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How to Populate a Spinner (Dropdown/Picklist) with Values in Android

, 19 May 2014
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Easily create and hook up values to display in an Android Spinner

Then Came Cervantes / Could It Be I'm Working My Way Back to La Mancha, Babe

To populate a Spinner (in other environments known as a dropdown or a picklist or so), follow these simple steps:

Open your project's arrays.xml file that should live below ...\app\src\main\res\values\

Add some items in a string-array section like so:

    <string-array name="quixote_characters">
        <item>Don Quixote</item>
        <item>Sancho Panza</item>
        <item>Teresa Panza</item>
        <item>Dulcinea del Toboso</item>
        <item>Cide Hamete Benengeli</item>
        <item>Mambrino's Helmet</item>
        <item>La Mancha</item>
    </string-array> that it looks like this:

Add a Spinner to any Layout file (in Droidio (Android Studio), simply drag-and-drop a Spinner onto the image of the device to be emulated).

Alternatively, you can add the code directly by pasting in the following XML, and then modifying as necessary:

        android:id="@+id/spinnerQuixote" />

Then add this line to the XML:

android:entries="@array/quixote_characters" that Spinner's XML to hook the values added above to the Spinner. In context, that looks like this:

        android:layout_alignParentStart="true" /> that when you run it, it looks like so:

An Embarrassment of Spoils

As a bonus, here is the code necessary to assign the selected value from the Spinner to a String variable:

    final Spinner spin = (Spinner) findViewById((;
    final String spinVal = String.valueOf(spin.getSelectedItem());

Respect the Strength of My Mighty Arm!

If you like this tip, send me Mambrino's helmet, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof (perhaps via clever usage of a 3D printer).

OR! You could purchase the Kindle edition (over 2,600 pages) in Spanish and English, paragraph-by-paragraph of Don Quixote.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

B. Clay Shannon
Publisher "Found in the Translation"
United States United States
I am the entire team at "Found in the Translation," which produces multilingual books (paperback and Kindle versions) such as "Don Quixote: In Spanish and English, Paragraph-by-Paragraph" among many others (English paired with not only Spanish, but also French and even Finnish). You can see all those books here:
Personal web sites that I have created can be seen at and and
Peripatetic and picaresque, I have lived in eight states; specifically, besides my native California (where I was born and where I now again reside) in chronological order: New York, Montana, Alaska, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Missouri.
I am also a writer of both fiction (for which I use a nom de plume, "Blackbird Crow Raven", as a nod to my Native American heritage - I am "½ Cowboy, ½ Indian") and nonfiction:
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Comments and Discussions

Questionproblems PinmemberAndre Luiz V Sanches10-Apr-14 20:40 

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