ios alignment - Vertically align text to top within a UILabel

bottom autolayout (25)

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];

If creating your own custom view is an option, you could do something like this:

- (void)drawRect:(CGRect)rect
    CGRect bounds = self.bounds;
    [self.textColor set];
    [self.text drawInRect:bounds

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;

I've found the answers on this question are now a bit out-of-date, so adding this for the auto layout fans out there.

Auto layout makes this issue pretty trivial. Assuming we're adding the label to UIView *view, the following code will accomplish this:

UILabel *label = [[UILabel alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectZero];
[label setText:@"Some text here"];
[label setTranslatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints:NO];
[view addSubview:label];

[view addConstraints:[NSLayoutConstraint constraintsWithVisualFormat:@"H:|[label]|" options:0 metrics:nil views:@{@"label": label}]];
[view addConstraints:[NSLayoutConstraint constraintsWithVisualFormat:@"V:|[label]" options:0 metrics:nil views:@{@"label": label}]];

The label's height will be calculated automatically (using it's intrinsicContentSize) and the label will be positioned edge-to-edge horizontally, at the top of the view.

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];


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.

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)


FXLabel (on github) does this out of the box by setting label.contentMode to UIViewContentModeTop. This component is not made by me, but it is a component I use frequently and has tons of features, and seems to work well.

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.

  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.

For Adaptive UI(iOS8 or after) , Vertical Alignment of UILabel is to be set from StoryBoard by Changing the properties noOfLines=0` and


  1. Adjusting UILabel LefMargin, RightMargin and Top Margin Constraints.

  2. Change Content Compression Resistance Priority For Vertical=1000` So that Vertical>Horizontal .



and the following constraints are enough to achieve the desired results.

I took the suggestions here and created a view which can wrap a UILabel and will size it and set the number of lines so that it is top aligned. Simply put a UILabel as a subview:

@interface TopAlignedLabelContainer : UIView


@implementation TopAlignedLabelContainer

- (void)layoutSubviews
    CGRect bounds = self.bounds;

    for (UILabel *label in [self subviews])
        if ([label isKindOfClass:[UILabel class]])
            CGSize fontSize = [label.text sizeWithFont:label.font];

            CGSize textSize = [label.text sizeWithFont:label.font

            label.numberOfLines = textSize.height / fontSize.height;

            label.frame = CGRectMake(0, 0, textSize.width,
                 fontSize.height * label.numberOfLines);


You can use TTTAttributedLabel, it supports vertical alignment.

@property (nonatomic) TTTAttributedLabel* label;

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

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

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

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 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:

Like the answer above, but it wasn't quite right, or easy to slap into code so I cleaned it up a bit. Add this extension either to it's own .h and .m file or just paste right above the implementation you intend to use it:

#pragma mark VerticalAlign
@interface UILabel (VerticalAlign)
- (void)alignTop;
- (void)alignBottom;

@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];

And then to use, put your text into the label, and then call the appropriate method to align it:

[myLabel alignTop];


[myLabel alignBottom];

Subclass UILabel and constrain the drawing rectangle, like this:

- (void)drawTextInRect:(CGRect)rect
    CGSize sizeThatFits = [self sizeThatFits:rect.size];
    rect.size.height = MIN(rect.size.height, sizeThatFits.height);

    [super drawTextInRect:rect];

I tried the solution involving newline padding and ran into incorrect behavior in some cases. In my experience, it's easier to constrain the drawing rect as above than mess with numberOfLines.

P.S. You can imagine easily supporting UIViewContentMode this way:

- (void)drawTextInRect:(CGRect)rect
    CGSize sizeThatFits = [self sizeThatFits:rect.size];

    if (self.contentMode == UIViewContentModeTop) {
        rect.size.height = MIN(rect.size.height, sizeThatFits.height);
    else if (self.contentMode == UIViewContentModeBottom) {
        rect.origin.y = MAX(0, rect.size.height - sizeThatFits.height);
        rect.size.height = MIN(rect.size.height, sizeThatFits.height);

    [super drawTextInRect:rect];

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.

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.

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.

In swift,

let myLabel : UILabel!

To make your text of your Label to fit to screen and it's on the top


To make your font of label to fit to the width of screen or specific width size.

myLabel.adjustsFontSizeToFitWidth = YES

and some textAlignment for label :

myLabel.textAlignment = .center

myLabel.textAlignment = .left

myLabel.textAlignment = .right

myLabel.textAlignment = .Natural

myLabel.textAlignment = .Justified

As long as you are not doing any complex task, you can use UITextView instead of UILabels.

Disable the scroll.

If you want the text to be displayed completely just user sizeToFit and sizeThatFits: methods

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 was just fighting with this exact scenario, but with quite a few more views that needed to resize and move down as necessary. It was driving me nuts, but I finally figured it out.

Here's the key: Interface Builder likes to throw in extra constraints as you add and move views and you may not notice. In my case, I had a view half way down that had an extra constraint that specified the size between it and its superview, basically pinning it to that point. That meant that nothing above it could resize larger because it would go against that constraint.

An easy way to tell if this is the case is by trying to resize the label manually. Does IB let you grow it? If it does, do the labels below move as you expect? Make sure you have both of these checked before you resize to see how your constraints will move your views:

If the view is stuck, follow the views that are below it and make sure one of them doesn't have a top space to superview constraint. Then just make sure your number of lines option for the label is set to 0 and it should take care of the rest.

ios cocoa-touch uikit uilabel text-alignment