Introspect underlying UIKit components from SwiftUI

Introspect for SwiftUI

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Introspect allows you to get the underlying UIKit or AppKit element of a SwiftUI view.

For instance, with Introspect you can access UITableView to modify separators, or UINavigationController to customize the tab bar.

How it works

Introspect works by adding a custom IntrospectionView to the view hierarchy, then looking into the UIKit hierarchy to find the relevant view.

For instance, when introspecting a TextField, it will:

  • Add IntrospectionView as an overlay of TextField
  • Get the view host of the introspection view (which is alongside the view host of the UITextField)
  • Get the previous sibling containing UITextField

Please note that this introspection method might break in future SwiftUI releases. Future implementations might not use the same hierarchy, or might not use UIKit elements that are being looked for. Though the library is unlikely to crash, the .introspect() method will not be called in those cases.

Usage in production

Introspect is meant to be used in production. It does not use any private API. It only inspects the view hierarchy using publicly available methods. The library takes a defensive approach to inspecting the view hierarchy: there is no hard assumption that elements are laid out a certain way, there is no force-cast to UIKit classes, and the introspect() methods are simply ignored if UIKit views cannot be found.




pod "Introspect"



SwiftUI UIKit AppKit Introspect
NavigationView (StackNavigationViewStyle) UINavigationController N/A .introspectNavigationController()
NavigationView (DoubleColumnNavigationViewStyle) UISplitViewController N/A .introspectSplitViewController()
Any embedded view UIViewController N/A .introspectViewController()
ScrollView UIScrollView NSScrollView .introspectScrollView()
List UITableView NSTableView .introspectTableView()
View in List UITableViewCell NSTableCellView introspectTableViewCell()
TabView UITabBarController NSTabView .introspectTabBarController() (iOS)
.introspectTabView() (macOS)
TextField UITextField NSTextField .introspectTextField()
Toggle UISwitch NSButton .introspectSwitch() (iOS)
.introspectButton() (macOS)
Slider UISlider NSSlider .introspectSlider()
Stepper UIStepper NSStepper .introspectStepper()
DatePicker UIDatePicker NSDatePicker .introspectDatePicker()
Picker (SegmentedPickerStyle) UISegmentedControl NSSegmentedControl .introspectSegmentedControl()
Button N/A NSButton .introspectButton()
ColorPicker UIColorWell NSColorWell .introspectColorWell()
TabView UITextView NSTextView .introspectTextView()

Missing an element? Please create an issue. As a temporary solution, you can implement your own selector.

Cannot implement

SwiftUI Affected Frameworks Why
Text UIKit, AppKit Not a UILabel / NSLabel
Image UIKit, AppKit Not a UIImageView / NSImageView
Button UIKit Not a UIButton



List {
    Text("Item 1")
    Text("Item 2")
.introspectTableView { tableView in
    tableView.separatorStyle = .none
.introspectTableViewCell { cell in
    let backgroundView = UIView()
    backgroundView.backgroundColor = .clear
    cell.selectedBackgroundView = backgroundView


ScrollView {
    Text("Item 2")
.introspectScrollView { scrollView in
    scrollView.refreshControl = UIRefreshControl()


NavigationView {
    Text("Item 2")
    .introspectNavigationController { navigationController in
        navigationController.navigationBar.backgroundColor = .red


TextField("Text Field", text: $textFieldValue)
.introspectTextField { textField in
    textField.layer.backgroundColor =

Implement your own selector

Missing an element? Please create an issue.

In case Introspect doesn't support the SwiftUI element that you're looking for, you can implement your own selector. For example, to look for a UITextField:

extension View {
    public func introspectTextField(customize: @escaping (UITextField) -> ()) -> some View {
        return inject(UIKitIntrospectionView(
            selector: { introspectionView in
                guard let viewHost = Introspect.findViewHost(from: introspectionView) else {
                    return nil
                return Introspect.previousSibling(containing: UITextField.self, from: viewHost)
            customize: customize

You can use any of the following methods to inspect the hierarchy:

  • Introspect.findChild(ofType:in:)
  • Introspect.findChildUsingFrame(ofType:in:from:)
  • Introspect.previousSibling(containing:from:)
  • Introspect.nextSibling(containing:from:)
  • Introspect.findAncestor(ofType:from:)
  • Introspect.findHostingView(from:)
  • Introspect.findViewHost(from:)


  • Increment version number:
$ bundle exec fastlane run increment_version_number bump_type:minor # major|minor|patch
  • Update changelog with new version
  • Bump version in Introspect.podspec
  • Commit and push changes
  • Tag new version:
$ git tag -a <VERSION> -m "<MESSAGE>"
$ git push origin --tags
  • Push to cocoapods trunk:
$ bundle exec pod trunk push .


  • Swift Tools 5.1.0
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Last updated: Fri Dec 01 2023 16:23:55 GMT-1000 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)