3.2. Defining Horizontal and Vertical Constraints with the Visual Format Language

Problem

You want to be able to define constraints that change the way a UI component is horizontally or vertically aligned on its superview.

Solution

Use the H: orientation specifier in the formatting string for your constraint to dictate horizontal alignment, and the V: orientation specifier to dictate vertical alignment.

Discussion

I won’t pretend the Visual Format Language is easy to understand. It is indeed very cryptic. For this reason, I will give you a few examples that hopefully will clear things up. All of these examples will change the horizontal alignment of a button on the screen (Figure 3-4).

Three simple examples of the usage of the Visual Format Language for horizontal constraints

Figure 3-4. Three simple examples of the usage of the Visual Format Language for horizontal constraints

As you can see, the formatting might take you some time to get used to. However, once you get the hang of the basics of it, it will slowly start to make sense. The same rules apply for vertical alignment, which uses the V: orientation specifier. Figure 3-5 shows an example.

An example of setting vertical alignment using the Visual Format Language

Figure 3-5. An example of setting vertical alignment using the Visual Format Language

Let’s put the things that we have learned so far into practice. How about writing constraints using the Visual Format Language that represent a UI similar ...

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