Panagiotis Korros Panagiotis Korros - 1 year ago 103
Objective-C Question

How to create a NSString from a format string like @"xxx=%@, yyy=%@" and a NSArray of objects?

Is there any way to create a new
NSString from a format string like @"xxx=%@, yyy=%@" and a NSArray of objects?

In the NSSTring class there are many methods like:

- (id)initWithFormat:(NSString *)format arguments:(va_list)argList
- (id)initWithFormat:(NSString *)format locale:(id)locale arguments:(va_list)argList
+ (id)stringWithFormat:(NSString *)format, ...

but non of them takes a NSArray as an argument, and I cannot find a way to create a va_list from a NSArray...

Answer Source

It is actually not hard to create a va_list from an NSArray. See Matt Gallagher's excellent article on the subject.

Here is an NSString category to do what you want:

@interface NSString (NSArrayFormatExtension)

+ (id)stringWithFormat:(NSString *)format array:(NSArray*) arguments;


@implementation NSString (NSArrayFormatExtension)

+ (id)stringWithFormat:(NSString *)format array:(NSArray*) arguments
    char *argList = (char *)malloc(sizeof(NSString *) * arguments.count);
    [arguments getObjects:(id *)argList];
    NSString* result = [[[NSString alloc] initWithFormat:format arguments:argList] autorelease];
    return result;



NSString* s = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"xxx=%@, yyy=%@" array:@[@"XXX", @"YYY"]];
NSLog( @"%@", s );

Unfortunately, for 64-bit, the va_list format has changed, so the above code no longer works. And probably should not be used anyway given it depends on the format that is clearly subject to change. Given there is no really robust way to create a va_list, a better solution is to simply limit the number of arguments to a reasonable maximum (say 10) and then call stringWithFormat with the first 10 arguments, something like this:

+ (id)stringWithFormat:(NSString *)format array:(NSArray*) arguments
    if ( arguments.count > 10 ) {
        @throw [NSException exceptionWithName:NSRangeException reason:@"Maximum of 10 arguments allowed" userInfo:@{@"collection": arguments}];
    NSArray* a = [arguments arrayByAddingObjectsFromArray:@[@"X",@"X",@"X",@"X",@"X",@"X",@"X",@"X",@"X",@"X"]];
    return [NSString stringWithFormat:format, a[0], a[1], a[2], a[3], a[4], a[5], a[6], a[7], a[8], a[9], a[10] ];
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