ios - top - uilabel vertical alignment programmatically

Vertically align text to top within a UILabel (20)

  1. Set the new text:

    myLabel.text = @"Some Text"
  2. Set the maximum number of lines to 0 (automatic):

    myLabel.numberOfLines = 0
  3. Set the frame of the label to the maximum size:

    myLabel.frame = CGRectMake(20,20,200,800)
  4. Call sizeToFit to reduce the frame size so the contents just fit:

    [myLabel sizeToFit]

The labels frame is now just high and wide enough to fit your text. The top left should be unchanged. I have tested this only with top left aligned text. For other alignments, you might have to modify the frame afterwards.

Also, my label has word wrapping enabled.

I have a UILabel with space for two lines of text. Sometimes, when the text is too short, this text is displayed in the vertical center of the label.

How do I vertically align the text to always be at the top of the UILabel?

In Interface Builder

  • Set UILabel to size of biggest possible Text
  • Set Lines to '0' in Attributes Inspector

In your code

  • Set the text of the label
  • Call sizeToFit on your label

Code Snippet:

self.myLabel.text = @"Short Title";
[self.myLabel sizeToFit];

Storyboard solution: The simplest and easiest way is to embed Label in StackView and setting StackView's Axis to Horizontal, Alignment to Top in Attribute Inspector from Storyboard.

An even quicker (and dirtier) way to accomplish this is by setting the UILabel's line break mode to "Clip" and adding a fixed amount of newlines.

myLabel.lineBreakMode = UILineBreakModeClip;
myLabel.text = [displayString stringByAppendingString:"\n\n\n\n"];

This solution won't work for everyone -- in particular, if you still want to show "..." at the end of your string if it exceeds the number of lines you're showing, you'll need to use one of the longer bits of code -- but for a lot of cases this'll get you what you need.

Create a new class


.h file

#import <UIKit/UIKit.h>

@interface KwLabelTopAlign : UILabel {



.m file

#import "KwLabelTopAlign.h"

@implementation KwLabelTopAlign

- (void)drawTextInRect:(CGRect)rect {
    int lineHeight = [@"IglL" sizeWithFont:self.font constrainedToSize:CGSizeMake(rect.size.width, 9999.0f)].height;
    if(rect.size.height >= lineHeight) {
        int textHeight = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font constrainedToSize:CGSizeMake(rect.size.width, rect.size.height)].height;
        int yMax = textHeight;
        if (self.numberOfLines > 0) {
            yMax = MIN(lineHeight*self.numberOfLines, yMax);    

        [super drawTextInRect:CGRectMake(rect.origin.x, rect.origin.y, rect.size.width, yMax)];



Here's a simpler implementation that does the same:

#import "KwLabelTopAlign.h"

@implementation KwLabelTopAlign

- (void)drawTextInRect:(CGRect)rect
    CGFloat height = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font
    if (self.numberOfLines != 0) {
        height = MIN(height, self.font.lineHeight * self.numberOfLines);
    rect.size.height = MIN(rect.size.height, height);
    [super drawTextInRect:rect];


Create a subclass of UILabel. Works like a charm:

// TopLeftLabel.h

#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

@interface TopLeftLabel : UILabel 


// TopLeftLabel.m

#import "TopLeftLabel.h"

@implementation TopLeftLabel

- (id)initWithFrame:(CGRect)frame 
    return [super initWithFrame:frame];

- (CGRect)textRectForBounds:(CGRect)bounds limitedToNumberOfLines:(NSInteger)numberOfLines 
    CGRect textRect = [super textRectForBounds:bounds limitedToNumberOfLines:numberOfLines];    
    textRect.origin.y = bounds.origin.y;
    return textRect;

    CGRect actualRect = [self textRectForBounds:requestedRect limitedToNumberOfLines:self.numberOfLines];
    [super drawTextInRect:actualRect];


As discussed here.

I know this is an old post but vertically aligning text is a HUGE problem (at least for me it is) and I figured that I should share this solution since I couldn't find one myself.

Using drawRect is a little expensive in my opinion. The proper way to get a UILabel to vertically align is to not use a UILabel. Use a UITextView (multiline UITextField) and observe the content property like so:

- (UITextView*)textView{
        UIEdgeInsets insets = UIEdgeInsetsMake(0, 50, 0, 5);
        CGRect frame = CGRectMake(0.0f, 0.0f, 100.0f, 100.0f);
        _textView = [[UITextView alloc]initWithFrame:UIEdgeInsetsInsetRect(frame, insets)];
        _textView.delegate = self;
        _textView.scrollEnabled = YES;
        _textView.bounces = YES;
        _textView.backgroundColor = [UIColor whiteColor];
        [_textView setUserInteractionEnabled:NO];
        [_textView addObserver:self forKeyPath:@"contentSize" options:(NSKeyValueObservingOptionNew) context:NULL];
    return _textView;

 -(void)observeValueForKeyPath:(NSString *)keyPath ofObject:(id)object change:    (NSDictionary *)change context:(void *)context {
UITextView *tv = object;

CGFloat height = [tv bounds].size.height;
CGFloat contentheight;

#ifdef __IPHONE_7_0
    contentheight = [tv sizeThatFits:CGSizeMake(tv.frame.size.width, FLT_MAX)].height;
    contentheight = [tv contentSize].height;

    switch(self.verticalAlignment) {
        case VerticalAlignmentBottom:{
            CGFloat topCorrect = ([tv bounds].size.height - contentheight);
            topCorrect = (topCorrect <0.0 ? 0.0 : topCorrect);
            tv.contentOffset = (CGPoint){.x = 0, .y = -topCorrect};
        case VerticalAlignmentMiddle:{
            CGFloat topCorrect = (height - contentheight * [tv zoomScale])/2.0;
            topCorrect = ( topCorrect < 0.0 ? 0.0 : topCorrect );
            tv.contentOffset = (CGPoint){.x = 0, .y = -topCorrect};
        case VerticalAlignmentTop:{
            tv.contentOffset = (CGPoint){.x = 0, .y = 0 };

Basically what's happening here is we set the class we're in as the observer, looking at the contentSize property with an option of NSKeyValueObservingOptionNew so every time the content changes, -(void)observeValueForKeyPath:ofObject:change:context: will get called and then you can calculate an offset size to align the text appropriately.

I can't take credit for this, the original idea came from here. But, this solution doesn't work on iOS7. After trolling around SO for a few hours, I found this: iOS 7 vertical alignment fix. The key line there is contentheight = [tv sizeThatFits:CGSizeMake(tv.frame.size.width, FLT_MAX)].height;. For some reason in iOS 7, getting the contentSize height doesn't work but that fixes it. Neither of the two solutions worked on their own but after a little tinkering, I was able to synthesize together the above solution.

I took a while to read the code, as well as the code in the introduced page, and found that they all try to modify the frame size of label, so that the default center vertical alignment would not appear.

However, in some cases we do want the label to occupy all those spaces, even if the label does have so much text (e.g. multiple rows with equal height).

Here, I used an alternative way to solve it, by simply pad newlines to the end of label (pls note that I actually inherited the UILabel, but it is not necessary):

CGSize fontSize = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font];

finalHeight = fontSize.height * self.numberOfLines;
finalWidth = size.width;    //expected width of label

CGSize theStringSize = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font constrainedToSize:CGSizeMake(finalWidth, finalHeight) lineBreakMode:self.lineBreakMode];

int newLinesToPad = (finalHeight  - theStringSize.height) / fontSize.height;

for(int i = 0; i < newLinesToPad; i++)
    self.text = [self.text stringByAppendingString:@"\n "];

I wanted to have a label which was able to have multi-lines, a minimum font size, and centred both horizontally and vertically in it's parent view. I added my label programmatically to my view:

- (void) customInit {
    // Setup label
    self.label = [[UILabel alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(0, 0, self.frame.size.width, self.frame.size.height)];
    self.label.numberOfLines = 0;
    self.label.lineBreakMode = UILineBreakModeWordWrap;
    self.label.textAlignment = UITextAlignmentCenter;

    // Add the label as a subview
    self.autoresizesSubviews = YES;
    [self addSubview:self.label];

And then when I wanted to change the text of my label...

- (void) updateDisplay:(NSString *)text {
    if (![text isEqualToString:self.label.text]) {
        // Calculate the font size to use (save to label's font)
        CGSize textConstrainedSize = CGSizeMake(self.frame.size.width, INT_MAX);
        self.label.font = [UIFont systemFontOfSize:TICKER_FONT_SIZE];
        CGSize textSize = [text sizeWithFont:self.label.font constrainedToSize:textConstrainedSize];
        while (textSize.height > self.frame.size.height && self.label.font.pointSize > TICKER_MINIMUM_FONT_SIZE) {
            self.label.font = [UIFont systemFontOfSize:self.label.font.pointSize-1];
            textSize = [ticker.blurb sizeWithFont:self.label.font constrainedToSize:textConstrainedSize];
        // In cases where the frame is still too large (when we're exceeding minimum font size),
        // use the views size
        if (textSize.height > self.frame.size.height) {
            textSize = [text sizeWithFont:self.label.font constrainedToSize:self.frame.size];

        // Draw 
        self.label.frame = CGRectMake(0, self.frame.size.height/2 - textSize.height/2, self.frame.size.width, textSize.height);
        self.label.text = text;
    [self setNeedsDisplay];

Hope that helps someone!

I wrote a util function to achieve this purpose. You can take a look:

// adjust the height of a multi-line label to make it align vertical with top
+ (void) alignLabelWithTop:(UILabel *)label {
  CGSize maxSize = CGSizeMake(label.frame.size.width, 999);
  label.adjustsFontSizeToFitWidth = NO;

  // get actual height
  CGSize actualSize = [label.text sizeWithFont:label.font constrainedToSize:maxSize lineBreakMode:label.lineBreakMode];
  CGRect rect = label.frame;
  rect.size.height = actualSize.height;
  label.frame = rect;

.How to use? (If lblHello is created by Interface builder, so I skip some UILabel attributes detail)

lblHello.text = @"Hello World! Hello World! Hello World! Hello World! Hello World! Hello World! Hello World! Hello World!";
lblHello.numberOfLines = 5;
[Utils alignLabelWithTop:lblHello];

I also wrote it on my blog as an article:

I've struggled with this one for a long time and I wanted to share my solution.

This will give you a UILabel that will autoshrink text down to 0.5 scales and vertically center the text. These options are also available in Storyboard/IB.

[labelObject setMinimumScaleFactor:0.5];
[labelObject setBaselineAdjustment:UIBaselineAdjustmentAlignCenters];

I've used a lot of the methods above, and just want to add a quick-and-dirty approach I've used:

myLabel.text = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n",@"My label text string"];

Make sure the number of newlines in the string will cause any text to fill the available vertical space, and set the UILabel to truncate any overflowing text.

Because sometimes good enough is good enough.

If you are using autolayout, set the vertical contentHuggingPriority to 1000, either in code or IB. In IB you may then have to remove a height constraint by setting it's priority to 1 and then deleting it.

In UILabel vertically text alignment is not possible. But, you can dynamically change the height of the label using sizeWithFont: method of NSString, and just set its x and y as you want.

You can use UITextField. It supports the contentVerticalAlignment peoperty as it is a subclass of UIControl. You have to set its userInteractionEnabled to NO to prevent user from typing text on it.

Instead of UILabel you may use UITextField which has vertical alignment option:

textField.contentVerticalAlignment = UIControlContentVerticalAlignmentCenter;
textField.userInteractionEnabled = NO; // Don't allow interaction

Just in case it's of any help to anyone, I had the same problem but was able to solve the issue simply by switching from using UILabel to using UITextView. I appreciate this isn't for everyone because the functionality is a bit different.

If you do switch to using UITextView, you can turn off all the Scroll View properties as well as User Interaction Enabled... This will force it to act more like a label.

No muss, no fuss

@interface MFTopAlignedLabel : UILabel


@implementation MFTopAlignedLabel

- (void)drawTextInRect:(CGRect) rect
    NSAttributedString *attributedText = [[NSAttributedString alloc]     initWithString:self.text attributes:@{NSFontAttributeName:self.font}];
    rect.size.height = [attributedText boundingRectWithSize:rect.size
    if (self.numberOfLines != 0) {
        rect.size.height = MIN(rect.size.height, self.numberOfLines * self.font.lineHeight);
    [super drawTextInRect:rect];


No muss, no Objective-c, no fuss but Swift 3:

class VerticalTopAlignLabel: UILabel {

    override func drawText(in rect:CGRect) {
        guard let labelText = text else {  return super.drawText(in: rect) }

        let attributedText = NSAttributedString(string: labelText, attributes: [NSFontAttributeName: font])
        var newRect = rect
        newRect.size.height = attributedText.boundingRect(with: rect.size, options: .usesLineFragmentOrigin, context: nil).size.height

        if numberOfLines != 0 {
            newRect.size.height = min(newRect.size.height, CGFloat(numberOfLines) * font.lineHeight)

        super.drawText(in: newRect)


Refering to the extension solution:

for(int i=1; i< newLinesToPad; i++) 
    self.text = [self.text stringByAppendingString:@"\n"];

should be replaced by

for(int i=0; i<newLinesToPad; i++)
    self.text = [self.text stringByAppendingString:@"\n "];

Additional space is needed in every added newline, because iPhone UILabels' trailing carriage returns seems to be ignored :(

Similarly, alignBottom should be updated too with a @" \[email protected]%" in place of "\[email protected]%" (for cycle initialization must be replaced by "for(int i=0..." too).

The following extension works for me:

// -- file: UILabel+VerticalAlign.h
#pragma mark VerticalAlign
@interface UILabel (VerticalAlign)
- (void)alignTop;
- (void)alignBottom;

// -- file: UILabel+VerticalAlign.m
@implementation UILabel (VerticalAlign)
- (void)alignTop {
    CGSize fontSize = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font];
    double finalHeight = fontSize.height * self.numberOfLines;
    double finalWidth = self.frame.size.width;    //expected width of label
    CGSize theStringSize = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font constrainedToSize:CGSizeMake(finalWidth, finalHeight) lineBreakMode:self.lineBreakMode];
    int newLinesToPad = (finalHeight  - theStringSize.height) / fontSize.height;
    for(int i=0; i<newLinesToPad; i++)
        self.text = [self.text stringByAppendingString:@"\n "];

- (void)alignBottom {
    CGSize fontSize = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font];
    double finalHeight = fontSize.height * self.numberOfLines;
    double finalWidth = self.frame.size.width;    //expected width of label
    CGSize theStringSize = [self.text sizeWithFont:self.font constrainedToSize:CGSizeMake(finalWidth, finalHeight) lineBreakMode:self.lineBreakMode];
    int newLinesToPad = (finalHeight  - theStringSize.height) / fontSize.height;
    for(int i=0; i<newLinesToPad; i++)
        self.text = [NSString stringWithFormat:@" \n%@",self.text];

Then call [yourLabel alignTop]; or [yourLabel alignBottom]; after each yourLabel text assignment.

There's no way to set the vertical align on a UILabel, but you can get the same effect by changing the label's frame. I've made my labels orange so you can see clearly what's happening.

Here's the quick and easy way to do this:

    [myLabel sizeToFit];

If you have a label with longer text that will make more than one line, set numberOfLines to 0 (zero here means an unlimited number of lines).

    myLabel.numberOfLines = 0;
    [myLabel sizeToFit];

Longer Version

I'll make my label in code so that you can see what's going on. You can set up most of this in Interface Builder too. My setup is a View Based App with a background image I made in Photoshop to show margins (20 points). The label is an attractive orange color so you can see what's going on with the dimensions.

- (void)viewDidLoad
    [super viewDidLoad];

    // 20 point top and left margin. Sized to leave 20 pt at right.
    CGRect labelFrame = CGRectMake(20, 20, 280, 150);
    UILabel *myLabel = [[UILabel alloc] initWithFrame:labelFrame];
    [myLabel setBackgroundColor:[UIColor orangeColor]];

    NSString *labelText = @"I am the very model of a modern Major-General, I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral";
    [myLabel setText:labelText];

    // Tell the label to use an unlimited number of lines
    [myLabel setNumberOfLines:0];
    [myLabel sizeToFit];

    [self.view addSubview:myLabel];

Some limitations of using sizeToFit come into play with center- or right-aligned text. Here's what happens:

    // myLabel.textAlignment = NSTextAlignmentRight;
    myLabel.textAlignment = NSTextAlignmentCenter;

    [myLabel setNumberOfLines:0];
    [myLabel sizeToFit];

The label is still sized with a fixed top-left corner. You can save the original label's width in a variable and set it after sizeToFit, or give it a fixed width to counter these problems:

    myLabel.textAlignment = NSTextAlignmentCenter;

    [myLabel setNumberOfLines:0];
    [myLabel sizeToFit];

    CGRect myFrame = myLabel.frame;
    // Resize the frame's width to 280 (320 - margins)
    // width could also be myOriginalLabelFrame.size.width
    myFrame = CGRectMake(myFrame.origin.x, myFrame.origin.y, 280, myFrame.size.height);
    myLabel.frame = myFrame;

Note that sizeToFit will respect your initial label's minimum width. If you start with a label 100 wide and call sizeToFit on it, it will give you back a (possibly very tall) label with 100 (or a little less) width. You might want to set your label to the minimum width you want before resizing.

Some other things to note:

Whether lineBreakMode is respected depends on how it's set. NSLineBreakByTruncatingTail (the default) is ignored after sizeToFit, as are the other two truncation modes (head and middle). NSLineBreakByClipping is also ignored. NSLineBreakByCharWrapping works as usual. The frame width is still narrowed to fit to the rightmost letter.

Mark Amery gave a fix for NIBs and Storyboards using Auto Layout in the comments:

If your label is included in a nib or storyboard as a subview of the view of a ViewController that uses autolayout, then putting your sizeToFit call into viewDidLoad won't work, because autolayout sizes and positions the subviews after viewDidLoad is called and will immediately undo the effects of your sizeToFit call. However, calling sizeToFit from within viewDidLayoutSubviews will work.

My Original Answer (for posterity/reference):

This uses the NSString method sizeWithFont:constrainedToSize:lineBreakMode: to calculate the frame height needed to fit a string, then sets the origin and width.

Resize the frame for the label using the text you want to insert. That way you can accommodate any number of lines.

CGSize maximumSize = CGSizeMake(300, 9999);
NSString *dateString = @"The date today is January 1st, 1999";
UIFont *dateFont = [UIFont fontWithName:@"Helvetica" size:14];
CGSize dateStringSize = [dateString sizeWithFont:dateFont 

CGRect dateFrame = CGRectMake(10, 10, 300, dateStringSize.height);

self.dateLabel.frame = dateFrame;

You can use TTTAttributedLabel, it supports vertical alignment.

@property (nonatomic) TTTAttributedLabel* label;

//view's or viewController's init method
_label.verticalAlignment = TTTAttributedLabelVerticalAlignmentTop;