 5th, 2004″];
[[cell imageView] setImage:[UIImage imageNamed:@”4.png”]];


return cell;


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