iOS Search Bar in Navigation Bar Title


This example uses a search controller to filter the data inside a table view controller. The search bar is placed inside the navigation bar that the table view is embedded into.


Embed a UITableViewController into a UINavigationController to get the UINavigationItem (which contains the navigation bar). Then set our custom ViewController class to inherit from UITableViewController and adopt the UISearchResultsUpdating protocol.

class ViewController: UITableViewController, UISearchResultsUpdating {

    let entries = [(title: "Easiest", image: "green_circle"),
                   (title: "Intermediate", image: "blue_square"),
                   (title: "Advanced", image: "black_diamond"),
                   (title: "Expert Only", image: "double_black_diamond")]
    // An empty tuple that will be updated with search results.
    var searchResults : [(title: String, image: String)] = []
    let searchController = UISearchController(searchResultsController: nil)

    override func viewDidLoad() {
        searchController.searchResultsUpdater = self
        self.definesPresentationContext = true

        // Place the search bar in the navigation item's title view.
        self.navigationItem.titleView = searchController.searchBar

        // Don't hide the navigation bar because the search bar is in it.
        searchController.hidesNavigationBarDuringPresentation = false
    func filterContent(for searchText: String) {
        // Update the searchResults array with matches
        // in our entries based on the title value.
        searchResults = entries.filter({ (title: String, image: String) -> Bool in
            let match = title.range(of: searchText, options: .caseInsensitive)
            // Return the tuple if the range contains a match.
            return match != nil

    // MARK: - UISearchResultsUpdating method
    func updateSearchResults(for searchController: UISearchController) {
        // If the search bar contains text, filter our data with the string
        if let searchText = searchController.searchBar.text {
            filterContent(for: searchText)
            // Reload the table view with the search result data.

    // MARK: - UITableViewController methods
    override func numberOfSections(in tableView: UITableView) -> Int { return 1 }

    override func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, numberOfRowsInSection section: Int) -> Int {
        // If the search bar is active, use the searchResults data.
        return searchController.isActive ? searchResults.count : entries.count
    override func tableView(_ tableView: UITableView, cellForRowAt indexPath: IndexPath) -> UITableViewCell {
        // If the search bar is active, use the searchResults data.
        let entry = searchController.isActive ? 
                    searchResults[indexPath.row] : entries[indexPath.row]
        let cell = tableView.dequeueReusableCell(withIdentifier: "Cell", for: indexPath)
        cell.textLabel?.text = entry.title
        cell.imageView?.image = UIImage(named: entry.image)
        return cell