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

, 19 May 2014 CPOL
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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>Rocinante</item>
        <item>Dapple</item>
        <item>Cide Hamete Benengeli</item>
        <item>Cardenio</item>
        <item>Mambrino's Helmet</item>
        <item>La Mancha</item>
    </string-array>

...so 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:

<Spinner
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:id="@+id/spinnerQuixote" />

Then add this line to the XML:

android:entries="@array/quixote_characters"

...to that Spinner's XML to hook the values added above to the Spinner. In context, that looks like this:

<Spinner
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:id="@+id/quixoteSpinner"
        android:entries="@array/quixote_characters"
        android:layout_below="@+id/textView"
        android:layout_alignParentLeft="true"
        android:layout_alignParentStart="true" />

...so 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((R.id.quixoteSpinner));
    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.

License

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

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About the Author

B. Clay Shannon
Founder "Across Time & Space"
United States United States
Ideaman and Coder at Across Time & Space, creator of the Windows Store App "Photrax", which can be downloaded as a trial (7 days) from http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/photrax/75c18e6c-96bd-4607-ac43-531aab098ab4
 
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: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/blackbirdcraven
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionPopulate Default Spinner Value withText File PinmemberMember 996588218-Jan-15 9:07 
AnswerRe: Populate Default Spinner Value withText File PinprofessionalB. Clay Shannon18-Jan-15 9:47 
Questionproblems PinmemberAndre Luiz V Sanches10-Apr-14 21:40 

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