I'm working on a draw function which needs to draw the word 'crux' in the center of the current view and then draw a red box around the 'x' character like this:

enter image description here

My code to do this looks like this

override func draw(_ rect: CGRect) {

    guard let context = UIGraphicsGetCurrentContext() else { return }

    // Flip the coordinate system
    context.textMatrix = .identity
    context.translateBy(x: 0, y: bounds.size.height)
    context.scaleBy(x: 1.0, y: -1.0)

    // Create the logo as an attributed string
    let font = UIFont(name: "EntangledPlainBRK", size:self.bounds.size.width * 0.4)!
    let attrs:[String:Any] = [
        kCTForegroundColorAttributeName as String: UIColor.black.cgColor,
        kCTFontAttributeName as String: font
    let logo = NSMutableAttributedString(string: "crux", attributes: attrs)

    // Work out the position of the logo in the view.
    let path = CGMutablePath()
    let textSize = logo.size()
    let logoOrigin = CGPoint(x: (rect.width - textSize.width) / 2.0, y: (rect.height - textSize.height) / 2.0)
    let logoRect = CGRect(origin: logoOrigin, size: logo.size())

    // get the frame setters.
    let framesetter = CTFramesetterCreateWithAttributedString(logo as CFAttributedString)
    let frame = CTFramesetterCreateFrame(framesetter, CFRangeMake(0, logo.length), path, nil)

    CTFrameDraw(frame, context)

    // Set the text position of the context to the location of the run on screen.
    var lineOrigins = [CGPoint] (repeating: .zero, count: 1)
    CTFrameGetLineOrigins(frame, CFRange(), &lineOrigins)
    let lineOrigin = lineOrigins[0]
    context.textPosition = CGPoint(x:logoOrigin.x + lineOrigin.x, y:logoOrigin.y + lineOrigin.y)

    // Get the position of the last character.
    let lines = CTFrameGetLines(frame)
    let line = unsafeBitCast(CFArrayGetValueAtIndex(lines, 0), to:CTLine.self)
    let runs = CTLineGetGlyphRuns(line)
    let run = unsafeBitCast(CFArrayGetValueAtIndex(runs, 0), to:CTRun.self)
    let glyphPosition = CTRunGetImageBounds(run, context, CFRange(location:3, length:1))

    // Draw a box around it.


It took some time to work out and feels a bit messy. I was wondering if there are any Core Text experts out there who know some tricks to shorten this code.


1 Answer 1


You can get rid of the "unsafe bit casts", an CFArrayRef can be bridged to [CTLine] (resp. [CTRun]) directly (tested with Swift 3 and Swift 4).

If you know for sure that there is at least one line with at least one run then it would be:

let lines = CTFrameGetLines(frame) as! [CTLine]
let line = lines.first!
let runs = CTLineGetGlyphRuns(line) as! [CTRun]
let run = runs.first!

Otherwise use optional binding with if let or guard let. A most defensive version would be

guard let lines = CTFrameGetLines(frame) as? [CTLine],
    let line = lines.first,
    let runs = CTLineGetGlyphRuns(line) as? [CTRun],
    let run = runs.first else { return }
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool. Those lines were bugging me too. \$\endgroup\$
    – drekka
    Oct 11, 2017 at 11:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @drekka: Judging from the various answers at stackoverflow.com/q/24684750/1187415, it wasn't that simple in earlier Swift versions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Martin R
    Oct 11, 2017 at 11:59

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