// Tutorial //

Android Spinner - drop down list

Published on August 3, 2022
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By Anupam Chugh
Developer and author at DigitalOcean.
Android Spinner - drop down list

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This tutorial will give you a hands on experience in using Android Spinner as a drop down menu, passing data using android bundle and showing popup notification using android toast. We will create an android application that consists of a simple spinner that allows selecting an item from a drop down list. We will display static data in the spinner. Selecting an item from spinner would display a toast message. To pass data in the form of bundles between activities, we’ll use a button to perform an intent and display the data passed to the next screen.

Android Spinner

Android Spinner is just a drop down list similar to what’s seen in other programming languages such as in HTML pages. In Android, Spinner is used to select one value from a set of values. In the default state, a spinner shows its currently selected value. Touching the spinner displays a drop down menu with all other available values, from which the user can select a new one. Android spinner is associated with AdapterView. So we need to set the adapter class with the Spinner.

Android Drop Down List

Following xml file shows the layout of a typical spinner in android which consists of a text label and a spinner element tag.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:orientation="vertical"
    android:padding="10dip"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content">
    
    <!-- Text Label -->
    <TextView
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_marginTop="10dip"
        android:text="Category:"
        android:layout_marginBottom="5dp"
    />
    
    <!-- Spinner Element -->
    <Spinner 
        android:id="@+id/spinner"
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:prompt="@string/spinner_title"
    />
</LinearLayout>

Following snippet shows how to use a spinner in the activity class.

Spinner spinner = (Spinner) findViewById(R.id.spinner);

Let’s develop an application where we pass the selected value from the Spinner onto the next screen using Bundles and display a Toast message of the selected value at the same time.

Android Spinner Example Project Structure

Below image shows the android studio project for spinner example. android spinner example, android drop down list Let’s start with the layout of the MainActivity class. We just need to add Button to the basic_spinner.xml file.

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="https://schemas.android.com/tools" android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent" android:paddingLeft="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingRight="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingTop="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    android:paddingBottom="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin" tools:context=".MainActivity">


    <LinearLayout
        android:orientation="vertical"
        android:padding="10dip"
        android:id="@+id/linear_layout"
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content">

        <!-- Text Label -->
        <TextView
            android:layout_width="fill_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_marginTop="10dip"
            android:text="Category:"
            android:layout_marginBottom="5dp"
            />

        <!-- Spinner Element -->
        <Spinner
            android:id="@+id/spinner"
            android:layout_width="fill_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:prompt="@string/spinner_title"
            />
    </LinearLayout>

    <Button
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="NEXT"
        android:id="@+id/button"
        android:layout_alignParentBottom="true"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_marginBottom="137dp" />


</RelativeLayout>

The layout of the SecondActivity is as follows:

<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:tools="https://schemas.android.com/tools" android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent" android:paddingLeft="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingRight="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingTop="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    android:paddingBottom="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin" tools:context=".MainActivity">


    <TextView
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceMedium"
        android:text="Empty"
        android:id="@+id/txt_bundle"
        android:layout_alignParentTop="true"
        android:layout_centerHorizontal="true"
        android:layout_marginTop="103dp" />
</RelativeLayout>

Here is the Android Manifest file. AndroidManifest.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="journaldev.com.spinners" >

    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:theme="@style/AppTheme" >
        <activity
            android:name=".MainActivity"
            android:label="@string/app_name" >
            <intent-filter>
                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />
            </intent-filter>
        </activity>
        <activity android:name=".SecondActivity"/>
    </application>

</manifest>

The MainActivity and SecondActivity java classes are defined as follows.

package journaldev.com.spinners;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.Menu;
import android.view.MenuItem;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.AdapterView;
import android.widget.ArrayAdapter;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.Spinner;
import android.widget.Toast;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

public class MainActivity extends Activity implements AdapterView.OnItemSelectedListener {
    @Override
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

        // Spinner element
        final Spinner spinner = (Spinner) findViewById(R.id.spinner);
        Button button=(Button)findViewById(R.id.button);

        // Spinner click listener
        spinner.setOnItemSelectedListener(this);

        // Spinner Drop down elements
        List<String> categories = new ArrayList<String>();
        categories.add("Item 1");
        categories.add("Item 2");
        categories.add("Item 3");
        categories.add("Item 4");
        categories.add("Item 5");
        categories.add("Item 6");

        // Creating adapter for spinner
        ArrayAdapter<String> dataAdapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this, android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item, categories);

        // Drop down layout style - list view with radio button
        dataAdapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.simple_spinner_dropdown_item);

        // attaching data adapter to spinner
        spinner.setAdapter(dataAdapter);

        button.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onClick(View v) {
                Intent intent= new Intent(MainActivity.this,SecondActivity.class);
                intent.putExtra("data",String.valueOf(spinner.getSelectedItem()));
                startActivity(intent);
            }
        });
    }

    @Override
    public void onItemSelected(AdapterView<?> parent, View view, int position, long id) {
        // On selecting a spinner item
        String item = parent.getItemAtPosition(position).toString();

        // Showing selected spinner item
        Toast.makeText(parent.getContext(), "Selected: " + item, Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();

    }

    public void onNothingSelected(AdapterView<?> arg0) {
        // TODO Auto-generated method stub

    }

}
package journaldev.com.spinners;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.widget.TextView;

public class SecondActivity extends Activity {

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.second_activity);

        TextView  textView=(TextView) findViewById(R.id.txt_bundle);
        Bundle bundle=getIntent().getExtras();
        String data=bundle.get("data").toString();
        textView.setText(data);
    }
}

In the above code, we’ve displayed a toast when an item from the spinner dropdown menu is selected. On button click we pass the selected spinner item as a string value to the next activity using android bundle. Then the data is retrieved from the bundle and displayed in a TextView. Quick easy and simple, isn’t it? The screenshots of the app are shown below. I am running it on one of the emulators. The first screen shows the drop down list contents when the Spinner is opened. android spinner drop down list After an item is selected, Toast notification message appears for some time. android drop down menu After sometime toast notification disappears as shown in below image. It doesn’t stop us in clicking the next button. android spinner example Finally, in the second screen, the selected item from the dropdown list is retrieved using Bundles and displayed in the TextView. android bundles Below is a sample run of our android spinner example application in emulator. android spinner, android drop down list That’s all for now, we will look into Android ListView in next post. You can download Android Spinner, Bundle and Toast example project from below link.

Download Android Spinner, Bundle and Toast Example Project

Reference: Official Doc

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JournalDev
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February 3, 2021

Sir, I want to set default item to spinner got from getIntent of another activity

- shrutika

    JournalDev
    DigitalOcean Employee
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    December 1, 2020

    The tutorial is quite clear and looks useful. I have been trying to get the source to work but as I AM NOT a GRADLE EXPERT I have failed miserably. I wonder if you could re-examine - rebuild this project with a current version of IDE, GRADLE etc etc . One work around for me would be to take out the .xml and .java files and force them into an empty project in an up-to-date IDE … best regards

    - matroxmike

      JournalDev
      DigitalOcean Employee
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      August 21, 2020

      Sir if i take 2 spinner them how can i add onItemSelected method for both spinner ?please reply

      - Sitansu

        JournalDev
        DigitalOcean Employee
        DigitalOcean Employee badge
        July 10, 2020

        do we have any link/site/place from where I can get pre-defined snipper? I want of Indi’s location.Like State, City, Region, Taluka…

        - Adi

          JournalDev
          DigitalOcean Employee
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          May 30, 2020

          You’re awesome! I really appreciate for your code and explain.

          - Chang

            JournalDev
            DigitalOcean Employee
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            February 4, 2020

            Thank you. this helped me a lot :)

            - Grace

              JournalDev
              DigitalOcean Employee
              DigitalOcean Employee badge
              February 10, 2019

              hi sir i am refereed your code part for my application for reference but i am facing on e problem application closed automatically. my code steps is like that 1) In my main activity i am giving three button for select device like three button on my main activity 2) If i click on first button then flow goes to this activity correctly next in this activity i am using spinner for select one item from the list. In this activity i am using one button for jump to next activity(second activity to third activity) for perform my final task but if i click on this button then application is closed and main thread error is occurred.

              - ajinkya jadhav

                JournalDev
                DigitalOcean Employee
                DigitalOcean Employee badge
                February 7, 2019

                Thanks, for sharing this list with us, I really found this helpful and I also believe that these things gonna help me in future and I hope you will share these kinds of content more often.

                - Expert Training Institute

                  JournalDev
                  DigitalOcean Employee
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                  November 27, 2018

                  Hey this seems to be simple, Suppose I have 2 spinners and I am populating the spinners from JSON file. When I click next, the 2 spinner values go to my web service and retrieve a list. I can populate the spinners but I am having difficulty in getting the list of items. Any help?

                  - Arvind Reddy

                    JournalDev
                    DigitalOcean Employee
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                    August 8, 2018

                    if i want to display something else like price etc then what will be the code

                    - Ankit

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