How To Use Plist In iPhone ?

This is the example of a plist (Property list) to get a feel for how its works.

Step 1: Create a new Xcode project using View based application template.

Step 2: Double click .xib file to open the file in interface Builder.Drop a table view onto the view window. Then click connections inspector,and connect the dataSource and delegate connections to the File’s Owner icon. Next, select table view,and click attributes inspector. Change the table view’s Style to Grouped. After doing that,save,and return to Xcode.

Step 3: This project needs a fair amount of data to do its thing. So we create  a   property list and add it to Resource folder. Once it’s added to the project ,single click .plist its just look like (below figure 1).It’s a property list that contains a dictionary ,with one entry for each letter of the alphabet.

Figure 1: The sortednames.plist property list file.

Step 4: Single click the ViewController.h file and add both an NSDictionary and an NSArray instance variable and corresponding property declarations. The dictionary will hold all of our data. The array will hold the sections sorted in alphabetical order . And we also need to conform the class to the UITableViewDataSource and UITableViewDelegate protocols:




Step 5: In our tableView:cellForRowAtIndexPath:method,we have to extract both the section and row from the index path and use that to determine which value to use. And the other method, tableView:titleFoeHeaderInSection allows you to specify an optional header value for each section.




Figure 2: A grouped table with multiple sections.

You can downloaded SourceCode from here Sections

Leave a Comment:

Raj says February 6, 2010

Sorry. I’m a newbie. I can’t see the code where the dictionary or array loads the data from the plist. Which line is that?

Josh Highland says May 1, 2010

your zip file is missing the plist file. could you please email it to me?

Siddhpura Dharmesh R. says May 28, 2010

I want to know about how to edit plist which the user created as shown in the above example(plist containing of A-Z keys)? So please can you help me for that..

Sushant says May 29, 2010

If you want to edit pList, just open the pList and double click on the content (whatever you want to display) and change the name of the content.

Alex says June 23, 2010

this is exactly what i was trying to do however im not able to get the search bar to work. could you please help me??

IHSAN KHAN says July 6, 2010

Any one who needs a plist which is missing in this project.
just email me i will send it.

Sushant says July 6, 2010

I have uploaded new Source Code, Now you can download the pList from the Source Code.

RHB says July 25, 2010

I have been lloking for days for an example of how to use a plist. My array is 254 x 19 (array of arrays)

Can you explain how to put the sample files into xcode to run.


dhineshbabu says March 23, 2011

thanks for ur program now i can under stand the plist program correctly . thanks a lot yar

dhineshbabu says March 23, 2011

i need a program that to get the text from textbox and to check whether the data entered in the textbox is in plist. if the data present in the plist it will print it is availble (in label or in message button). please send us the code

pallavi says May 27, 2011

I have done with displaying plist in tableview. But i want to add and delete items from plist in tableview. How to do it. Please reply i am waiting……

iPhone: What are the possible options to save a list of strings so that its available next time the user opens the app and which one is optimal? | PHP Developer Resource says May 29, 2012

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roberto says June 13, 2012

can you email me the source code and plist file for this project? Thanks a lot

suresh says June 18, 2012

cn u xplain plist concept in ios

Mina says July 2, 2012

This is the kind of search I need. But the source code doesn’t seem to work. I’m running it in an iPhone simulator. Everything works but the search.

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