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dagronf/QRCode 4.1.1
A simple drop-in macOS/iOS/tvOS/watchOS QR Code generator view for Swift, Objective-C and SwiftUI.
⭐️ 17
🕓 3 days ago
iOS macOS watchOS tvOS
.package(url: "https://github.com/dagronf/QRCode.git", from: "4.1.1")


A simple and quick macOS/iOS/tvOS/watchOS QR Code generator library for SwiftUI, Swift and Objective-C.

Swift Package Manager



It's nice to have a simple, quick drop-in component for displaying a QR code when you need one :-).

This also contains a command-line application for generating a qrcode from the command line (qrcodegen).


  • Supports Swift and Objective-C.
  • Generate a QR code without access to a UI.
  • Supports all error correction levels.
  • Load/Save support
  • Drop-in live display support for SwiftUI, NSView (macOS) and UIView (iOS/tvOS).
  • Generate images, scalable PDFs and CGPath paths.
  • Configurable designs.
  • Configurable fill styles (solid, linear gradient, radial gradient) for image generation.
  • Command line tool for generating qr codes from the command line (macOS 10.13+).

Generating a QR Code

The QRCode.Document class is the core class you will interact with. It is not tied to any presentation medium and is cross-platform across Apple OSes.

You can use this class to generate a QR Code and present the result as a CGPath or a CGImage. And if you're using Swift you can retrieve the raw qr code data as a 2D array of Bool to use however you need.

You can create a basic black-and-white QR code image very easily.

let doc = QRCode.Document(utf8String: "Hi there!", errorCorrection: .high)
let generated = doc.cgImage(CGSize(width: 800, height: 800))


You can further style the qr code (see below)

tl;dr Simple Example
let doc = QRCode.Document()
doc.data = "This is a test".data(using: .utf8)!
doc.errorCorrection = .high

// Set the background color to clear

// Set the foreground color to blue

// Generate a CGPath object containing the QR code
let path = doc.path(CGSize(width: 400, height: 400))

// Generate an image using the default styling (square, black foreground, white background) with 3x resolution
let image = doc.uiImage(CGSize(width: 400, height: 400), scale: 3)

// Generate pdf data containing the qr code
let pdfdata = doc.pdfData(CGSize(width: 400, height: 400))

// Save a JSON representation of the qrcode document
let jsonData = try doc.jsonData()

// Load a qr code from json
let loadedDoc = try QRCode.Document(jsonData: jsonData)

If you have used earlier version of this library, you would have used QRCode for generating qr codes. The QRCode.Document object wraps both the QRCode and the design object for the QR code into a single class to allow loading and saving. Existing code that uses QRCode directly will not be affected.

Special requirements for watchOS

Since watchOS doesn't support Core Image filters (which this library uses on macOS/iOS and tvOS for generating the QR Code) a third-party dependency is provided. It has been wrapped in a module (QRCode3rdPartyGenerator) to allow you to optionally import when needed.

It is required for watchOS projects, for macOS, iOS and tvOS this module is optional and is not required in your projects.

The 3rd party QR Code generator may generate different QR Codes from the built-in Core Image generator. If you need consistent QR Code generation across platforms that includes watchOS, you should use the third party generator (QRCodeGenerator_3rdParty) on all platforms.

tl;dr Simple Example
// watchOS generation sample

import QRCode
import QRCode3rdPartyGenerator

let doc = QRCode.Document(generator: QRCodeGenerator_3rdParty())

// Create a qr code containing "Example Text" and set the error correction to high ('H') with the default design
doc.data = "Example text".data(using: .utf8)!
doc.errorCorrection = .high

// And generate a UIImage from the pdf data
let generatedImage = doc.uiImage(CGSize(width: 400, height: 400))


Set the data content

/// Set raw data
@objc public var data: Data

/// Set a string
public func setString(_ string: String, 
                      encoding: String.Encoding = .utf8, 
                      allowLossyConversion: Bool = false) -> Bool

/// Set raw data using a qrcode message formatter
@objc func setMessage(_ message: QRCodeMessageFormatter)

Set the error correction

@objc public var errorCorrection: QRCode.ErrorCorrection = .quantize

The QRCode.Document has 4 different encoding levels

Error correction Description
low Lowest error correction (L - Recovers 7% of data)
medium Medium error correction (M - Recovers 15% of data)
quantize Quantize error correction (Q - Recovers 25% of data)
high High error correction (H - Recovers 30% of data)

The higher the error correction level, the larger the QR code will be.


QRCode supports a number of ways of 'designing' your qr code. By default, the qr code will be generated in its traditional form - square, black foreground and white background. By tweaking the design settings of the qr code you can make it a touch fancier.

The design comprises two components

shape The shape of each of the individual components within the QR code
style The fill styles for each of the individual components within the QR code

You can individually specify the shape and fill style for each of the components of the QR code.

QR code components

The QRCode is made up of three distinct components

  • The 'on' data pixels
  • The eye
  • The 'off' data pixels (optional)

Eye shape

You can provide an EyeShape object to style just the eyes of the generated qr code. There are built-in generators for square, circle, rounded rectangle, and more.

Preview Name Class Description
"square" QRCode.EyeShape.Square Simple square (default)
"circle" QRCode.EyeShape.Circle Simple circle
"roundedRect" QRCode.EyeShape.RoundedRect Simple rounded rect
"roundedOuter" QRCode.EyeShape.RoundedOuter Square with the outer corner rounded
"roundedPointingIn" QRCode.EyeShape.RoundedPointingIn A rounded rect with the 'inner' corner as a point
"leaf" QRCode.EyeShape.Leaf An eye that look like a leaf
"squircle" QRCode.EyeShape.Squircle A superellipse shape (somewhere between a square and a circle)

Data shape

The data shape represents how the 'pixels' within the QR code are displayed. By default, this is a simple square, however you can supply a DataShape object to custom-draw the data. There are built-in generators for

Preview Name Class Description
"square" QRCode.DataShape.Square A basic square pixel (default)
"circle" QRCode.DataShape.Circle A basic circle pixel
"roundedRect" QRCode.DataShape.RoundedRect A basic rounded rectangle pixel with configurable radius
"horizontal" QRCode.DataShape.Horizontal The pixels are horizonally joined to make continuous horizontal bars
"vertical" QRCode.DataShape.Vertical The pixels are vertically joined to make continuous vertical bars
"roundedPath" QRCode.DataShape.RoundedPath A smooth rounded-edge path
"squircle" QRCode.DataShape.Squircle A superellipse shape (somewhere between a square and a circle)
"pointy" QRCode.DataShape.Pointy A 'pointy' style

'dataInverted' shape (optional)

You can specify a shape to be drawn when a data 'pixel' is off. This can be used to make your qr code prettier. Just remember that the more embellishment you add to a QR code the more difficult it will be to read.

It's really important to make sure that there is a high color contrast between the 'dataInverted' shape and the 'data' shape to aid readers.

QRCode source
let doc1 = QRCode.Document(utf8String: "Hi there noodle")
doc1.design.shape.eye = QRCode.EyeShape.RoundedOuter()
doc1.design.shape.data = QRCode.DataShape.Circle()
doc1.design.style.data = QRCode.FillStyle.Solid(NSColor.systemGreen.cgColor)
doc1.design.shape.dataInverted = QRCode.DataShape.Horizontal(inset: 4, cornerRadiusFraction: 1)
doc1.design.style.dataInverted = QRCode.FillStyle.Solid(NSColor.systemGreen.withAlphaComponent(0.4).cgColor)

// Generate a image for the QRCode
let cgImage = doc1.cgImage(CGSize(width: 300, height: 300))

Fill styles

You can provide a custom fill for any of the individual components of the qr code.

  • The data
  • The eye (outer)
  • The pupil (inner)
  • The dataInverted
QRCode source
let doc2 = QRCode.Document(utf8String: "Github example for colors")
doc2.design.shape.eye = QRCode.EyeShape.RoundedOuter()
doc2.design.shape.data = QRCode.DataShape.RoundedPath()

// Eye color
doc2.design.style.eye = QRCode.FillStyle.Solid(NSColor.systemGreen.cgColor)
// Pupil color
doc2.design.style.pupil = QRCode.FillStyle.Solid(NSColor.systemBlue.cgColor)
// Data color
doc2.design.style.data = QRCode.FillStyle.Solid(NSColor.systemBrown.cgColor)

// Generate a image for the QRCode
let cgImage = doc2.cgImage(CGSize(width: 300, height: 300))

This library supports the current fill types.

  • solid fill (QRCode.FillStyle.Solid)
  • linear gradient (QRCode.FillStyle.LinearGradient)
  • radial gradient (QRCode.FillStyle.RadialGradient)

Style examples

A simple QRCode with a red radial fill.

QRCode source
let doc3 = QRCode.Document(utf8String: "Github example for colors")
doc3.design.style.background = QRCode.FillStyle.Solid(CGColor.white)

// Set the fill color for the data to radial gradient
let radial = QRCode.FillStyle.RadialGradient(
   DSFGradient(pins: [
      DSFGradient.Pin(CGColor(red: 0.8, green: 0, blue: 0, alpha: 1), 0),
      DSFGradient.Pin(CGColor(red: 0.1, green: 0, blue: 0, alpha: 1), 1)
   centerPoint: CGPoint(x: 0.5, y: 0.5)
doc3.design.style.data = radial

// Generate a image for the QRCode
let cgImage = doc3.cgImage(CGSize(width: 300, height: 300))

Generating output

Generate a path

@objc func path(_ size: CGSize, components: Components, design: QRCode.Design) -> CGPath

Produces a CGPath representation of the QRCode

  • The size in pixels of the generated path
  • The components of the qr code to include in the path (defaults to the standard QR components)
    • The eye 'outer' ring
    • The eye pupil
    • The pixels that are 'on' within the QR Code
    • The pixels that are 'off' within the QR Code
  • The shape of the qr components

The components allow the caller to generate individual paths for the QR code components which can then be individually styled and recombined later on.

For example, the SwiftUI implementation is a Shape object, and you can use a ZStack to overlay each component using different a different fill style (for example).

   let qrContent = QRCodeUI(myData)
   ZStack {

Generating a styled image

@objc func image(_ size: CGSize, scale: CGFloat = 1) -> CGImage?

Generate an CGImage from the QR Code, using an (optional) design object for styling the QR code

@objc func nsImage(_ size: CGSize, scale: CGFloat = 1) -> NSImage?

(macOS only) Generate an NSImage from the QR Code, using an (optional) design object for styling the QR code

@objc func uiImage(_ size: CGSize, scale: CGFloat = 1) -> UIImage?

(iOS/tvOS/watchOS/macCatalyst only) Generate an UIImage from the QR Code, using an (optional) design object for styling the QR code

Generate a styled, scalable PDF representation of the QR Code

@objc func pdfData(_ size: CGSize, pdfResolution: CGFloat) -> Data?

Generate a scalable PDF from the QRCode using an (optional) design object for styling the QR code and resolution

Generate a text representation of the QR code

@objc func asciiRepresentation() -> String

Return an ASCII representation of the QR code using the extended ASCII code set

Only makes sense if presented using a fixed-width font.

@objc func smallAsciiRepresentation() -> String

Returns an small ASCII representation of the QR code (about 1/2 the regular size) using the extended ASCII code set

Only makes sense if presented using a fixed-width font.

Message Formatters

There are a number of QRCode data formats that are somewhat common with QR code readers, such as QR codes containing phone numbers or contact details.

There are a number of built-in formatters for some common QR Code types. These can be found in the messages subfolder.

  • URLs (Link)
  • Generate an email (Mail)
  • A phone number (Phone)
  • Contact Details (Contact)
  • A UTF-8 formatted string (Text)


This library provides drop-in components for presenting a styled QR code.


QRCodeView is an NSView (macOS)/UIView (iOS/tvOS) implementation for displaying the content of a QRCode object.


QRCodeUI is the SwiftUI implementation which presents as a Shape. So anything you can do with any SwiftUI shape object (eg. a rectangle) you can now do with a styled QRCode shape outline.

For example, you can use .fill to set the color content (eg. a linear gradient, solid color etc), add a drop shadow, add a transform etc...


func errorCorrection(_ errorCorrection: QRCode.ErrorCorrection) -> QRCodeUI {

Set the error correction level

func components(_ components: QRCode.Components) -> QRCodeUI

Set which components of the QR code to be added to the path

func contentShape(_ shape: QRCode.Shape) -> QRCodeUI
func eyeShape(_ eyeShape: QRCodeEyeShape) -> QRCodeUI
func dataShape(_ dataShape: QRCodeDataShape) -> QRCodeUI

Set the shape for the eye/data or both.

struct ContentView: View {

   @State var content: String = "This is a test of the QR code control"
   @State var correction: QRCodeView.ErrorCorrection = .low

   var body: some View {
      Text("Here is my QR code")
         text: content,
         errorCorrection: correction
      .fill(LinearGradient(gradient: gradient, startPoint: .topLeading, endPoint: .bottomTrailing))
      .shadow(color: .black, radius: 1, x: 1, y: 1)
      .frame(width: 250, height: 250, alignment: .center)


The QRCode library fully supports Objective-C.

QRCode* code = [[QRCode alloc] init];
[code updateWithText: @"This message"
     errorCorrection: QRCodeErrorCorrectionMax];

QRCodeStyle* style = [[QRCodeStyle alloc] init];

// Set the foreground color to a solid red
style.data = [[QRCodeFillStyleSolid alloc] init: CGColorCreateGenericRGB(1, 0, 0, 1)];

// Use the leaf style
style.shape.eyeShape = [[QRCodeEyeStyleLeaf alloc] init];

// Generate the image
CGImageRef image = [code image: CGSizeMake(400, 400) scale: 1.0 style: style];
NSImage* nsImage = [[NSImage alloc] initWithCGImage:image size: CGSizeZero];


The QRCode.Document class has methods for loading/saving QRCode definitions to a JSON format

let qrCode = QRCode.Document()
qrCode.data = "this is a test".data(using: .utf8)!
qrCode.design.shape.data = QRCode.DataShape.Circle()
qrCode.design.shape.eye = QRCode.EyeShape.Leaf()

let jsonData = try qrCode.jsonData()


let loadedQRCode = try QRCode.Document.Create(jsonData: jsonData)


There are a number of demo apps which you can find in the Demo subfolder. There are simple demo applications for

  • SwiftUI (macOS, iOS, macCatalyst, watchOS)
  • iOS (Swift, including macCatalyst)
  • macOS (Swift and Objective-C)

Command line tool

You can build the command line tool by opening a terminal window, cd into the QRCode folder and build using

swift build -c release

The qrcodegen tool can be found in the .build/release folder.

% .build/release/qrcodegen --help
OVERVIEW: Create a qr code

* If you don't specify either -t or --input-file, the qrcode content will be read from STDIN
* If you don't specify an output file, the generated qr code will be written to a temporary file
  and opened in the default application.

USAGE: qr-code-gen [<options>] <dimension>

  <dimension>             The QR code dimension. 

  --input-file <input-file>
                          The file containing the content for the QR code 
  --output-file <output-file>
                          The output file 
  --output-format <output-format>
                          The output format (png [default],pdf,ascii,smallascii) 
  --output-compression <output-compression>
                          The output format compression factor (if the output format supports it, png,jpg) 
  -t, --text <text>       The text to be stored in the QR code 
  -s, --silence           Silence any output 
  -c, --error-correction <error-correction>
                          The level of error correction. Available levels are "L" (low), "M" (medium), "Q" (high), "H"
  -e, --eye-shape <eye-shape>
                          The eye shape to use. Available shapes are circle, leaf, roundedOuter, roundedPointingIn,
                          roundedRect, square, squircle. 
  -d, --data-shape <data-shape>
                          The data shape to use. Available shapes are circle, horizontal, pointy, roundedPath,
                          roundedRect, square, squircle, vertical. 
  -n, --inset <inset>     The spacing around each individual pixel in the data section 
  -r, --data-shape-corner-radius <data-shape-corner-radius>
                          The data shape corner radius fractional value (0.0 -> 1.0) 
  --bg-color <bg-color>   The background color to use (format r,g,b,a - 1.0,0.5,0.5,1.0) 
  --data-color <data-color>
                          The data color to use (format r,g,b,a - 1.0,0.5,0.5,1.0) 
  --eye-color <eye-color> The eye color to use (format r,g,b,a - 1.0,0.5,0.5,1.0) 
  --pupil-color <pupil-color>
                          The pupil color to use (format r,g,b,a - 1.0,0.5,0.5,1.0) 
  -h, --help              Show help information.


# Generate a qr code 800x800, png format, using roundedPath for the data, leaf for the eye and a transparent background
.build/release/qrcodegen -c H -d roundedPath -e leaf --bg-color 1.0,1.0,1.0,0.0 -t "qrcode generated by command line" --output-file "output.png" 800


Denso Wave

Denso Wave

QR Code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE.


Since watchOS doesn't support Core Image filters, I defer to using an (optional) 3rd party for generating QR Codes for watchOS. It is based on Nayuki's QR Code generator code.



MIT. Use it for anything you want, just attribute my work if you do. Let me know if you do use it somewhere, I'd love to hear about it!

MIT License

Copyright (c) 2022 Darren Ford

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all
copies or substantial portions of the Software.



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Last commit: 4 days ago
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