Extended NSCollectionView & NSTableView: Cell- & ItemRegistration, SwiftUI table cells/collection view items,…

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Advanced NSCollectionView & NSTableView

A framework for NSCollectionView and NSTableView. It provides a collection of classes and extensions, many of them being ports of missing UIKit APIs.

Take a look at the included sample app which demonstrates most features.

For a full documentation take a look at the Online Documentation.

NSCollectionView ItemRegistration & NSTableView CellRegistration

A registration for collection view items and table cells that greatly simplifies configurating them. A port of UICollectionView.CellRegistration.

struct GalleryItem {
    let title: String
    let image: NSImage

let tableCellRegistration = NSTableView.CellRegistration<NSTableCellView, GalleryItem> { 
    tableCell, column, row, galleryItem in
    tableCell.textField.stringValue = galleryItem.title
    tableCell.imageView.image = galleryItem.image
    // Gets called whenever the state of the item changes (e.g. on selection)
    tableCell.configurationUpdateHandler = { tableCell, state in
        // Updates the text color based on selection state.
        tableCell.textField.textColor = state.isSelected ? .controlAccentColor : .labelColor


Configurates styling and content for a content view. A port of UIContentConfiguration`.

NSCollectionviewItem, NSTableCellView and NSTableRowView provide contentConfiguration where you can apply them to configurate the content of the item/cell.


A content configuration suitable for hosting a hierarchy of SwiftUI views.

With this configuration you can easily display a SwiftUI view in a collection item and table cell:

collectionViewItem.contentConfiguration = NSHostingConfiguration {
    HStack {
        Image(systemName: "star").foregroundStyle(.purple)


A content configuration for a table view cell.


var content = tableCell.defaultContentConfiguration()

// Configure content
content.text = "Text"
content.secondaryText = #"SecondaryText\\nImage displays a system image named "photo""#
content.image = NSImage(systemSymbolName: "photo")

// Customize appearance
content.textProperties.font = .body
content.imageProperties.tintColor = .controlAccentColor

tableCell.contentConfiguration = content


A content configuration for a collection view item.


public var content = collectionViewItem.defaultContentConfiguration()

// Configure content
content.text = "Text"
content.secondaryText = "SecondaryText"
content.image = NSImage(systemSymbolName: "Astronaut Cat")

// Customize appearance
content.secondaryTextProperties.font = .callout

collectionViewItem.contentConfiguration = content

NSCollectionView Reconfigure Items

Updates the data for the items without reloading and replacing them. It provides much better performance compared to reloading items. A port of UICollectionView.reconfigureItems.

Any item that has been registered via ItemRegistration, or by class using register(_ itemClass: NSCollectionViewItem.Type), can be recofigurated.

collectionView.reconfigureItems(at: indexPaths)

NSTableView Cell Registration by Class

Apple only allows registering NSTableCellView using NSNib. This framework lets you register table cell class.


let dequeuedTableCell = tableView.makeView(for: NSTableCellView.self)

NSCollectionView- & NSTableViewDiffableDataSource Item Deletion

Enable deleting items via backspace via DeletingHandlers:

// Allow every item to be deleted
dataSource.deletingHandlers.canDelete = { items in return true }

// Update the backing store from the final item identifiers
dataSource.deletingHandlers.didDelete = { [weak self] items, transaction in
    guard let self = self else { return }
    self.backingStore = transaction.finalSnapshot.itemIdentifiers

NSDiffableDataSourceSnapshot Apply Options

Apple's apply(_:animatingDifferences:completion:) provides two options for applying snapshots to a diffable data source depending on animatingDifferences:

  • true applies a diff of the old and new state and animates updates in the UI.
  • false is equivalent to calling reloadData(). It reloads every item.

NSDiffableDataSourceSnapshotApplyOption lets you perform a diff even without animations for much better performance compared to using Apple's reloadData().

It also provides additional options:

  • usingReloadData: All items get reloaded.
  • animated(withDuration: CGFloat): Changes get applied animated.
  • nonAnimated: Changes get applied immediatly.
diffableDataSource.apply(mySnapshot, .withoutAnimation)

diffableDataSource.apply(mySnapshot, .animated(3.0))


An extended `NSCollectionViewDiffableDataSource that provides:

  • Reordering items by dragging them via reorderingHandlers
  • Deleting items via backspace via deletingHandlers
  • Quicklook previews of items via spacebar by providing items conforming to QuicklookPreviewable
  • Right click menu provider for selected items

It includes handlers for:

  • Prefetching items
  • Selecting items
  • Highlighting items
  • Displaying items
  • Hovering items with the mouse.
  • Pinching of the collection view


Simliar to CollectionViewDiffableDataSource.

Quicklook for NSTableView & NSCollectionView

NSCollectionView/NSTableView isQuicklookPreviewable enables quicklook of selected items/cells via spacebar.

There are several ways to provide quicklook previews (see FZQuicklook for an extended documentation):

  • Diffable collection view & table view datasource with an ItemIdentifierType conforming to QuicklookPreviewable:
struct GalleryItem: QuicklookPreviewable {
    let title: String
    let imageURL: URL
    // The file url for the quicklook preview.
    let previewItemURL: URL? {
        return imageURL
    // The quicklook preview title displayed on the top of the Quicklook panel.
    let previewItemTitle: String? {
        return title

let itemRegistration = NSCollectionView.ItemRegistration<NSCollectionViewItem, GalleryItem>() { collectionItem, indexPath, galleryItem in 
    // configurate …
collectionView.dataSource = NSCollectionViewDiffableDataSource<Section, GalleryItem>(collectionView: collectionView, itemRegistration: ItemRegistration)

collectionView.isQuicklookPreviewable = true
  • NSCollectionViewItemss & NSTableCellViews quicklookPreview: QuicklookPreviewable? property:
collectionViewItem.quicklookPreview = URL(fileURLWithPath: "someFile.png")


Add AdvancedCollectionTableView to your app's Package.swift file, or selecting File -> Add Package Dependencies in Xcode:

.package(url: "")

If you clone the repo, you can run the sample app, which demonstrates most of the API`s.


  • Swift Tools 5.5.0
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Last updated: Mon Jun 10 2024 05:57:19 GMT-0900 (Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time)