The TextView view is used to display text to the user. This is the most basic view and one that you will frequently use when you develop Android applications.  If you need to allow users to edit the text displayed, you should use the subclass of TextView, EditText, which is discussed in the next chapter.

When you create a new Android project, Android Studio always creates the content_main.xml file (located in the res/layout folder), which contains a <TextView> element:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:orientation="vertical"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">

    <TextView
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="@string/hello"/>

</LinearLayout>

NOTE: In some other platforms, the TextView is commonly known as the label view. Its sole purpose is to display text on the screen.

TextView Attributes

Following are the important attributes related to TextView control. You can check Android official documentation for complete list of attributes and related methods which you can use to change these attributes are run time.

AttributeDescription
android:idThis is the ID which uniquely identifies the control.
android:capitalizeIf set, specifies that this TextView has a textual input method and should automatically capitalize what the user types.

  • Don’t automatically capitalize anything – 0
  • Capitalize the first word of each sentence – 1
  • Capitalize the first letter of every word – 2
  • Capitalize every character – 3
android:cursorVisibleMakes the cursor visible (the default) or invisible. Default is false.
android:editableIf set to true, specifies that this TextView has an input method.
android:fontFamilyFont family (named by string) for the text.
android:gravitySpecifies how to align the text by the view’s x- and/or y-axis when the text is smaller than the view.
android:hintHint text to display when the text is empty.
android:inputTypeThe type of data being placed in a text field. Phone, Date, Time, Number, Password etc.
android:maxHeightMakes the TextView be at most this many pixels tall.
android:maxWidthMakes the TextView be at most this many pixels wide.
android:minHeightMakes the TextView be at least this many pixels tall.
android:minWidthMakes the TextView be at least this many pixels wide.
android:passwordWhether the characters of the field are displayed as password dots instead of themselves. Possible value either “true” or “false”.
android:phoneNumberIf set, specifies that this TextView has a phone number input method. Possible value either “true” or “false”.
android:textText to display.
android:textAllCapsPresent the text in ALL CAPS. Possible value either “true” or “false”.
android:textColorText color. May be a color value, in the form of “#rgb”, “#argb”, “#rrggbb”, or “#aarrggbb”.
android:textColorHighlightColor of the text selection highlight.
android:textColorHintColor of the hint text. May be a color value, in the form of “#rgb”, “#argb”, “#rrggbb”, or “#aarrggbb”.
android:textIsSelectableIndicates that the content of a non-editable text can be selected. Possible value either “true” or “false”.
android:textSizeSize of the text. Recommended dimension type for text is “sp” for scaled-pixels (example: 15sp).
android:textStyleStyle (bold, italic, bolditalic) for the text. You can use or more of the following values separated by ‘|’.

  • normal – 0
  • bold – 1
  • italic – 2
android:typefaceTypeface (normal, sans, serif, monospace) for the text. You can use or more of the following values separated by ‘|’.

  • normal – 0
  • sans – 1
  • serif – 2
  • monospace – 3

Example

This example will take you through simple steps to show how to create your own Android application using Linear Layout and TextView.

You will use Android studio to create an Android application and name it MyApplication under a package akraj.snow.app as explained in the Getting Started With Android Programming chapter.

Following is the content of the modified main activity file src/akraj.snow.app/MainActivity.java. This file can include each of the fundamental lifecycle methods.

package akraj.snow.app;

import android.os.Bundle;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.widget.TextView;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
        
        TextView textView = (TextView) findViewById(R.id.textView);
        
    }
}

You can set TextView from MainActivity.java :-

textView.setText("www.androidlearning.in");

Following will be the content of res/layout/activity_main.xml file −

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:orientation="vertical"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">
    
    <TextView
        android:id="@+id/textView"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="match_parent"
        android:text="@string/text"
        android:textColor="@android:color/holo_blue_dark"
        android:textColorHighlight="@android:color/primary_text_dark"
        android:layout_gravity="center"
        android:gravity="center"
        android:textSize="40sp"/>
    
</LinearLayout>

Following will be the content of res/values/strings.xml to define two new constants −

<resources>
    <string name="app_name">My Application</string>
    <string name="text">androidlearning.in</string>
</resources>

Following is the default content of AndroidManifest.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    package="akraj.snow.app">

    <application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:icon="@mipmap/ic_launcher"
        android:label="@string/app_name"
        android:supportsRtl="true"
        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>
    </application>

</manifest>

Let’s try to run your MyApplication example. I assume you had created your AVD while doing environment setup. To run the app from Android studio, open one of your project’s activity files and click Run Eclipse Run Icon icon from the toolbar. Android studio installs the app on your AVD and starts it and if everything is fine with your setup and application, it will display following Emulator window −

Android Text View