Latest 0.2
License MIT
Platforms ios 7.0, requires ARC


PLXFrameLayout is a small frame for positioning, sizing and arranging views without using CGRects. PLXFrameLayout also provides set of convinient read-write properties that extract/set discrete values from view’s frame, like: width, height, minX/Y, maxX/Y.

It’s not Autolayout support. You can use it with Autolayout if needed.

How it works

PLXFrameLayout is defined as a category on UIView class. It contains set of methods to configure view’s sizes and positions in relation to its superviews or other views. Under the hood all PLXFrameLayout methods calculates and sets view.frame property.

How to use

Let’s consider following typical layout on frames.

- (void)layoutSubviews {
    [super layoutSubviews];

    [self.titleLabel sizeToFit];
    CGRect titleLabelFrame = self.titleLabel.frame;
    titleLabelFrame.origin.x = CGRectGetMidX(self.bounds) - (CGRectGetWidth(titleLabelFrame) * 0.5f);
    titleLabelFrame.origin.y = CGRectGetMidY(self.bounds) - (CGRectGetHeight(titleLabelFrame) * 0.5f);
    self.titleLabel.frame = titleLabelFrame;

    [self.captionLabel sizeToFit];
    CGRect captionLabelFrame = self.captionLabel.frame;
    captionLabelFrame.origin.y = CGRectGetMaxY(self.titleLabel.frame) + 10.f;
    captionLabelFrame.origin.x = CGRectGetMinX(self.titleLabel.frame);
    self.captionLabel.frame = captionLabelFrame;

    CGRect otherViewFrame = self.otherView.frame;
    otherViewFrame.origin.x = CGRectGetMaxX(self.titleLabel.frame) + 10.f;
    otherViewFrame.origin.y = CGRectGetMidY(self.titleLabel.frame) - (CGRectGetHeight(otherViewFrame) * 0.5f);
    otherViewFrame.size.width = CGRectGetWidth(self.bounds) - CGRectGetMinX(otherViewFrame) - 10.f;
    self.otherView.frame = otherViewFrame;

Now, let’s look at implementation using PLXFrameLayout.

- (void)layoutSubviews {
    [super layoutSubviews];
    [self plx_sizeToFitSubviews];

    [self.titleLabel plx_centerInSuperView];
    [self.captionLabel plx_placeUnderAligningToLeft:self.titleLabel withMargin:10.f];
    [self.otherView plx_placeOnRightOf:self.titleLabel withMargin:10.f];
    [self.otherView plx_expandToSuperViewEdge:NSLayoutAttributeRight withInset:10.f];
    [self.otherView plx_alignToAttribute:NSLayoutAttributeCenterY ofView:self.titleLabel offset:0];

It’s one way of how it could be done with PLXFrameLayout. It looks much better and more legible than usual code with lots of CGRect functions and structs copies.

In first line we center the view in superview with one method call. Then we place captionLabel under titleLabel and align its x to the same property value of titleView – all with one method.
otherView is placed on right of titleLabel, then its width is expanded so maxX is equal to super view maxX minus inset (10.f), and finally it’s centered relatively to titleLabel center y.


Pods installation
  1. Add the pod PLXFrameLayout to your Podfile:

    pod 'PLXFrameLayout'
  2. Run pod install from Terminal, then open your app’s .xcworkspace file to launch your IDE.

  3. Import the header file:

    #import "UIView+PLXFrameLayout.h"
Manual instalation
  1. Drag and drop UIView+PLXFrameLayout.h and UIView+PLXFrameLayout.m to your project;
  2. In File Inspector, make sure that UIView+PLXFrameLayout.m belongs to your app target;
  3. Add #import UIView+PLXFrameLayout.h to your file.

Detailed usage

Assignable properties

There are a few most common properties that you may want to change to achieve desired layout of the view.

@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setMinY:) CGFloat plx_minY;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setMidY:) CGFloat plx_midY;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setMaxY:) CGFloat plx_maxY;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setMinX:) CGFloat plx_minX;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setMidX:) CGFloat plx_midX;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setMaxX:) CGFloat plx_maxX;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setWidth:) CGFloat plx_width;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setHeight:) CGFloat plx_height;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setSize:) CGSize plx_size;
@property(nonatomic, assign, setter=pl_setFrame:) CGRect plx_frame;

Each property is assignable. That means that it’s no longer necessary to make a copy of CGRect change it and assign back. E.g. modifiyng plx_midX changes the x value of view’s frame considering its width, so it can be treated as center x of that view.


There are a few methods that allow easily center the view relatively to its superview or sibling.

- (void)plx_centerInSuperView;
- (void)plx_centerXInSuperView;
- (void)plx_centerYInSuperView;

- (void)plx_alignToCenterOfView:(UIView *)view;
- (void)plx_alignToCenterXOfView:(UIView *)view;
- (void)plx_alignToCenterYOfView:(UIView *)view;


There are lots of methods that make views’ alignment easy.


The most fundamental method allows to align any attributes of two given views. Howerver not all attributes’ combinations make sense or are supported.

- (void)plx_alignAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)attribute toAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)outerAttribute ofView:(UIView *)view;
- (void)plx_alignAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)attribute toAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)outerAttribute ofView:(UIView *)view offset:(CGFloat)offset;
- (void)plx_alignAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)attribute toAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)outerAttribute ofView:(UIView *)view multiplier:(CGFloat)multiplier;
- (void)plx_alignAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)attribute toAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)outerAttribute ofView:(UIView *)view multiplier:(CGFloat)multiplier offset:(CGFloat)offset;

Last method is the basic one, all others are just syntactic sugar. It look similarly to its Autolayout equivalent and behaves similarly as well.

If you want to align the same attributes of both views you may use additional method:

- (void)plx_alignToAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)edgeAttribute ofView:(UIView *)view withOffset:(CGFloat)offset;

Finally, there’s one method that allows to align given attribute of the view to the same attribute of its superview:

- (void)plx_alignToSuperViewAttribute:(NSLayoutAttribute)edgeAttribute withOffset:(CGFloat)offset;
Handy helpers

Following methods are easy to use and understand. They help to position view relatively to the given view: under/above/on the left/right. Two of them have additional variations with extra alignment in X axis.

Note: margin has always positive value (in opposite to offset parameter above). E.g. using plx_placeOnLeftOf:withMargin: positive margin value will move view more to the left (not to the right, in the X axis direction).

- (void)plx_placeUnder:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeAbove:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeOnLeftOf:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeOnRightOf:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;

- (void)plx_placeAboveAligningCenterX:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeAboveAligningToLeft:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeAboveAligningToRight:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeUnderAligningCenterX:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeUnderAligningToLeft:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
- (void)plx_placeUnderAligningToRight:(UIView *)view withMargin:(CGFloat)margin;
Batch alignment

There are two core methods plx_alignViewsVertically: and plx_alignViewsHorizontally: with their variations to allow batch views alignment. They accept an array of views and numbers (as spacec between those views).

Note: Each method retuns total calculated height of all aligned views with spaces.

- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsVertically:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings;
- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsVerticallyCentering:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings;
- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsVertically:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings centeringWithMargin:(CGFloat)spaceFromCenter;
- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsVertically:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings additionallyAligningTo:(NSLayoutAttribute)attribute withMargin:(CGFloat)marginFromAttribute;

- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsHorizontally:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings;
- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsHorizontallyCentering:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings;
- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsHorizontally:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings centeringWithMargin:(CGFloat)spaceFromCenter;
- (CGFloat)plx_alignViewsHorizontally:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings additionallyAligningTo:(NSLayoutAttribute)attribute withMargin:(CGFloat)marginFromAttribute;

Here is an example.

[self plx_alignViewsVertically:@[

This code means that titleLabel will be aligned to the superview’s top, then under it after 20 points captionLabel will be places. In this example x property value will not be modified.


There are methods that help to expand views as well (not only align their edges).

- (void)plx_expandToSuperViewEdges;
- (void)plx_expandToSuperViewEdgesWithInsets:(UIEdgeInsets)insets;

- (void)plx_expandToSuperViewHorizontalEdgesWithInsets:(UIEdgeInsets)insets;
- (void)plx_expandToSuperViewVerticalEdgesWithInsets:(UIEdgeInsets)insets;

- (void)plx_expandToSuperViewEdge:(NSLayoutAttribute)edge withInset:(CGFloat)inset;

First two methods resize the view to the superview bounds. It similar to the: self.titleLabel.frame = self.bounds;, however you may pass insets if necessary.

Next two methods allow to expand view the only in desired axis: horizontal (X) or vertical (Y). That means e.g. if self.titleLabel should fill all the width of superview (from 0 to superview’s bounds maxX) but not changing y and height properties – plx_expandToSuperViewVerticalEdgesWithInsets: should be used.

Last method allows to expand only one edge to the same edge of superview identified by NSLayoutAttributeTop/Bottom/Left/Right.


Sometimes there are views that don’t have intrinsic content size (e.g. scroll view) and their height (or width) has to be dynamically calculated and set. In this cases two following method may help.

- (void)plx_fillSuperViewVertically:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacings expandableViews:(NSArray *)expandableViews;
- (void)plx_fillSuperViewHorizontally:(NSArray *)viewsAndSpacing expandableViews:(NSArray *)expandableViews;

They work similarly to the plx_alignViewsVertically/Horizontally: methods, but take one more paramter.
This is an array of views (that should be listed as well in first array parameter) that are allowed be expanded (not only aligned).

Here is an example.

[self plx_fillSuperViewVertically:@[
] expandableViews:@[self.tableView]];

It means that views will be aligned in vertical axis but table view will be additional expanded to fill all available superview space (height).


Sometimes there’s a need to equally distribute views in superview (with equal margins between them).
Following methods are able to do that.

- (void)plx_distributeSubviewsVerticallyInSuperView:(NSArray *)subviews withTopAndBottomMargin:(BOOL)shouldAddTopAndBottomMargins;
- (void)plx_distributeSubviewsHorizontallyInSuperView:(NSArray *)subviews withLeftAndRightMargin:(BOOL)shouldAddLeftAndRightMargin;

Note: The second parameter of each method determines whether the margin between super view edges and first and last views should be consider in computation.


Feel free to contribute by pull requests or create issues.


PLXFrameLayout is released under a MIT License. See LICENSE file for details.


Maciej Oczko ([email protected]), Paweł Ścibek ([email protected])


Latest podspec

    "name": "PLXFrameLayout",
    "version": "0.2",
    "homepage": "",
    "license": {
        "type": "MIT",
        "file": "LICENSE"
    "authors": {
        "iOS Team at Polidea": "[email protected]"
    "source": {
        "git": "",
        "tag": "0.2"
    "platforms": {
        "ios": "7.0"
    "requires_arc": true,
    "source_files": "Framework/**/*",
    "summary": "FrameLayout is a tool for positioning, sizing and arranging views without using CGRects."

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