By aryaxt

2015-01-27 01:38:04 8 Comments

I need to display a bunch of collectionViewCells that have different heights. the views are too complex and I don't want to manually calculate the expected height. I want to enforce auto-layout to calculate cell height

Calling dequeueReusableCellWithReuseIdentifier outside of cellForItemAtIndexPath breaks collectionView and causes it to crash

Another problem is the cell is not in a separate xib, so I can't manually instantiate a temporary one and use it for height calculation.

Any solutions for this?

public func collectionView(collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAtIndexPath indexPath: NSIndexPath) -> CGSize {

    var cell = collectionView.dequeueReusableCellWithReuseIdentifier(cellIdentifier, forIndexPath: indexPath) as UICollectionViewCell
    configureCell(cell, item: items[indexPath.row])


    return cell.contentView.systemLayoutSizeFittingSize(UILayoutFittingCompressedSize)


Crash happens as soon as dequeueReusableCellWithReuseIdentifier is called. If I don't call that method and instead return a size everything works great and cells show up without the calculated size

negative or zero sizes are not supported in the flow layout

2015-01-26 18:24:34.231 [13383:9752256] *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSRangeException', reason: '*** -[__NSArrayM objectAtIndex:]: index 1 beyond bounds [0 .. 0]'
*** First throw call stack:
    0   CoreFoundation                      0x00000001095aef35 __exceptionPreprocess + 165
    1   libobjc.A.dylib                     0x0000000109243bb7 objc_exception_throw + 45
    2   CoreFoundation                      0x0000000109499f33 -[__NSArrayM objectAtIndex:] + 227
    3   UIKit                               0x0000000107419d9c -[UICollectionViewFlowLayout _getSizingInfos] + 842
    4   UIKit                               0x000000010741aca9 -[UICollectionViewFlowLayout _fetchItemsInfoForRect:] + 526
    5   UIKit                               0x000000010741651f -[UICollectionViewFlowLayout prepareLayout] + 257
    6   UIKit                               0x000000010742da10 -[UICollectionViewData _prepareToLoadData] + 67
    7   UIKit                               0x00000001074301c6 -[UICollectionViewData layoutAttributesForItemAtIndexPath:] + 44
    8   UIKit                               0x00000001073fddb1 -[UICollectionView _dequeueReusableViewOfKind:withIdentifier:forIndexPath:viewCategory:] + 248
    9                                       0x00000001042b824c _TFC1228BasePaginatingViewController14collectionViewfS0_FTCSo16UICollectionView6layoutCSo22UICollectionViewLayout22sizeForItemAtIndexPathCSo11NSIndexPath_VSC6CGSize + 700
    10                                     0x00000001042b83d4 _TToFC1228BasePaginatingViewController14collectionViewfS0_FTCSo16UICollectionView6layoutCSo22UICollectionViewLayout22sizeForItemAtIndexPathCSo11NSIndexPath_VSC6CGSize + 100
    11  UIKit                               0x0000000107419e2e -[UICollectionViewFlowLayout _getSizingInfos] + 988
    12  UIKit                               0x000000010741aca9 -[UICollectionViewFlowLayout _fetchItemsInfoForRect:] + 526
    13  UIKit                               0x000000010741651f -[UICollectionViewFlowLayout prepareLayout] + 257
    14  UIKit                               0x000000010742da10 -[UICollectionViewData _prepareToLoadData] + 67
    15  UIKit                               0x000000010742e0e9 -[UICollectionViewData validateLayoutInRect:] + 54
    16  UIKit                               0x00000001073f67b8 -[UICollectionView layoutSubviews] + 170
    17  UIKit                               0x0000000106e3c973 -[UIView(CALayerDelegate) layoutSublayersOfLayer:] + 521
    18  QuartzCore                          0x0000000106b0fde8 -[CALayer layoutSublayers] + 150
    19  QuartzCore                          0x0000000106b04a0e _ZN2CA5Layer16layout_if_neededEPNS_11TransactionE + 380
    20  QuartzCore                          0x0000000106b0487e _ZN2CA5Layer28layout_and_display_if_neededEPNS_11TransactionE + 24
    21  QuartzCore                          0x0000000106a7263e _ZN2CA7Context18commit_transactionEPNS_11TransactionE + 242
    22  QuartzCore                          0x0000000106a7374a _ZN2CA11Transaction6commitEv + 390
    23  QuartzCore                          0x0000000106a73db5 _ZN2CA11Transaction17observer_callbackEP19__CFRunLoopObservermPv + 89
    24  CoreFoundation                      0x00000001094e3dc7 __CFRUNLOOP_IS_CALLING_OUT_TO_AN_OBSERVER_CALLBACK_FUNCTION__ + 23
    25  CoreFoundation                      0x00000001094e3d20 __CFRunLoopDoObservers + 368
    26  CoreFoundation                      0x00000001094d9b53 __CFRunLoopRun + 1123
    27  CoreFoundation                      0x00000001094d9486 CFRunLoopRunSpecific + 470
    28  GraphicsServices                    0x000000010be869f0 GSEventRunModal + 161
    29  UIKit                               0x0000000106dc3420 UIApplicationMain + 1282
    30                                      0x000000010435c709 main + 169
    31  libdyld.dylib                       0x000000010a0f2145 start + 1
libc++abi.dylib: terminating with uncaught exception of type NSException


@bolnad 2015-12-05 19:21:45

I just ran into this problem on a UICollectionView and the way that i solved it similar to the answer above but in a pure UICollectionView way.

  1. Create a custom UICollectionViewCell that contains whatever you will be filling it with to make it dynamic. I created its own .xib for it as it seems like the easiest approach.

  2. Add constraints in that .xib that allow for the cell to be calculated from top to bottom. The re-sizing won't work if you haven't accounted for all of the height. Say you have a view on top, then a label underneath it, and another label underneath that. You would need to connect constraints to the top of the cell to the top of that view, then the bottom of the view to the top of the first label, bottom of first label to the top of the second label, and bottom of second label to bottom of cell.

  3. Load the .xib into the viewcontroller and register it with the collectionView on viewDidLoad

    let nib = UINib(nibName: CustomCellName, bundle: nil)
    self.collectionView!.registerNib(nib, forCellWithReuseIdentifier: "customCellID")`
  4. Load a second copy of that xib into the class and store it as a property so you can use it to determine the size of what that cell should be

    let sizingNibNew = NSBundle.mainBundle().loadNibNamed(CustomCellName, owner: CustomCellName.self, options: nil) as NSArray
    self.sizingNibNew = (sizingNibNew.objectAtIndex(0) as? CustomViewCell)!
  5. Implement the UICollectionViewFlowLayoutDelegate in your view controller. The method that matters is called sizeForItemAtIndexPath. Inside that method you will need to pull the data from the datasource that is associated with that cell from the indexPath. Then configure the sizingCell and call preferredLayoutSizeFittingSize. The method returns a CGSize which will consist of the width minus the content insets and the height that is returned from self.sizingCell.preferredLayoutSizeFittingSize(targetSize).

    override func collectionView(collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAtIndexPath indexPath: NSIndexPath) -> CGSize {
        guard let data = datasourceArray?[indexPath.item] else {
            return CGSizeZero
        let sectionInset = self.collectionView?.collectionViewLayout.sectionInset
        let widthToSubtract = sectionInset!.left + sectionInset!.right
        let requiredWidth = collectionView.bounds.size.width
        let targetSize = CGSize(width: requiredWidth, height: 0)
        sizingNibNew.configureCell(data as! CustomCellData, delegate: self)
        let adequateSize = self.sizingNibNew.preferredLayoutSizeFittingSize(targetSize)
        return CGSize(width: (self.collectionView?.bounds.width)! - widthToSubtract, height: adequateSize.height)
  6. In the class of the custom cell itself you will need to override awakeFromNib and tell the contentView that its size needs to be flexible

     override func awakeFromNib() {
        self.contentView.autoresizingMask = [UIViewAutoresizing.FlexibleHeight]
  7. In the custom cell override layoutSubviews

     override func layoutSubviews() {
  8. In the class of the custom cell implement preferredLayoutSizeFittingSize. This is where you will need to do any trickery on the items that are being laid out. If its a label you will need to tell it what its preferredMaxWidth should be.

    func preferredLayoutSizeFittingSize(_ targetSize: CGSize)-> CGSize {
        let originalFrame = self.frame
        let originalPreferredMaxLayoutWidth = self.label.preferredMaxLayoutWidth
        var frame = self.frame
        frame.size = targetSize
        self.frame = frame
        self.label.preferredMaxLayoutWidth = self.questionLabel.bounds.size.width
        // calling this tells the cell to figure out a size for it based on the current items set
        let computedSize = self.systemLayoutSizeFittingSize(UILayoutFittingCompressedSize)
        let newSize = CGSize(width:targetSize.width, height:computedSize.height)
        self.frame = originalFrame
        self.questionLabel.preferredMaxLayoutWidth = originalPreferredMaxLayoutWidth
        return newSize

All those steps should give you the correct sizes. If your getting 0 or other funky numbers than you haven't set up your constraints properly.

@James Mundy 2016-01-27 16:05:54

This is a great bit of code bolnad. Really helped me out. I had a cell with a stackpanel and two expanding labels inside - the cell now expands to fit the contents!

@bolnad 2016-01-27 17:01:21

@JamesMundy thanks for the comment, I was hoping it would help clear it up for someone!

@Abhishek Bedi 2016-05-19 06:28:43

@bolnad : Bingo! It Worked. But I want to create a auto-expanding cell based on which expands/contracts on selection .. Any ideas?

@bolnad 2016-05-20 00:03:09

@AbhishekBedi not sure what your asking, sounds like you want to create an insert cell when tapping on another cell? Kind of how apple does their inline picker in the calendar app?

@Abhishek Bedi 2016-05-20 04:55:19

Actually I have a tableview with dynamic number of cells inside a collection view cell. When the user taps on the cell then the table should expand / contract and accordingly the size of the cell be increased /decreased

@vladzz 2016-06-03 02:17:33

This solution worked a treat for me. Thank you very much!!

@Jason Moore 2016-09-24 01:17:27

I found that I didn't need step 6 (autoresizing mask) or step 7 (layoutSubviews). Step 8 I only used systemLayoutSizeFittingSize and skipped setting the labels preferred max layout width. (However, I did have to adjust the width of my sizing cell frame to the width of the collection view.)

@Josh 2017-02-25 03:27:10

thank you sir you saved me a lottttt of hours

@Semyon Danilov 2017-04-25 10:09:19

Why is iOS so... painful? In android's ListView (or other recyclers) we just return views, that's all. Size must be determined by view, not by collection's view controller.

@Hellojeffy 2018-03-12 14:43:57

I think you can replace the following lines var frame = self.frame; frame.size = targetSize; self.frame = frame; with just self.frame.size = targetSize

@Chris Conover 2017-11-22 00:23:52

TL;DR: Scan down to image, and then check out working project here.

Updating my answer for a simpler solution that I found..

In my case, I wanted to fix the width, and have variable height cells. I wanted a drop in, reusable solution that handled rotation and didn't require a lot of intervention.

What I arrived at, was override (just) systemLayoutFitting(...) in the collection cell (in this case a base class for me), and first defeat UICollectionView's effort to set the wrong dimension on contentView by adding a constraint for the known dimension, in this case, the width.

class EstimatedWidthCell: UICollectionViewCell {
    override init(frame: CGRect) {
        super.init(frame: frame)
        contentView.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false

    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        super.init(coder: aDecoder)
        contentView.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false

    override func systemLayoutSizeFitting(
        _ targetSize: CGSize, withHorizontalFittingPriority
        horizontalFittingPriority: UILayoutPriority,
        verticalFittingPriority: UILayoutPriority) -> CGSize {

        width.constant = targetSize.width

and then return the final size for the cell - used for (and this feels like a bug) the dimension of the cell itself, but not contentView - which is otherwise constrained to a conflicting size (hence the constraint above). To calculate the correct cell size, I use a lower priority for the dimension that I wanted to float, and I get back the height required to fit the content within the width to which I want to fix:

        let size = contentView.systemLayoutSizeFitting(
            CGSize(width: targetSize.width, height: 1),
            withHorizontalFittingPriority: .required,
            verticalFittingPriority: verticalFittingPriority)

        print("\(#function) \(#line) \(targetSize) -> \(size)")
        return size

    lazy var width: NSLayoutConstraint = {
        return contentView.widthAnchor
            .constraint(equalToConstant: bounds.size.width)

But where does this width come from? It is configured via the estimatedItemSize on the collection view's flow layout:

lazy var collectionView: UICollectionView = {
    let view = UICollectionView(frame: CGRect(), collectionViewLayout: layout)
    view.backgroundColor = .cyan
    view.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
    return view

lazy var layout: UICollectionViewFlowLayout = {
    let layout = UICollectionViewFlowLayout()
    let width = view.bounds.size.width // should adjust for inset
    layout.estimatedItemSize = CGSize(width: width, height: 10)
    layout.scrollDirection = .vertical
    return layout

Finally, to handle rotation, I implement trailCollectionDidChange to invalidate the layout:

override func traitCollectionDidChange(_ previousTraitCollection: UITraitCollection?) {
    layout.estimatedItemSize = CGSize(width: view.bounds.size.width, height: 10)

The final result looks like this:

enter image description here

And I have published a working sample here.

@hman 2018-06-07 08:48:33

thanks, i could kiss you right now

@MichaƂ Ziobro 2019-04-24 09:03:29

It seems to be the best answers as it doesn't need to use external Nib (.xib) for Collection View Cell. So this solution is most flexible. More over It is abstracted to UICollectionViewCell superclass that can be just inherited and reused. So you can make such AutomaticWidthCell, AutomaticHeightCell, AutomaticSizeCell, and only set estimatedItemSize on CollectionView Layout. I have used this with StackViews in UICollectionViewCell, so hidding some elements easily collapses Cell layout

@Crashalot 2018-12-14 21:12:19

Swift 4 answer based on helpful answer from @mbm29414.

Unfortunately, it requires the use of a XIB file. There doesn't appear to be an alternative.

The key parts are using a sizing cell (created only once) and registering the XIB when initializing the collection view.

Then you size each cell dynamically within the sizeForItemAt function.

// UICollectionView Vars and Constants
let CellXIBName = YouViewCell.XIBName
let CellReuseID = YouViewCell.ReuseID
var sizingCell = YouViewCell()

fileprivate func initCollectionView() {
    // Connect to view controller
    collectionView.dataSource = self
    collectionView.delegate = self

    // Register XIB
    collectionView.register(UINib(nibName: CellXIBName, bundle: nil), forCellWithReuseIdentifier: CellReuseID)

    // Create sizing cell for dynamically sizing cells
    sizingCell = Bundle.main.loadNibNamed(CellXIBName, owner: self, options: nil)?.first as! YourViewCell

    // Set scroll direction
    let layout = UICollectionViewFlowLayout()
    layout.scrollDirection = .vertical
    collectionView.collectionViewLayout = layout

    // Set properties
    collectionView.alwaysBounceVertical = true
    collectionView.alwaysBounceHorizontal = false

    // Set top/bottom padding
    collectionView.contentInset = UIEdgeInsets(top: collectionViewTopPadding, left: collectionViewSidePadding, bottom: collectionViewBottomPadding, right: collectionViewSidePadding)

    // Hide scrollers
    collectionView.showsVerticalScrollIndicator = false
    collectionView.showsHorizontalScrollIndicator = false

func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGSize {
    // Get cell data and render post
    let data = YourData[indexPath.row]
    sizingCell.renderCell(data: data)

    // Get cell size
    let cellSize = sizingCell.systemLayoutSizeFitting(UIView.layoutFittingCompressedSize)

    // Return cell size
    return cellSize

@fewlinesofcode 2018-11-01 13:13:31

Seems like it's quite a popular question, so I will try to make my humble contribution.

The code below is Swift 4 solution for no-storyboard setup. It utilizes some approaches from previous answers, therefore it prevents Auto Layout warning caused on device rotation.

I am sorry if code samples are a bit long. I want to provide an "easy-to-use" solution fully hosted by StackOverflow. If you have any suggestions to the post - please, share the idea and I will update it accordingly.

The setup:

Two classes: ViewController.swift and MultilineLabelCell.swift - Cell containing single UILabel.


import UIKit

class MultilineLabelCell: UICollectionViewCell {
    static let reuseId = "MultilineLabelCellReuseId"

    private let label: UILabel = UILabel(frame: .zero)

    override init(frame: CGRect) {
        super.init(frame: frame)

        layer.borderColor =
        layer.borderWidth = 1.0

        label.numberOfLines = 0
        label.lineBreakMode = .byWordWrapping

        let labelInset = UIEdgeInsets(top: 10, left: 10, bottom: -10, right: -10)
        label.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
        label.topAnchor.constraint(equalTo: contentView.layoutMarginsGuide.topAnchor, constant: = true
        label.leadingAnchor.constraint(equalTo: contentView.layoutMarginsGuide.leadingAnchor, constant: labelInset.left).isActive = true
        label.trailingAnchor.constraint(equalTo: contentView.layoutMarginsGuide.trailingAnchor, constant: labelInset.right).isActive = true
        label.bottomAnchor.constraint(equalTo: contentView.layoutMarginsGuide.bottomAnchor, constant: labelInset.bottom).isActive = true

        label.layer.borderColor =
        label.layer.borderWidth = 1.0

    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        fatalError("Storyboards are quicker, easier, more seductive. Not stronger then Code.")

    func configure(text: String?) {
        label.text = text

    override func preferredLayoutAttributesFitting(_ layoutAttributes: UICollectionViewLayoutAttributes) -> UICollectionViewLayoutAttributes {
        label.preferredMaxLayoutWidth = layoutAttributes.size.width - contentView.layoutMargins.left - contentView.layoutMargins.left
        layoutAttributes.bounds.size.height = systemLayoutSizeFitting(UIView.layoutFittingCompressedSize).height
        return layoutAttributes


import UIKit

let samuelQuotes = [
    "Samuel says", 
    "Add different length strings here for better testing"

class ViewController: UIViewController, UICollectionViewDataSource, UICollectionViewDelegateFlowLayout {
    private(set) var collectionView: UICollectionView

    // Initializers
    init() {
        // Create new `UICollectionView` and set `UICollectionViewFlowLayout` as its layout
        collectionView = UICollectionView(frame: .zero, collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewFlowLayout())
        super.init(nibName: nil, bundle: nil)

    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        // Create new `UICollectionView` and set `UICollectionViewFlowLayout` as its layout
        collectionView = UICollectionView(frame: .zero, collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewFlowLayout())
        super.init(coder: aDecoder)

    override func viewDidLoad() {

        title = "Dynamic size sample"

        // Register Cells
        collectionView.register(MultilineLabelCell.self, forCellWithReuseIdentifier: MultilineLabelCell.reuseId)

        // Add `coolectionView` to display hierarchy and setup its appearance
        collectionView.backgroundColor = .white
        collectionView.contentInsetAdjustmentBehavior = .always
        collectionView.contentInset = UIEdgeInsets(top: 10, left: 10, bottom: 10, right: 10)

        // Setup Autolayout constraints
        collectionView.translatesAutoresizingMaskIntoConstraints = false
        collectionView.bottomAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.bottomAnchor, constant: 0).isActive = true
        collectionView.leftAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.leftAnchor, constant: 0).isActive = true
        collectionView.topAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.topAnchor, constant: 0).isActive = true
        collectionView.rightAnchor.constraint(equalTo: view.rightAnchor, constant: 0).isActive = true

        // Setup `dataSource` and `delegate`
        collectionView.dataSource = self
        collectionView.delegate = self

        (collectionView.collectionViewLayout as! UICollectionViewFlowLayout).estimatedItemSize = UICollectionViewFlowLayout.automaticSize
        (collectionView.collectionViewLayout as! UICollectionViewFlowLayout).sectionInsetReference = .fromLayoutMargins

    // MARK: - UICollectionViewDataSource -
    func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, cellForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UICollectionViewCell {
        let cell = collectionView.dequeueReusableCell(withReuseIdentifier: MultilineLabelCell.reuseId, for: indexPath) as! MultilineLabelCell
        cell.configure(text: samuelQuotes[indexPath.row])
        return cell

    func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, numberOfItemsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
        return samuelQuotes.count

    // MARK: - UICollectionViewDelegateFlowLayout -
    func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGSize {
        let sectionInset = (collectionViewLayout as! UICollectionViewFlowLayout).sectionInset
        let referenceHeight: CGFloat = 100 // Approximate height of your cell
        let referenceWidth = collectionView.safeAreaLayoutGuide.layoutFrame.width
            - sectionInset.left
            - sectionInset.right
            - collectionView.contentInset.left
            - collectionView.contentInset.right
        return CGSize(width: referenceWidth, height: referenceHeight)

To run this sample create new Xcode project, create corresponding files and replace AppDelegate contents with the following code:

import UIKit

class AppDelegate: UIResponder, UIApplicationDelegate {

    var window: UIWindow?
    var navigationController: UINavigationController?

    func application(_ application: UIApplication, didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: [UIApplication.LaunchOptionsKey: Any]?) -> Bool {
        window = UIWindow(frame: UIScreen.main.bounds)

        if let window = window {
            let vc = ViewController()
            navigationController = UINavigationController(rootViewController: vc)
            window.rootViewController = navigationController

        return true

@logan.Nguyen 2018-09-06 08:41:16

It worked for me, hope you too.

*Note: I have used auto layout in Nib, remember add top and bottom contraints for subviews in contentView

func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGSize {
           let cell = YourCollectionViewCell.instantiateFromNib()
           cell.frame.size.width = collectionView.frame.width
           let resizing = cell.systemLayoutSizeFitting(UILayoutFittingCompressedSize, withHorizontalFittingPriority: UILayoutPriority.required, verticalFittingPriority: UILayoutPriority.fittingSizeLevel)
           return resizing

@Dari 2018-08-21 11:25:13

Swift 4.*

I have created a Xib for UICollectionViewCell which seems to be the good approach.

extension ViewController: UICollectionViewDelegateFlowLayout {

    func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGSize {
        return size(indexPath: indexPath)

    private func size(for indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGSize {
        // load cell from Xib
        let cell = Bundle.main.loadNibNamed("ACollectionViewCell", owner: self, options: nil)?.first as! ACollectionViewCell

        // configure cell with data in it
        let data =[indexPath.item]
        cell.configure(withData: data)


        // width that you want
        let width = collectionView.frame.width
        let height: CGFloat = 0

        let targetSize = CGSize(width: width, height: height)

        // get size with width that you want and automatic height
        let size = cell.contentView.systemLayoutSizeFitting(targetSize, withHorizontalFittingPriority: .defaultHigh, verticalFittingPriority: .fittingSizeLevel)
        // if you want height and width both to be dynamic use below
        // let size = cell.contentView.systemLayoutSizeFitting(UILayoutFittingCompressedSize)

        return size

#note: I don't recommend setting image when configuring data in this size determining case. It gave me the distorted/unwanted result. Configuring texts only gave me below result.

enter image description here

@Rivera 2017-04-21 16:38:09

Follow bolnad answer up to Step 4.

Then make it simpler by replacing all the other steps with:

func collectionView(_ collectionView: UICollectionView, layout collectionViewLayout: UICollectionViewLayout, sizeForItemAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> CGSize {

    // Configure your cell
    sizingNibNew.configureCell(data as! CustomCellData, delegate: self)

    // We use the full width minus insets
    let width = collectionView.frame.size.width - collectionView.sectionInset.left - collectionView.sectionInset.right

    // Constrain our cell to this width 
    let height = sizingNibNew.systemLayoutSizeFitting(CGSize(width: width, height: .infinity), withHorizontalFittingPriority: UILayoutPriorityRequired, verticalFittingPriority: UILayoutPriorityFittingSizeLevel).height

    return CGSize(width: width, height: height)

@John Pang 2017-04-10 15:52:32

I followed the steps mentioned in this SO and everything is fine except when my Collection View has less data (text) to make it wide enough. Checking the documentation in systemLyaoutSizeFittingSize, I have this solution so my cell take up the width as I requested:

- (CGSize)calculateSizeForSizingCell:(UICollectionViewCell *)sizingCell width:(CGFloat)width {
    CGRect frame = sizingCell.frame;
    frame.size.width = width;
    sizingCell.frame = frame;
    [sizingCell setNeedsLayout];
    [sizingCell layoutIfNeeded];

    CGSize size = [sizingCell systemLayoutSizeFittingSize:UILayoutFittingCompressedSize
    return size;

Hope this would help someone.

- (CGSize)systemLayoutSizeFittingSize:(CGSize)targetSize NS_AVAILABLE_IOS(6_0);

Apple doc:

Equivalent to sending -systemLayoutSizeFittingSize:withHorizontalFittingPriority:verticalFittingPriority: with UILayoutPriorityFittingSizeLevel for both priorities.

While the default value is "pretty low" according to Apple's doc:

When you send -[UIView systemLayoutSizeFittingSize:], the size fitting most closely to the target size (the argument) is computed. UILayoutPriorityFittingSizeLevel is the priority level with which the view wants to conform to the target size in that computation. It's quite low. It is generally not appropriate to make a constraint at exactly this priority. You want to be higher or lower.

So my change of default behavior is to enforce the width (horizontal fitting) with UILayoutPriorityRequired.

@Nasir 2017-01-13 07:52:14

We can maintain dynamic height for collection view cell without xib(only using storyboard).

- (CGSize)collectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView
  sizeForItemAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {

        NSAttributedString* labelString = [[NSAttributedString alloc] initWithString:@"Your long string goes here" attributes:@{NSFontAttributeName:[UIFont systemFontOfSize:17.0]}];
        CGRect cellRect = [labelString boundingRectWithSize:CGSizeMake(cellWidth, MAXFLOAT) options:NSStringDrawingUsesLineFragmentOrigin context:nil];

        return CGSizeMake(cellWidth, cellRect.size.height);

Make sure that numberOfLines in IB should be 0.

@Chris 2017-03-02 21:16:18

wish I could vote this up twice!

@Drew C 2017-08-14 16:40:41

Such a simple solution! I made a static function in my collection view cell to perform this calculation and return the height.

@mbm29414 2015-01-27 01:47:01

Here is a Ray Wenderlich tutorial that shows you how to use AutoLayout to dynamically size UITableViewCells. I would think it would be the same for UICollectionViewCell.

Basically, though, you end up dequeueing and configuring a prototype cell and grabbing its height. After reading this article, I decided to NOT implement this method and just write some clear, explicit sizing code.

Here's what I consider the "secret sauce" for the entire article:

- (CGFloat)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView heightForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    return [self heightForBasicCellAtIndexPath:indexPath];

- (CGFloat)heightForBasicCellAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    static RWBasicCell *sizingCell = nil;
    static dispatch_once_t onceToken;
    dispatch_once(&onceToken, ^{
        sizingCell = [self.tableView dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:RWBasicCellIdentifier];

    [self configureBasicCell:sizingCell atIndexPath:indexPath];
    return [self calculateHeightForConfiguredSizingCell:sizingCell];

- (CGFloat)calculateHeightForConfiguredSizingCell:(UITableViewCell *)sizingCell {
    [sizingCell setNeedsLayout];
    [sizingCell layoutIfNeeded];

    CGSize size = [sizingCell.contentView systemLayoutSizeFittingSize:UILayoutFittingCompressedSize];
    return size.height + 1.0f; // Add 1.0f for the cell separator height

EDIT: I did some research into your crash and decided that there is no way to get this done without a custom XIB. While that is a bit frustrating, you should be able to cut and paste from your Storyboard to a custom, empty XIB.

Once you've done that, code like the following will get you going:

//  ViewController.m
#import "ViewController.h"
#import "CollectionViewCell.h"
@interface ViewController () <UICollectionViewDataSource, UICollectionViewDelegate, UICollectionViewDelegateFlowLayout> {

@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet CollectionViewCell *cell;
@property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UICollectionView   *collectionView;
@implementation ViewController
- (void)viewDidLoad {
    [super viewDidLoad];
    self.view.backgroundColor = [UIColor lightGrayColor];
    [self.collectionView registerNib:[UINib nibWithNibName:@"CollectionViewCell" bundle:nil] forCellWithReuseIdentifier:@"cell"];
- (void)viewDidAppear:(BOOL)animated {
    [super viewDidAppear:animated];
- (NSInteger)numberOfSectionsInCollectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView {
    return 1;
- (NSInteger)collectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView numberOfItemsInSection:(NSInteger)section {
    return 50;
- (CGFloat)collectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView layout:(UICollectionViewLayout *)collectionViewLayout minimumInteritemSpacingForSectionAtIndex:(NSInteger)section {
    return 10.0f;
- (CGFloat)collectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView layout:(UICollectionViewLayout *)collectionViewLayout minimumLineSpacingForSectionAtIndex:(NSInteger)section {
    return 10.0f;
- (CGSize)collectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView layout:(UICollectionViewLayout *)collectionViewLayout sizeForItemAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    return [self sizingForRowAtIndexPath:indexPath];
- (CGSize)sizingForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    static NSString *title                  = @"This is a long title that will cause some wrapping to occur. This is a long title that will cause some wrapping to occur.";
    static NSString *subtitle               = @"This is a long subtitle that will cause some wrapping to occur. This is a long subtitle that will cause some wrapping to occur.";
    static NSString *buttonTitle            = @"This is a really long button title that will cause some wrapping to occur.";
    static CollectionViewCell *sizingCell   = nil;
    static dispatch_once_t onceToken;
    dispatch_once(&onceToken, ^{
        sizingCell                          = [[NSBundle mainBundle] loadNibNamed:@"CollectionViewCell" owner:self options:nil][0];
    [sizingCell configureWithTitle:title subtitle:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@: Number %d.", subtitle, (int)indexPath.row] buttonTitle:buttonTitle];
    [sizingCell setNeedsLayout];
    [sizingCell layoutIfNeeded];
    CGSize cellSize = [sizingCell.contentView systemLayoutSizeFittingSize:UILayoutFittingCompressedSize];
    NSLog(@"cellSize: %@", NSStringFromCGSize(cellSize));
    return cellSize;
- (UICollectionViewCell *)collectionView:(UICollectionView *)collectionView cellForItemAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    static NSString *title                  = @"This is a long title that will cause some wrapping to occur. This is a long title that will cause some wrapping to occur.";
    static NSString *subtitle               = @"This is a long subtitle that will cause some wrapping to occur. This is a long subtitle that will cause some wrapping to occur.";
    static NSString *buttonTitle            = @"This is a really long button title that will cause some wrapping to occur.";
    CollectionViewCell *cell                = [collectionView dequeueReusableCellWithReuseIdentifier:@"cell" forIndexPath:indexPath];
    [cell configureWithTitle:title subtitle:[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@: Number %d.", subtitle, (int)indexPath.row] buttonTitle:buttonTitle];
    return cell;

The code above (along with a very basic UICollectionViewCell subclass and associated XIB) gives me this:

enter image description here

@aryaxt 2015-01-27 01:59:53

This doesn't work. on collectionView it crashes.

@Tommy 2015-01-27 02:01:52

... crashes where, with what sort of crash?

@aryaxt 2015-01-27 18:20:20

Thanks for the answer, that sucks that this is not possible to do

@mbm29414 2015-01-27 19:26:17

Well, it's not possible the way you want to do it (which, I agree, is a reasonable expectation), but it's still possible to use AutoLayout to dynamically size the cells. So, half a win, at least.

@user3344977 2015-04-13 03:53:58

This is a great answer. Would you be willing to post this demo project on GitHub?

@Majid Bashir 2016-04-29 11:29:27

- (CGFloat)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView heightForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath { return [self heightForBasicCellAtIndexPath:indexPath]; } here you are using tableview delegate method and on the top you have set it to collectionview delegate and datasource...?

@mbm29414 2016-04-29 11:51:26

In the top portion, I am referencing an article discussing Autolayout in UITableViewCells. It is in the second portion where I have code specific to UICollectionViewCells.

@Nasir 2017-01-13 07:53:26

We can maintain dynamic height for collection view cell without xib(only using storyboard). Please check my answer below.… Thank you.

@Objectif 2017-01-17 15:19:25

Thank you for the answer, it worked with loading the cell from the bundle instead of dequeuing it from the collection view. However, you might want to remove the first answer regarding UITableView as this question is specifically about UICollectionView, and the first answer results in a crash.

@nr5 2017-09-07 07:42:53

I need to take in account for the insets. For that I need to subtract 20 (10 left and 10 right) from the fake cell in sizingForRowAtIndexPath before filling it with text. Is it possible?

@Crashalot 2018-12-14 20:22:28

Could you create a sizing cell once instead of creating it every time in sizingForRowAtIndexPath? To be clear, create once and render each time with different content to get the dynamic heights?

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