How to change the color of UIBarButtonItem on iOS 5

My most popular blog post is how to change the color of a UIBarButtonItem. It’s something that lots of people want to do, but it involved some pretty weird hacks to get it working.

Now that iOS 5 is out, I can talk about a better way to do it. Apple will now let you set the tintColor: property on the bar button item. That’s it. No more weird hacks with images or segmented controls.

There’s even a cool new appearance proxy that will let you change all controls from your app with a single line of code. (More about UIAppearance here)

So lets say you want every UIBarButtonItem in your application to be blue. That’s easy just call [UIBarButtonItem appearance] setTintColor:[UIColor blueColor]]

Remember, this is iOS 5 only. If you want your app to support iOS 4, you’ll have to do it the old way.

2 comments on this post.
  1. How to change the color of a UIBarButtonItem |

    […] There is a new way to do this in iOS 5 that is much easier and nicer. If you want to support iOS 4, keep […]

  2. Morgan:

    Hi Hi,

    If you want the blue to be exactly the same at the “done” button you gotta do the following:

    I spent about 15 mins with my DigitalColor Meter and basically guessed and checked until I finally got it. The problem is that you’re adding a “tint” to a black button to make it blue, so it won’t be the right blue. Here’s the correct measurements:

    [buttonName setTintColor:[UIColor colorWithRed:34.0/255.0 green:97.0/255.0 blue:221.0/255.0 alpha:1]];

    Hope it helps someone :)

Leave a comment