NSBundle Class Reference

Inherits from
Conforms to
Framework
/System/Library/Frameworks/Foundation.framework
Availability
Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared in
NSBundle.h
Companion guides
Related sample code

Overview

An NSBundle object represents a location in the file system that groups code and resources that can be used in a program. NSBundle objects locate program resources, dynamically load and unload executable code, and assist in localization. You build a bundle in Xcode using one of these project types: Application, Framework, plug-ins.

Although bundle structures vary depending on the target platform and the type of bundle you are building, the NSBundle class hides this underlying structure in most (but not all) cases. Many of the methods you use to load resources from a bundle automatically locate the appropriate starting directory and look for resources in known places. For information about application bundle structures (for OS X and iOS), see Bundle Programming Guide. For information about the structure of framework bundles, see Framework Programming Guide. For information about the structure of OS X plug-ins, see Code Loading Programming Topics.

For additional information about how to load nib files and images in a Mac app, see NSBundle AppKit Additions Reference. For information about how to load nib files in an iOS application, see NSBundle UIKit Additions Reference.

Unlike some other Foundation classes with corresponding Core Foundation names (such as NSString and CFString), NSBundle objects cannot be cast (“toll-free bridged”) to CFBundle references. If you need functionality provided in CFBundle, you can still create a CFBundle and use the CFBundle Reference API. See “Interchangeable Data Types” for more information on toll-free bridging.

Tasks

Initializing an NSBundle

Getting an NSBundle

Getting a Bundled Class

Finding Resources

Getting the Bundle Directory

Getting Bundle Information

Managing Localized Resources

Loading a Bundle’s Code

Managing Localizations

Class Methods

allBundles

Returns an array of all the application’s non-framework bundles.

+ (NSArray *)allBundles
Return Value

An array of all the application’s non-framework bundles.

Discussion

The returned array includes the main bundle and all bundles that have been dynamically created but doesn’t contain any bundles that represent frameworks.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

allFrameworks

Returns an array of all of the application’s bundles that represent frameworks.

+ (NSArray *)allFrameworks
Return Value

An array of all of the application’s bundles that represent frameworks. Only frameworks with one or more Objective-C classes in them are included.

Discussion

The returned array includes frameworks that are linked into an application when the application is built and bundles for frameworks that have been dynamically created.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

bundleForClass:

Returns the NSBundle object with which the specified class is associated.

+ (NSBundle *)bundleForClass:(Class)aClass
Parameters
aClass

A class.

Return Value

The NSBundle object that dynamically loaded aClass (a loadable bundle), the NSBundle object for the framework in which aClass is defined, or the main bundle object if aClass was not dynamically loaded or is not defined in a framework.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

bundleWithIdentifier:

Returns the previously created NSBundle instance that has the specified bundle identifier.

+ (NSBundle *)bundleWithIdentifier:(NSString *)identifier
Parameters
identifier

The identifier for an existing NSBundle instance.

Return Value

The previously created NSBundle instance that has the bundle identifier identifier. Returns nil if the requested bundle is not found.

Discussion

This method is typically used by frameworks and plug-ins to locate their own bundle at runtime. This method may be somewhat more efficient than trying to locate the bundle using the bundleForClass: method. However, if the initial lookup of an already loaded and cached bundle with the specified identifier fails, this method uses potentially time-consuming heuristics to attempt to locate the bundle.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

bundleWithPath:

Returns an NSBundle object that corresponds to the specified directory.

+ (NSBundle *)bundleWithPath:(NSString *)fullPath
Parameters
fullPath

The path to a directory. This must be a full pathname for a directory; if it contains any symbolic links, they must be resolvable.

Return Value

The NSBundle object that corresponds to fullPath, or nil if fullPath does not identify an accessible bundle directory.

Discussion

This method allocates and initializes the returned object if there is no existing NSBundle associated with fullPath, in which case it returns the existing object.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

bundleWithURL:

Returns an NSBundle object that corresponds to the specified file URL.

+ (NSBundle *)bundleWithURL:(NSURL *)url
Parameters
url

The URL to a directory. This must be a URL for a directory; if it contains any symbolic links, they must be resolvable.

Return Value

The NSBundle object that corresponds to url, or nil if url does not identify an accessible bundle directory.

Discussion

This method allocates and initializes the returned object if there is no existing NSBundle associated with url, in which case it returns the existing object.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

mainBundle

Returns the NSBundle object that corresponds to the directory where the current application executable is located.

+ (NSBundle *)mainBundle
Return Value

The NSBundle object that corresponds to the directory where the application executable is located, or nil if a bundle object could not be created.

Discussion

This method allocates and initializes a bundle object if one doesn’t already exist. The new object corresponds to the directory where the application executable is located. Be sure to check the return value to make sure you have a valid bundle. This method may return a valid bundle object even for unbundled applications.

In general, the main bundle corresponds to an application file package or application wrapper: a directory that bears the name of the application and is marked by a “.app” extension.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathForResource:ofType:inDirectory:

Returns the full pathname for the resource file identified by the specified name and extension and residing in a given bundle directory.

+ (NSString *)pathForResource:(NSString *)name ofType:(NSString *)extension inDirectory:(NSString *)bundlePath
Parameters
name

The name of a resource file contained in the directory specified by bundlePath.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

bundlePath

The path of a top-level bundle directory. This must be a valid path. For example, to specify the bundle directory for a Mac app, you might specify the path /Applications/MyApp.app.

Return Value

The full pathname for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located. This method also returns nil if the bundle specified by the bundlePath parameter does not exist or is not a readable directory.

Discussion

The method first looks for a matching resource file in the non-localized resource directory of the specified bundle. (In OS X, this directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.) If a matching resource file is not found, it then looks in the top level of any available language-specific “.lproj” directories. (The search order for the language-specific directories corresponds to the user’s preferences.) It does not recurse through other subdirectories at any of these locations. For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathsForResourcesOfType:inDirectory:

Returns an array containing the pathnames for all bundle resources having the specified extension and residing in the bundle directory at the specified path.

+ (NSArray *)pathsForResourcesOfType:(NSString *)extension inDirectory:(NSString *)bundlePath
Parameters
extension

The file extension. If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist, all the files in bundlePath are returned.

bundlePath

The top-level directory of a bundle. This must represent a valid path.

Return Value

An array containing the full pathnames for all bundle resources with the specified extension. This method returns an empty array if no matching resource files are found. It also returns an empty array if the bundle specified by the bundlePath parameter does not exist or is not a readable directory.

Discussion

This method provides a means for dynamically discovering multiple bundle resources of the same type.

The method first looks for matching resource files in the nonlocalized resource directory of the specified bundle. (In OS X, this directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.) It then looks in the top level of any available language-specific “.lproj” directories. It does not recurse through other subdirectories at any of these locations. For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

preferredLocalizationsFromArray:

Returns one or more localizations from the specified list that a bundle object would use to locate resources for the current user.

+ (NSArray *)preferredLocalizationsFromArray:(NSArray *)localizationsArray
Parameters
localizationsArray

An array of NSString objects, each of which specifies the name of a localization that the bundle supports.

Return Value

An array of NSString objects containing the preferred localizations. These strings are ordered in the array according to the current user's language preferences and are taken from the strings in the localizationsArray parameter.

Discussion

This method does not return all localizations in preference order but only those from which NSBundle would get localized content, typically either a single non-region-specific localization or a region-specific localization followed by a corresponding non-region-specific localization as a fallback.

However, clients who want all localizations in preference order can make repeated calls, each time taking the top localizations out of the list of localizations passed in.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

preferredLocalizationsFromArray:forPreferences:

Returns the localizations that a bundle object would prefer, given the specified bundle and user preference localizations.

+ (NSArray *)preferredLocalizationsFromArray:(NSArray *)localizationsArray forPreferences:(NSArray *)preferencesArray
Parameters
localizationsArray

An array of NSString objects, each of which specifies the name of a localization that the bundle supports.

preferencesArray

An array of NSString objects containing the user's preferred localizations. If this parameter is nil, the method uses the current user's localization preferences.

Return Value

An array of NSString objects containing the preferred localizations. These strings are ordered in the array according to the specified preferences and are taken from the strings in the localizationsArray parameter. If none of the user-preferred localizations are available in the bundle, this method returns one of the bundle localizations.

Discussion

This method does not return all localizations in preference order but only those from which NSBundle would get localized content, typically either a single non-region-specific localization or a region-specific localization followed by a corresponding non-region-specific localization as a fallback.

However, clients who want all localizations in preference order can make repeated calls, each time taking the top localizations out of the list of localizations passed in.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLForResource:withExtension:subdirectory:inBundleWithURL:

Creates and returns a file URL for the resource with the specified name and extension in the specified bundle.

+ (NSURL *)URLForResource:(NSString *)name withExtension:(NSString *)ext subdirectory:(NSString *)subpath inBundleWithURL:(NSURL *)bundleURL
Parameters
name

The name of the resource file.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file URL is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory to search.

bundleURL

The file URL of the bundle to search.

Return Value

The file URL for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLsForResourcesWithExtension:subdirectory:inBundleWithURL:

Returns an array containing the file URLs for all bundle resources having the specified filename extension, residing in the specified resource subdirectory, within the specified bundle.

+ (NSArray *)URLsForResourcesWithExtension:(NSString *)ext subdirectory:(NSString *)subpath inBundleWithURL:(NSURL *)bundleURL
Parameters
ext

The file extension of the files to retrieve.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory to search.

bundleURL

The file URL of the bundle to search.

Return Value

The file URL for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

Instance Methods

appStoreReceiptURL

Returns the file URL for the bundle’s App Store receipt.

- (NSURL *)appStoreReceiptURL
Return Value

The file URL for the bundle’s App Store receipt.

Discussion

For an application purchased from the App Store, call this method on its application bundle locate the receipt. This method makes no guarantee about whether there is a file at the returned URL—only that if a receipt is present, that is its location.

In iOS, use the following code to detect whether this method is available:

if (floor(NSFoundationVersionNumber) <= NSFoundationVersionNumber_iOS_6_1) {
   // Load resources for iOS 6.1 or earlier
} else {
   // Load resources for iOS 7 or later
}
Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.7 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

builtInPlugInsPath

Returns the full pathname of the receiver's subdirectory containing plug-ins.

- (NSString *)builtInPlugInsPath
Return Value

The full pathname of the receiving bundle’s subdirectory containing plug-ins.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a path for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

builtInPlugInsURL

Returns the file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing plug-ins.

- (NSURL *)builtInPlugInsURL
Return Value

The file URL of the receiving bundle’s subdirectory containing plug-ins.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a URL for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

bundleIdentifier

Returns the receiver’s bundle identifier.

- (NSString *)bundleIdentifier
Return Value

The receiver’s bundle identifier, which is defined by the CFBundleIdentifier key in the bundle’s information property list.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

bundlePath

Returns the full pathname of the receiver’s bundle directory.

- (NSString *)bundlePath
Return Value

The full pathname of the receiver’s bundle directory.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

bundleURL

Returns the full URL of the receiver’s bundle directory.

- (NSURL *)bundleURL
Return Value

The full URL of the receiver’s bundle directory.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

classNamed:

Returns the Class object for the specified name.

- (Class)classNamed:(NSString *)className
Parameters
className

The name of a class.

Return Value

The Class object for className. Returns nil if className is not one of the classes associated with the receiver or if there is an error loading the executable code containing the class implementation.

Discussion

If the bundle’s executable code is not yet loaded, this method dynamically loads it into memory. Classes (and categories) are loaded from just one file within the bundle directory; this code file has the same name as the directory, but without the extension (“.bundle”, “.app”, “.framework”). As a side effect of code loading, the receiver posts NSBundleDidLoadNotification after all classes and categories have been loaded; see “Notifications” for details.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

developmentLocalization

Returns the localization used to create the bundle.

- (NSString *)developmentLocalization
Return Value

The localization used to create the bundle.

Discussion

The returned localization corresponds to the value in the CFBundleDevelopmentRegion key of the bundle’s property list (Info.plist).

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

executableArchitectures

Returns an array of numbers indicating the architecture types supported by the bundle’s executable.

- (NSArray *)executableArchitectures
Return Value

An array of NSNumber objects, each of which contains an integer value corresponding to a supported processor architecture. For a list of common architecture types, see the constants in “Mach-O Architecture.” If the bundle does not contain a Mach-O executable, this method returns nil.

Discussion

This method scans the bundle’s Mach-O executable and returns all of the architecture types it finds. Because they are taken directly from the executable, the returned values may not always correspond to one of the well-known CPU types defined in “Mach-O Architecture.”

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.5 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

executablePath

Returns the full pathname of the receiver's executable file.

- (NSString *)executablePath
Return Value

The full pathname of the receiving bundle’s executable file.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

executableURL

Returns the file URL of the receiver's executable file.

- (NSURL *)executableURL
Return Value

The file URL of the receiving bundle’s executable file.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

infoDictionary

Returns a dictionary that contains information about the receiver.

- (NSDictionary *)infoDictionary
Return Value

A dictionary, constructed from the bundle's Info.plist file, that contains information about the receiver. If the bundle does not contain an Info.plist file, a valid dictionary is returned but this dictionary contains only private keys that are used internally by the NSBundle class. The NSBundle class may add extra keys to this dictionary for its own use.

Discussion

Common keys for accessing the values of the dictionary are CFBundleIdentifier, NSMainNibFile, and NSPrincipalClass.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

initWithPath:

Returns an NSBundle object initialized to correspond to the specified directory.

- (id)initWithPath:(NSString *)fullPath
Parameters
fullPath

The path to a directory. This must be a full pathname for a directory; if it contains any symbolic links, they must be resolvable.

Return Value

An NSBundle object initialized to correspond to fullPath. This method initializes and returns a new instance only if there is no existing bundle associated with fullPath, otherwise it deallocates self and returns the existing object. If fullPath doesn’t exist or the user doesn’t have access to it, returns nil.

Discussion

It’s not necessary to allocate and initialize an instance for the main bundle; use the mainBundle class method to get this instance. You can also use the bundleWithPath: class method to obtain a bundle identified by its directory path.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

initWithURL:

Returns an NSBundle object initialized to correspond to the specified file URL.

- (id)initWithURL:(NSURL *)url
Parameters
url

The file URL to a directory. This must be a full URL for a directory; if it contains any symbolic links, they must be resolvable.

Return Value

An NSBundle object initialized to correspond to url. This method initializes and returns a new instance only if there is no existing bundle associated with url, otherwise it deallocates self and returns the existing object. If url doesn’t exist or the user doesn’t have access to it, returns nil.

Discussion

It’s not necessary to allocate and initialize an instance for the main bundle; use the mainBundle class method to get this instance. You can also use the bundleWithURL: class method to obtain a bundle identified by its file URL.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

isLoaded

Obtains information about the load status of a bundle.

- (BOOL)isLoaded
Return Value

YES if the bundle’s code is currently loaded, otherwise NO.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
See Also
Declared In
NSBundle.h

load

Dynamically loads the bundle’s executable code into a running program, if the code has not already been loaded.

- (BOOL)load
Return Value

YES if the method successfully loads the bundle’s code or if the code has already been loaded, otherwise NO.

Discussion

You can use this method to load the code associated with a dynamically loaded bundle, such as a plug-in or framework. Prior to OS X version 10.5, a bundle would attempt to load its code—if it had any—only once. Once loaded, you could not unload that code. In OS X version 10.5 and later, you can unload a bundle’s executable code using the unload method.

You don’t need to load a bundle’s executable code to search the bundle’s resources.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

loadAndReturnError:

Loads the bundle’s executable code and returns any errors.

- (BOOL)loadAndReturnError:(NSError **)error
Parameters
error

On input, a pointer to an error object variable. On output, this variable may contain an error object indicating why the bundle’s executable could not be loaded. If no error occurred, this parameter is left unmodified. You may specify nil for this parameter if you are not interested in the error information.

Return Value

YES if the bundle’s executable code was loaded successfully or was already loaded; otherwise, NO if the code could not be loaded.

Discussion

If this method returns NO and you pass a value for the error parameter, a suitable error object is returned in that parameter. Potential errors returned are in the Cocoa error domain and include the types that follow. For a full list of error types, see FoundationErrors.h.

  • NSFileNoSuchFileError - returned if the bundle’s executable file was not located.

  • NSExecutableNotLoadableError - returned if the bundle’s executable file exists but could not be loaded. This error is returned if the executable is not recognized as a loadable executable. It can also be returned if the executable is a PEF/CFM executable but the current process does not support that type of executable.

  • NSExecutableArchitectureMismatchError - returned if the bundle executable does not include code that matches the processor architecture of the current processor.

  • NSExecutableRuntimeMismatchError - returned if the bundle’s required Objective-C runtime information is not compatible with the runtime of the current process.

  • NSExecutableLoadError - returned if the bundle’s executable failed to load for some detectable reason prior to linking. This error might occur if the bundle depends on a framework or library that is missing or if the required framework or library is not compatible with the current architecture or runtime version.

  • NSExecutableLinkError - returned if the executable failed to load due to link errors but is otherwise alright.

The error object may contain additional debugging information in its description that you can use to identify the cause of the error. (This debugging information should not be displayed to the user.) You can obtain the debugging information by invoking the error object’s description method in your code or by using the print-object command on the error object in gdb.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.5 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

localizations

Returns a list of all the localizations contained within the receiver’s bundle.

- (NSArray *)localizations
Return Value

An array, containing NSString objects, that specifies all the localizations contained within the receiver’s bundle.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

localizedInfoDictionary

Returns a dictionary with the keys from the bundle’s localized property list.

- (NSDictionary *)localizedInfoDictionary
Return Value

A dictionary with the keys from the bundle’s localized property list (InfoPlist.strings).

Discussion

This method uses the preferred localization for the current user when determining which resources to return. If the preferred localization is not available, this method chooses the most appropriate localization found in the bundle.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

localizedStringForKey:value:table:

Returns a localized version of the string designated by the specified key and residing in the specified table.

- (NSString *)localizedStringForKey:(NSString *)key value:(NSString *)value table:(NSString *)tableName
Parameters
key

The key for a string in the table identified by tableName.

value

The value to return if key is nil or if a localized string for key can’t be found in the table.

tableName

The receiver’s string table to search. If tableName is nil or is an empty string, the method attempts to use the table in Localizable.strings.

Return Value

A localized version of the string designated by key in table tableName. If value is nil or an empty string, and a localized string is not found in the table, returns key. If key and value are both nil, returns the empty string.

Discussion

For more details about string localization and the specification of a .strings file, see ““String Resources”.”

Using the user default NSShowNonLocalizedStrings, you can alter the behavior of localizedStringForKey:value:table: to log a message when the method can’t find a localized string. If you set this default to YES (in the global domain or in the application’s domain), then when the method can’t find a localized string in the table, it logs a message to the console and capitalizes key before returning it.

The following example cycles through a static array of keys when a button is clicked, gets the value for each key from a strings table named Buttons.strings, and sets the button title with the returned value:

- (void)changeTitle:(id)sender
{
    static int keyIndex = 0;
    NSBundle *thisBundle = [NSBundle bundleForClass:[self class]];
 
    NSString *locString = [thisBundle
        localizedStringForKey:assortedKeys[keyIndex++]
        value:@"No translation" table:@"Buttons"];
    [sender setTitle:locString];
    if (keyIndex == MAXSTRINGS) keyIndex=0;
}
Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

objectForInfoDictionaryKey:

Returns the value associated with the specified key in the receiver's information property list.

- (id)objectForInfoDictionaryKey:(NSString *)key
Parameters
key

A key in the receiver's property list.

Return Value

The value associated with key in the receiver's property list (Info.plist). The localized value of a key is returned when one is available.

Discussion

Use of this method is preferred over other access methods because it returns the localized value of a key when one is available.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.2 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathForAuxiliaryExecutable:

Returns the full pathname of the executable with the specified name in the receiver’s bundle.

- (NSString *)pathForAuxiliaryExecutable:(NSString *)executableName
Parameters
executableName

The name of an executable file.

Return Value

The full pathname of the executable executableName in the receiver’s bundle.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a path for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathForResource:ofType:

Returns the full pathname for the resource identified by the specified name and file extension.

- (NSString *)pathForResource:(NSString *)name ofType:(NSString *)extension
Parameters
name

The name of the resource file. If name is an empty string or nil, returns the first file encountered of the supplied type.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

Return Value

The full pathname for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located.

Discussion

The method first looks for a matching resource file in the non-localized resource directory of the specified bundle. (In OS X, this directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.) If a matching resource file is not found, it then looks in the top level of any available language-specific “.lproj” directories. (The search order for the language-specific directories corresponds to the user’s preferences.) It does not recurse through other subdirectories at any of these locations. For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

The following code fragment gets the path to a plist within the bundle, and loads it into an NSDictionary.

 
NSBundle *thisBundle = [NSBundle bundleForClass:[self class]];
if (commonDictionaryPath = [thisBundle pathForResource:@"CommonDictionary" ofType:@"plist"])  {
    theDictionary = [[NSDictionary alloc] initWithContentsOfFile:commonDictionaryPath];
}
Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathForResource:ofType:inDirectory:

Returns the full pathname for the resource identified by the specified name and file extension and located in the specified bundle subdirectory.

- (NSString *)pathForResource:(NSString *)name ofType:(NSString *)extension inDirectory:(NSString *)subpath
Parameters
name

The name of the resource file.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, all the files in subpath and its subdirectories are returned. If an extension is provided the subdirectories are not searched.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory. Can be nil.

Return Value

An array of full pathnames for the subpath or nil if no files are located.

Discussion

If subpath is nil, this method searches the top-level nonlocalized resource directory and the top-level of any language-specific directories. (In OS X, the top-level nonlocalized resource directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.) For example, suppose you have a Mac app with a modern bundle and you specify @"Documentation" for the subpath parameter. This method would first look in the Contents/Resources/Documentation directory of the bundle, followed by the Documentation subdirectories of each language-specific .lproj directory.

Whether this method recurses through subdirectories is dependent on the extension parameter. If nil or an empty string it will recurse, otherwise, it does not. (The search order for the language-specific directories corresponds to the user’s preferences.) For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathForResource:ofType:inDirectory:forLocalization:

Returns the full pathname for the resource identified by the specified name and file extension, located in the specified bundle subdirectory, and limited to global resources and those associated with the specified localization.

- (NSString *)pathForResource:(NSString *)name ofType:(NSString *)extension inDirectory:(NSString *)subpath forLocalization:(NSString *)localizationName
Parameters
name

The name of the resource file.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory to search.

localizationName

The name of the localization. This parameter should correspond to the name of one of the bundle's language-specific resource directories without the .lproj extension.

Return Value

The full pathname for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located.

Discussion

This method is equivalent to pathForResource:ofType:inDirectory:, except that only nonlocalized resources and those in the language-specific .lproj directory specified by localizationName are searched.

There should typically be little reason to use this method—see “Getting the Current Language and Locale”. See also preferredLocalizationsFromArray:forPreferences: for how to determine what localizations are available.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathsForResourcesOfType:inDirectory:

Returns an array containing the pathnames for all bundle resources having the specified filename extension and residing in the resource subdirectory.

- (NSArray *)pathsForResourcesOfType:(NSString *)extension inDirectory:(NSString *)subpath
Parameters
extension

The file extension. If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist, all the files in subpath are returned.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory to search.

Return Value

An array containing the full pathnames for all bundle resources matching the specified criteria. This method returns an empty array if no matching resource files are found.

Discussion

This method provides a means for dynamically discovering multiple bundle resources of the same type. If extension is an empty string or nil, all bundle resources in the specified resource directory are returned.

The argument subpath specifies the name of a specific subdirectory to search within the current bundle’s resource directory hierarchy. If subpath is nil, this method searches the top-level nonlocalized resource directory and the top-level of any language-specific directories. (In OS X, the top-level nonlocalized resource directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.) For example, suppose you have a Mac app with a modern bundle and you specify @"Documentation" for the subpath parameter. This method would first look in the Contents/Resources/Documentation directory of the bundle, followed by the Documentation subdirectories of each language-specific .lproj directory. (The search order for the language-specific directories corresponds to the user’s preferences.) This method does not recurse through any other subdirectories at any of these locations. For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

pathsForResourcesOfType:inDirectory:forLocalization:

Returns an array containing the file for all bundle resources having the specified filename extension, residing in the specified resource subdirectory, and limited to global resources and those associated with the specified localization.

- (NSArray *)pathsForResourcesOfType:(NSString *)extension inDirectory:(NSString *)subpath forLocalization:(NSString *)localizationName
Parameters
extension

The file extension of the files to retrieve.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory to search.

localizationName

The name of the localization. This parameter should correspond to the name of one of the bundle's language-specific resource directories without the .lproj extension.

Return Value

An array containing the full pathnames for all bundle resources matching the specified criteria. This method returns an empty array if no matching resource files are found.

Discussion

This method is equivalent to pathsForResourcesOfType:inDirectory:, except that only nonlocalized resources and those in the language-specific .lproj directory specified by localizationName are searched.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

preferredLocalizations

Returns an array of strings indicating the actual localizations contained in the receiver’s bundle.

- (NSArray *)preferredLocalizations
Return Value

An array of NSString objects, each of which identifies the a localization in the receiver’s bundle. The languages are in the preferred order.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

preflightAndReturnError:

Returns a Boolean value indicating whether the bundle’s executable code could be loaded successfully.

- (BOOL)preflightAndReturnError:(NSError **)error
Parameters
error

On input, a pointer to an error object variable. On output, this variable may contain an error object indicating why the bundle’s executable could not be loaded. If no error would occur, this parameter is left unmodified. You may specify nil for this parameter if you are not interested in the error information.

Return Value

YES if the bundle’s executable code could be loaded successfully or is already loaded; otherwise, NO if the code could not be loaded.

Discussion

This method does not actually load the bundle’s executable code. Instead, it performs several checks to see if the code could be loaded and with one exception returns the same errors that would occur during an actual load operation. The one exception is the NSExecutableLinkError error, which requires the actual loading of the code to verify link errors.

For a list of possible load errors, see the discussion for the loadAndReturnError: method.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.5 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

principalClass

Returns the receiver’s principal class.

- (Class)principalClass
Return Value

The receiver’s principal class—after ensuring that the code containing the definition of that class is dynamically loaded. If the receiver encounters errors in loading or if it can’t find the executable code file in the bundle directory, returns nil.

Discussion

The principal class typically controls all the other classes in the bundle; it should mediate between those classes and classes external to the bundle. Classes (and categories) are loaded from just one file within the bundle directory. NSBundle obtains the name of the code file to load from the dictionary returned from infoDictionary, using “NSExecutable” as the key. The bundle determines its principal class in one of two ways:

  • It first looks in its own information dictionary, which extracts the information encoded in the bundle’s property list (Info.plist). NSBundle obtains the principal class from the dictionary using the key NSPrincipalClass. For non-loadable bundles (applications and frameworks), if the principal class is not specified in the property list, the method returns nil.

  • If the principal class is not specified in the information dictionary, NSBundle identifies the first class loaded as the principal class. When several classes are linked into a dynamically loadable file, the default principal class is the first one listed on the ld command line. In the following example, Reporter would be the principal class:

ld -o myBundle -r Reporter.o NotePad.o QueryList.o

The order of classes in Xcode’s project browser is the order in which they will be linked. To designate the principal class, control-drag the file containing its implementation to the top of the list.

As a side effect of code loading, the receiver posts NSBundleDidLoadNotification after all classes and categories have been loaded; see “Notifications” for details.

The following method obtains a bundle by specifying its path (bundleWithPath:), then loads the bundle with principalClass and uses the returned class object to allocate and initialize an instance of that class:

- (void)loadBundle:(id)sender
{
    Class exampleClass;
    id newInstance;
    NSString *path = @"/tmp/Projects/BundleExample/BundleExample.bundle";
    NSBundle *bundleToLoad = [NSBundle bundleWithPath:path];
    if (exampleClass = [bundleToLoad principalClass]) {
        newInstance = [[exampleClass alloc] init];
        [newInstance doSomething];
    }
}
Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

privateFrameworksPath

Returns the full pathname of the receiver's subdirectory containing private frameworks.

- (NSString *)privateFrameworksPath
Return Value

The full pathname of the receiver's subdirectory containing private frameworks.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a path for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

privateFrameworksURL

Returns the file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing private frameworks.

- (NSURL *)privateFrameworksURL
Return Value

The file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing private frameworks.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a URL for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

resourcePath

Returns the full pathname of the receiving bundle’s subdirectory containing resources.

- (NSString *)resourcePath
Return Value

The full pathname of the receiving bundle’s subdirectory containing resources.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

resourceURL

Returns the file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing resource files.

- (NSURL *)resourceURL
Return Value

The file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing resource files.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a path for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Related Sample Code
Declared In
NSBundle.h

sharedFrameworksPath

Returns the full pathname of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared frameworks.

- (NSString *)sharedFrameworksPath
Return Value

The full pathname of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared frameworks.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a path for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

sharedFrameworksURL

Returns the file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared frameworks.

- (NSURL *)sharedFrameworksURL
Return Value

The file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared frameworks.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a URL for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

sharedSupportPath

Returns the full pathname of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared support files.

- (NSString *)sharedSupportPath
Return Value

The full pathname of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared support files.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a path for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.0 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

sharedSupportURL

Returns the file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared support files.

- (NSURL *)sharedSupportURL
Return Value

The file URL of the receiver's subdirectory containing shared support files.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a path for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

unload

Unloads the code associated with the receiver.

- (BOOL)unload
Return Value

YES if the bundle was successfully unloaded or was not already loaded; otherwise, NO if the bundle could not be unloaded.

Discussion

This method attempts to unload a bundle’s executable code using the underlying dynamic loader (typically dyld). You may use this method to unload plug-in and framework bundles when you no longer need the code they contain. You should use this method to unload bundles that were loaded using the methods of the NSBundle class only. Do not use this method to unload bundles that were originally loaded using the bundle-manipulation functions in Core Foundation.

It is the responsibility of the caller to ensure that no in-memory objects or data structures refer to the code being unloaded. For example, if you have an object whose class is defined in a bundle, you must release that object prior to unloading the bundle. Similarly, your code should not attempt to access any symbols defined in an unloaded bundle.

Special Considerations

Prior to OS X version 10.5, code could not be unloaded once loaded, and this method would always return NO. In OS X version 10.5 and later, you can unload a bundle’s executable code using this method.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.5 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLForAuxiliaryExecutable:

Returns the file URL of the executable with the specified name in the receiver’s bundle.

- (NSURL *)URLForAuxiliaryExecutable:(NSString *)executableName
Parameters
executableName

The name of an executable file.

Return Value

The file URL of the executable executableName in the receiver’s bundle.

Discussion

This method returns the appropriate path for modern application and framework bundles. This method may not return a URL for non-standard bundle formats or for some older bundle formats.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLForResource:withExtension:

Returns the file URL for the resource identified by the specified name and file extension.

- (NSURL *)URLForResource:(NSString *)name withExtension:(NSString *)extension
Parameters
name

The name of the resource file.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file URL is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

Return Value

The file URL for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located.

Discussion

If extension is an empty string or nil, the returned pathname is the first one encountered where the file name exactly matches name.

The method first looks for a matching resource file in the nonlocalized resource directory of the specified bundle. (In OS X, this directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.) If a matching resource file is not found, it then looks in the top level of any available language-specific “.lproj” directories. (The search order for the language-specific directories corresponds to the user’s preferences.) It does not recurse through other subdirectories at any of these locations. For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLForResource:withExtension:subdirectory:

Returns the file URL for the resource file identified by the specified name and extension and residing in a given bundle directory.

- (NSURL *)URLForResource:(NSString *)name withExtension:(NSString *)extension subdirectory:(NSString *)subpath
Parameters
name

The name of a resource file contained in the directory specified by bundleURL.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file URL is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

subpath

The path of a top-level bundle directory. This must be a valid path. For example, to specify the bundle directory for a Mac app, you might specify the path /Applications/MyApp.app.

Return Value

The file URL for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located. This method also returns nil if the bundle specified by the bundlePath parameter does not exist or is not a readable directory.

Discussion

The method first looks for a matching resource file in the non-localized resource directory of the specified bundle. (In OS X, this directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.) If a matching resource file is not found, it then looks in the top level of any available language-specific “.lproj” directories. (The search order for the language-specific directories corresponds to the user’s preferences.) It does not recurse through other subdirectories at any of these locations. For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLForResource:withExtension:subdirectory:localization:

Returns the file URL for the resource identified by the specified name and file extension, located in the specified bundle subdirectory, and limited to global resources and those associated with the specified localization.

- (NSURL *)URLForResource:(NSString *)name withExtension:(NSString *)extension subdirectory:(NSString *)subpath localization:(NSString *)localizationName
Parameters
name

The name of the resource file.

extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file URL is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory to search.

localizationName

The name of the localization. This parameter should correspond to the name of one of the bundle's language-specific resource directories without the .lproj extension.

Return Value

The file URL for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located.

Discussion

This method is equivalent to URLsForResourcesWithExtension:subdirectory:, except that only nonlocalized resources and those in the language-specific .lproj directory specified by localizationName are searched.

There should typically be little reason to use this method—see “Getting the Current Language and Locale”. See also preferredLocalizationsFromArray:forPreferences: for how to determine what localizations are available.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLsForResourcesWithExtension:subdirectory:

Returns the file URL for the resource identified by the specified name and file extension and located in the specified bundle subdirectory.

- (NSArray *)URLsForResourcesWithExtension:(NSString *)extension subdirectory:(NSString *)subpath
Parameters
extension

If extension is an empty string or nil, the extension is assumed not to exist and the file URL is the first file encountered that exactly matches name.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory.

Return Value

The file URL for the resource file or nil if the file could not be located.

Discussion

If subpath is nil, this method searches the top-level non-localized resource directory and the top-level of any language-specific directories. (In OS X, the top-level non-localized resource directory is typically called Resources but in iOS, it is the main bundle directory.)

For example, suppose you have a Mac app with a modern bundle and you specify @"Documentation" for the subpath parameter. This method would first look in the Contents/Resources/Documentation directory of the bundle, followed by the Documentation subdirectories of each language-specific .lproj directory. (The search order for the language-specific directories corresponds to the user’s preferences.) This method does not recurse through any other subdirectories at any of these locations. For more details see Internationalization Programming Topics.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

URLsForResourcesWithExtension:subdirectory:localization:

Returns an array containing the file URLs for all bundle resources having the specified filename extension, residing in the specified resource subdirectory, and limited to global resources and those associated with the specified localization.

- (NSArray *)URLsForResourcesWithExtension:(NSString *)extensions subdirectory:(NSString *)subpath localization:(NSString *)localizationName
Parameters
ext

The file extension of the files to retrieve.

subpath

The name of the bundle subdirectory to search.

localizationName

The name of the localization. This parameter should correspond to the name of one of the bundle's language-specific resource directories without the .lproj extension.

Return Value

An array containing the file URLs for all bundle resources matching the specified criteria. This method returns an empty array if no matching resource files are found.

Discussion

This method is equivalent to URLsForResourcesWithExtension:subdirectory:, except that only nonlocalized resources and those in the language-specific .lproj directory specified by localizationName are searched.

Availability
  • Available in OS X v10.6 and later.
Declared In
NSBundle.h

Constants

Mach-O Architecture

These constants describe the CPU types that a bundle’s executable code may support.

   
enum {
   NSBundleExecutableArchitectureI386      = 0x00000007,
   NSBundleExecutableArchitecturePPC       = 0x00000012,
   NSBundleExecutableArchitectureX86_64    = 0x01000007,
   NSBundleExecutableArchitecturePPC64     = 0x01000012
};
Constants
NSBundleExecutableArchitectureI386

Specifies the 32-bit Intel architecture.

Available in OS X v10.5 and later.

Declared in NSBundle.h.

NSBundleExecutableArchitecturePPC

Specifies the 32-bit PowerPC architecture.

Available in OS X v10.5 and later.

Declared in NSBundle.h.

NSBundleExecutableArchitectureX86_64

Specifies the 64-bit Intel architecture.

Available in OS X v10.5 and later.

Declared in NSBundle.h.

NSBundleExecutableArchitecturePPC64

Specifies the 64-bit PowerPC architecture.

Available in OS X v10.5 and later.

Declared in NSBundle.h.

NSLoadedClasses

This constant is provided in the userInfo dictionary of the NSBundleDidLoadNotification notification.

NSString * const NSLoadedClasses;
Constants
NSLoadedClasses

An NSArray object containing the names (as NSString objects) of each class that was loaded

Available in OS X v10.0 and later.

Declared in NSBundle.h.

Notifications

NSBundleDidLoadNotification

NSBundle posts NSBundleDidLoadNotification to notify observers which classes and categories have been dynamically loaded. When a request is made to an NSBundle object for a class (classNamed: or principalClass), the bundle dynamically loads the executable code file that contains the class implementation and all other class definitions contained in the file. After the module is loaded, the bundle posts the NSBundleDidLoadNotification.

The notification object is the NSBundle instance that dynamically loads classes. The userInfo dictionary contains an NSLoadedClasses key.

In a typical use of this notification, an object might want to enumerate the userInfo array to check if each loaded class conformed to a certain protocol (say, an protocol for a plug-and-play tool set); if a class does conform, the object would create an instance of that class and add the instance to another NSArray object.

Availability
Declared In
NSBundle.h