Allowing the Simultaneous Recognition of Multiple Gestures

Learn how to use a delegate object to allow detection of more than one gesture at a time.


There are times when it makes sense to allow the simultaneous recognition of multiple gestures. Figure 1 shows an app that allows users to drag, scale, and rotate three colored views onscreen. Each view maintains its own unique set of pan, pinch, and rotate gesture recognizers, and it is possible for all three of a view’s gesture recognizers to perform their actions simultaneously.

Figure 1

Dragging, scaling, and rotating an object

A screenshot of an app that demonstrates how a user can use rotation, pinch and pan gestures simultaneously to control the appearance of a pink square.

To allow a gesture recognizer to operate simultaneously with other gestures, assign a delegate object that implements the gestureRecognizer:shouldRecognizeSimultaneouslyWithGestureRecognizer: method to it. UIKit calls this method for pairs of gesture recognizers attached to the same view. Returning true allows both gestures to process events simultaneously.

Listing 1 shows the gestureRecognizer:shouldRecognizeSimultaneouslyWithGestureRecognizer: method from the app shown in Figure 1. This method returns true when the gesture recognizers are attached to the same view. If the gesture recognizers are attached to different views, or if one of the objects is a long press gesture recognizer, this method returns false.

Listing 1

Determining when to handle gestures simultaneously

func gestureRecognizer(_ gestureRecognizer: UIGestureRecognizer,
       shouldRecognizeSimultaneouslyWith otherGestureRecognizer: UIGestureRecognizer)
        -> Bool {
   // If the gesture recognizer's view isn't one of the squares, do not
   // allow simultaneous recognition.
   if gestureRecognizer.view != self.yellowView && 
            gestureRecognizer.view != self.cyanView && 
            gestureRecognizer.view != self.magentaView {
      return false
   // If the gesture recognizers are on diferent views, do not allow
   // simultaneous recognition.
   if gestureRecognizer.view != otherGestureRecognizer.view {
      return false
   // If either gesture recognizer is a long press, do not allow
   // simultaneous recognition.
   if gestureRecognizer is UILongPressGestureRecognizer || 
          otherGestureRecognizer is UILongPressGestureRecognizer {
      return false
   return true

For more information about the sample, see Handling Touches Using Responder Methods and Gesture Recognizers.

See Also

Simultaneous Gestures

Preferring One Gesture Over Another

Use a gesture recognizer delegate object to determine the order in which gestures are recognized in your views.

Attaching Gesture Recognizers to UIKit Controls

Learn how gesture recognizers interact with UIKit controls such as buttons switches and sliders.