An outlet is a property that is annotated with the symbol IBOutlet and whose value you can set graphically in a nib file or a storyboard. You declare an outlet in the interface of a class, and you make a connection between the outlet and another object in the nib file or storyboard. When the file is loaded, the connection is established.


You define an outlet as a property with the type qualifier of IBOutlet.

@property (nonatomic, weak) IBOutlet UITextField *nameField;

The symbol IBOutlet is used only by Xcode, to determine when a property is an outlet; it has no actual value.

Through an outlet, an object in your code can obtain a reference to an object defined in a nib file or storyboard and then loaded from that file. The object containing an outlet is often a custom controller object such as a view controller. You frequently define outlets so that you can send messages to view objects of the UIKit framework (in iOS) and the AppKit framework (in OS X).

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