Saturday, October 29, 2011

iOS 5 Tutorial: Creating a Custom Tab Bar Controller

I'm currently revamping an iPhone app that I made for the New Student Orientation Program at Columbia University. The app has this beautiful custom tab bar that my friend designed and so I am re-implementing it for iOS 5.

I literally just spent the last three hours figuring out how to do this so hopefully I can save you all time.

Finished Product:

1. Create a New Tabbed Application.

2. Go to the MainStoryboard file and drag and drop three view controllers and connect them to the tab bar controller.

When You're Finished You Should Have Five Views Connected Like This:

Note: Go to the right sidebar and delete the title for each of the toolbar buttons as well. Like this:

3. Because this is a tutorial about creating a custom tab bar, it's not necessary to create custom view controllers so I'm just going to use the auto generated FirstViewController.m file to do all of the work.

Download These Images: here.

My friend made these and so you can just download them and add them to your project. All of the images are 64px x 49px since 320px width / 5 = 64 px, and 49 px high because we thought that looked good.

The dark blue is for when the view is selected and the light blue is for when the view is unselected.

Note: The images were hard to format in Blogger hence the mess.

4. Drag and drop the downloaded images into your project.

 5. Go to the FirstViewController.m file and add the following code below in the viewDidLoad method. The code essentially says that for each tab bar item at the index, when selected set the image to the dark blue image and when the tab bar item is unselected set it to the light blue image.

 6. Build and run and you should be good to go.

Download Project Here: here.


raghu said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I'm a newbie to ios 5 programming.
I tried implementing the same for iPad device. It worked well, but why doesn't the screen re-size when changed from Potrait to Landscape??

Arnie said...

I see your on haitus, but am hoping you will peek up long enough to help me for a second. I'm brand new to iOS and xcode, so I love that you have all these tutorials! Unfortunately for me, you assume a bit more sophistication than I have. In step #2 you say connect the view controller to the tab bar controller, and I have no idea how to do that. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Cyber Clay said...

Thanks for the tutorial..

Jason said...

Thank you for another wonderful tutorial!

You can connect the view controller to the tab bar controller by Control-clicking on the tab bar controller and dragging the cursor over the view controller, then releasing.

Roberto said...

Thanks buddy.. Nice tutorial!

Ricardo said...

There is something wrong. Your button's images are about 4 points up, that is,they have an offset.
I you create these images with a little alpha, you will see the problem very well, apart from that, you see a strange 4 points line at the bottom.
How can we solve this?
I asked that here:

surender said...

Hey Ricardo... even i am facing the same problem
did you get the solution to resolve this problem.

Unknown said...

Thanks! This really helped out a lot!

sabeer mohammed said...

Really good and easy to use

Keven B said...

Thanks, saved me a lot time.