Trespassers W Trespassers W - 4 months ago 88x
iOS Question

UITextView with clickable links but no text highlighting

I have a UITextView displaying non-editable text. I want the text to automatically parse links, phone numbers, etc for the user, and for those to be clickable.

I don't want the user to be able to highlight text, though, because I want to override those long press and double-tap interactions to do something different.

In order for links to be parsed in iOS7, the Selectable switch needs to be turned on for the UITextView, but Selectable also enables highlighting, which I don't want.

I tried overriding the LongPress gesture to prevent highlighting, but that seems to have disabled ordinary taps on links as well...

for (UIGestureRecognizer *recognizer in cell.messageTextView.gestureRecognizers) {
if ([recognizer isKindOfClass:[UILongPressGestureRecognizer class]]){
recognizer.enabled = NO;
if ([recognizer isKindOfClass:[UITapGestureRecognizer class]]){
recognizer.enabled = YES;

There are lots of similar threads out there but none seem to address this specific question of links enabled, text not highlightable.


I am working on the exact same problem and the best I could do was to instantly clear the selection as soon as it is made by adding the following to the UITextView's delegate:

- (void)textViewDidChangeSelection:(UITextView *)textView {
    if(NSEqualRanges(textView.selectedRange, NSMakeRange(0, 0)) == NO) {
        textView.selectedRange = NSMakeRange(0, 0);

Note the check to prevent recursion. This pretty much addresses the issue because only selection is disabled -- links will still work.

Another tangential issue is that the text view will still become first responder, which you can fix by setting your desired first responder after setting the selected range.

Note: the only visual oddity that remains is that press-and-hold brings up the magnifying glass.