Smoother Image Scaling in NSTableView Cells

By default, NSImageCell's scaling strategy can produce some unpleasantly sharp edges. I looked at a bunch of different solutions to this using the existing API, but finally settled on a simple subclass.

You can download it here, but here's the gist of it:

// make resizing look pretty

NSRect rect = NSMakeRect ( 0, 0, size.width, size.height );
NSImage * temp = [[NSImage alloc] initWithSize:rect.size];
[temp lockFocus];
[[NSGraphicsContext currentContext]
     setImageInterpolation: NSImageInterpolationHigh];
[temp unlockFocus];

// resize image

NSPoint point = NSMakePoint( startX, startY );
[myImage setSize: size];
[myImage setScalesWhenResized: YES];

// draw image in cell

[myImage compositeToPoint:point
[temp release];

The results are pretty significant. Here's a before and after:

Here's a closeup:

I recommend not selecting this as a custom subclass directly in Interface Builder, but instead do this in the controller:

- (void) awakeFromNib
  NSTableColumn *thumbColumn;
  thumbColumn = [myTable tableColumnWithIdentifier:@"thumbnail"];
  THIImageCell * myImageCell = [[THIImageCell alloc] init];
  [iconColumn setDataCell: myImageCell];
  [myImageCell setImageAlignment:NSImageAlignCenter];

This should allow you to continue using NSImageCell's binding options through IB. Maybe it would work anyway, but I didn't try it.

I make no claims about this being the most efficient method available. If someone has suggestions for refinements, let me know.
Design Element
Smoother Image Scaling in NSTableView Cells
Posted Nov 14, 2005 — 5 comments below


Jean-Daniel Guyot — Nov 14, 05 548

Maybe could you release myImageCell ;)

Thanks for this helpful hint!

Damn Man — Nov 14, 05 549

- Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above
copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following
disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided
with the distribution.

I have no materials. I'll have to write my own version of the code. Bummer. Thanks for the tip, though.

DF — Nov 14, 05 550

Have you looked into 10.4's CGImageSourceCreateThumbnailAtIndex() yet at all? From what I've read, it's supposed to be a really fast way of resizing images, but after a lot of trying I just could not figure out how to convert between a CGImageRef and an NSImage for the source and destinations.

Scott Stevenson — Nov 14, 05 551 Scotty the Leopard

I have no materials. I'll have to write my own version of the code. Bummer. Thanks for the tip, though.

It's just a standard BSD-derived license -- the same one I released DataCrux under. It seems exceptionally flexible to me, but I'll keep your comments in mind.

Buzz Andersen — Nov 14, 05 552

Very nice--thanks!


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