Android Series: Custom ListView items and adapters

This is a short tutorial on how to populate your android list view, with data downloaded from the internet or other sources, using ArrayAdapter. ListView items view is declared in a separate XML file and displayed using custom adapter class.
First things first, so go ahead and create a new project using Eclipse equipped with ADT plugin.
The project described below assumes you have a list of objects created, this can be either downloaded from the internet as XML and parsed to create ArrayList of your custom objects or anything you imagine. I will not go into details on this tutorial how to create such an ArrayList but your imagination is the limit. Parsing XML downloaded from the net will be covered in the next tutorial coming up soon.

Click File -> New -> Project and select the ‘Android Project’ wizard:


Click next and fill out the next screen with the following values:


Once you have filled out all the necessary data you can click finish.
Your new project has just been created. Now lets modify it a bit to display our custom made list.
Open up in the eclipse editor and change the class file to the following:

1. Define necessary member variables we will use later in our class

    private ProgressDialog m_ProgressDialog = null;
    private ArrayList<Order> m_orders = null;
    private OrderAdapter m_adapter;
    private Runnable viewOrders;

m_ProgressDialog is a small pop up displaying information that your data is being downloaded or retrieved other way.
m_orders is an ArrayList which will hold our data downloaded from the internet or acquired other way
m_adapter is our custom class extending ArrayAdapter
viewOrders is a runnable for downloading data from the internet in a separate thread

To import whatever you can at this point click Ctrl+Shift+O, some classes like Order or OrderAdapter are not created yet but don’t worry we will come to that point soon.
Another important note at this point is that your SoftwarePassoinView should extend ListActivity instead of simple Activity.
Your class should look more or less something like this now:

package com.softberries.lve;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import android.os.Bundle;

public class SoftwarePassionView extends ListActivity{
    private ProgressDialog m_ProgressDialog = null;
    private ArrayList<Order> m_orders = null;
    private OrderAdapter m_adapter;
    private Runnable viewOrders;
    /** Called when the activity is first created. */
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

Now lets create our simple Order class holding single order.
Right click on the project and and select ‘New’ -> ‘Class’, name it order and open it up in the editor.
The source code for our orders looks like this:

package com.softberries.lve;

public class Order {
    private String orderName;
    private String orderStatus;
    public String getOrderName() {
        return orderName;
    public void setOrderName(String orderName) {
        this.orderName = orderName;
    public String getOrderStatus() {
        return orderStatus;
    public void setOrderStatus(String orderStatus) {
        this.orderStatus = orderStatus;

The Order class is very simple and contains only 2 strings with getters and setter generated for them
Now lets change our main.xml file to hold our custom list items:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""

This layout will display our list items if any and if the list is empty it will display ‘No orders to display’ string defined in string.xml resource file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <string name="hello">Hello World, SoftwarePassionView!</string>
    <string name="app_name">Software Passion</string>
    <string name="main_no_items">No orders to display</string>

Our list item (single row on the list) have a custom layout as well, defined in row.xml file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
        android:src="@drawable/icon" />

Single row example has been borrowed from the romain Guy website here

Ok, so we have all our layouts defined in the res folder under layout. Now its time to go back to our code and create our custom OrderAdapter class which will manage our list of orders:

private class OrderAdapter extends ArrayAdapter<Order> {

        private ArrayList<Order> items;

        public OrderAdapter(Context context, int textViewResourceId, ArrayList<Order> items) {
                super(context, textViewResourceId, items);
                this.items = items;

        public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
                View v = convertView;
                if (v == null) {
                    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
                    v = vi.inflate(R.layout.row, null);
                Order o = items.get(position);
                if (o != null) {
                        TextView tt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;
                        TextView bt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;
                        if (tt != null) {
                              tt.setText("Name: "+o.getOrderName());                            }
                        if(bt != null){
                              bt.setText("Status: "+ o.getOrderStatus());
                return v;

This is a private class and should be added to our SoftwarePassionView. This is extended ListAdapter which inside overriden getView method returns our row with assigned string values to the textfields defined in row.xml.

A huge part of our application is already done. Now we have to add some modifications to the onCreate method to initialize everything properly and add a method retrieving our orders from somewhere, lets start with the latter:

private void getOrders(){
              m_orders = new ArrayList<Order>();
              Order o1 = new Order();
              o1.setOrderName("SF services");
              Order o2 = new Order();
              o2.setOrderName("SF Advertisement");
              Log.i("ARRAY", ""+ m_orders.size());
            } catch (Exception e) {
              Log.e("BACKGROUND_PROC", e.getMessage());

Instead of creating our simple orders in the method above you could of course download them from somewhere and assign the result to the m_orders array list. The method runOnUIThread is a utility method for running tasks back on the main UI thread after the job is done on the separate thread created for long running tasks. We will call our getOrders method from a separate thread.

The returnRes runnable adds newly retrieved Order object to our custom Adapter and notifies it of the data change:

private Runnable returnRes = new Runnable() {

            public void run() {
                if(m_orders != null && m_orders.size() > 0){
                    for(int i=0;i<m_orders.size();i++)

Now lets move to our overriden onCreate method. We will initialize here all the member variables as well as start a new thread retrieving our orders:

    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        m_orders = new ArrayList<Order>();
        this.m_adapter = new OrderAdapter(this, R.layout.row, m_orders);
        viewOrders = new Runnable(){
            public void run() {
    Thread thread =  new Thread(null, viewOrders, "MagentoBackground");
        m_ProgressDialog =,    
              "Please wait...", "Retrieving data ...", true);

After initialization, we start new thread using the viewOrders runnable and show the progress dialog which we close once the orders are retrieved.
Now you should be able to run your application. After the application starts it spawns new thread and displays the loader:

screen_load screen1

And thats it. You can add an Item Click Listener to your list to start new activities etc.
Full source code for the SoftwarePassionView below:

package com.softberries.lve;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import android.content.Context;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.util.Log;
import android.view.LayoutInflater;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.ViewGroup;
import android.widget.ArrayAdapter;
import android.widget.TextView;

public class SoftwarePassionView extends ListActivity{
    private ProgressDialog m_ProgressDialog = null;
    private ArrayList<Order> m_orders = null;
    private OrderAdapter m_adapter;
    private Runnable viewOrders;
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        m_orders = new ArrayList<Order>();
        this.m_adapter = new OrderAdapter(this, R.layout.row, m_orders);
        viewOrders = new Runnable(){
            public void run() {
        Thread thread =  new Thread(null, viewOrders, "MagentoBackground");
        m_ProgressDialog =,    
              "Please wait...", "Retrieving data ...", true);
    private Runnable returnRes = new Runnable() {

        public void run() {
            if(m_orders != null && m_orders.size() > 0){
                for(int i=0;i<m_orders.size();i++)
    private void getOrders(){
              m_orders = new ArrayList<Order>();
              Order o1 = new Order();
              o1.setOrderName("SF services");
              Order o2 = new Order();
              o2.setOrderName("SF Advertisement");
              Log.i("ARRAY", ""+ m_orders.size());
            } catch (Exception e) {
              Log.e("BACKGROUND_PROC", e.getMessage());
    private class OrderAdapter extends ArrayAdapter<Order> {

        private ArrayList<Order> items;

        public OrderAdapter(Context context, int textViewResourceId, ArrayList<Order> items) {
                super(context, textViewResourceId, items);
                this.items = items;
        public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
                View v = convertView;
                if (v == null) {
                    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
                    v = vi.inflate(R.layout.row, null);
                Order o = items.get(position);
                if (o != null) {
                        TextView tt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;
                        TextView bt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;
                        if (tt != null) {
                              tt.setText("Name: "+o.getOrderName());                            }
                        if(bt != null){
                              bt.setText("Status: "+ o.getOrderStatus());
                return v;


311 responses on “Android Series: Custom ListView items and adapters

  1. DrDresch May 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Great tutorial !

    I think this is the first tutorial for ListViews, that acutally works and comes straight to the point.

    Thanks 🙂

  2. Carlos May 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm


    But I have a doubt… I dont’t understand why it is necessary to add items to the arrayAdapter if those items have allready been added to the array which is linked to. Which is the sense of the arrayAdapter then? Can anybody shed light on these lines?

    m_adapter.notifyDataSetChanged(); //why is it done before updating it?
    for(int i=0;i<m_orders.size();i++)

    Thanks in advance!



  3. admin May 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    True, I tried that this way as well, but aparently adding items to the ArrayList connected with the adpater and calling notifyDataSetChanged() doesn’t work. ArrayAdapter has its own method add().

  4. Dan June 5, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Thank you for this tutorial. It was very well written, and it was easily adaptable for other projects. Good job.


  5. Stephen June 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Where in the code would you add the listener so that you could perform some action once an item on the list has been selected?


  6. admin June 15, 2009 at 11:47 am

    You have to override onItemClick method to handle list items selection

  7. Andy June 17, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Very great Tutorial!
    My Question:
    I have some TabHosts with ListViews in my layout xml.
    For this (i think!?) i must extend Activity and not ListActivity in my main activity for this view.
    Is this a Problem?
    What kind of changes i have to do? (ListActivity to Activity )


  8. Sebastián June 25, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Esta buenísimo, muchas gracias…!

  9. Terje July 31, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Hi. It’s a great tutorial but there is one thing i didn’t understand.

    It seems to me that the the textview you are displaying when there are no elements automatically dissapears when there are some elements.

    I don’t understand.

    I call setVisibility(View.GONE) on my textbox once i have the list elements.

    hope you can explain.

  10. San August 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm


    I used this tutorial to show custom list view. This works fine.
    Except focus is not seen on listItem. Even I clicked D-pad up,down keys focus its not showing focus. Do I need any extra things to use focus?

  11. Coyle L. McGuire August 22, 2009 at 9:58 am

    check out for better performance…. it’s just a general example

    public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
    ViewHolder holder;

    if(convertView == null) {
    convertView = mInflater.inflate(R.layout.item, null);

    holder = new ViewHolder();
    holder.text = (TextView) convertView.findViewById(;
    holder.icon = (ImageView) convertView.findViewById(;


    holder.icon.setImageBitmap((position & 1) == 1 ? mIcon1 : mIcon2);

    return convertView;

  12. Linus September 14, 2009 at 12:17 am

    This is exactly the kind of tutorial I’ve been searching for nonstop for days now. Thank you!

  13. Daniel September 16, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Man, you’ve just made my day with this tutorial. Excellent.
    Thanks a lot.

  14. deli November 17, 2009 at 8:07 am

    thx, you save me!

  15. pankaj November 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Can you please let me know how to get the selected item in the list for the above example?

  16. Zeba November 26, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Great tutorial..thanks!!!

  17. Burniejm December 3, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    First of all thanks for the great tutorial!! I got this running, though I had to add Looper.prepare() to the viewOrders run() method… Like many others I am a little confused on how to take this view (is it a view or activity??) and add it to a tab. My application uses 5 tabs that load data from 5 different sources, but displays them all in a list view… Any help would be fantastic!

  18. Ari January 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Excellent tutorial. Thank you

  19. speznaz January 22, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Thank you very much for this excellent tut!

  20. Syracus February 12, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Very nice tutorial. Thank you.

    Would be nice to see a similar one explaining ExpandableLists the same straight way.

  21. Ricardo February 17, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Thanks alot for the tutorial

  22. Mukesh February 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for this code, it is nice code to implement in program. But can you provide the code to click on listView, we edit on that list

  23. Roy McKenzie February 21, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Thanks so much for this! Great explanation of ListView.

  24. zOro March 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks Dude!

  25. Nishrin March 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    hey its too great tut…
    thanx dude…
    well m having one problem same as andy problem
    what changes i have to made if my class extending activity class not list activity…

    My layout contents other element too…so i cannt extend ListActivity..

    Can any one help me…?
    thanx in advance

  26. uday March 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Hey,,its excellent

    But I wanna create tabs at the bottom of the screen,,how to do that,,,Is it possible?,,,


  27. IsAnyoneListening March 23, 2010 at 10:48 pm


    I have had no luck with getting a custom ListView to work.

    This tutorial runs, but all I see is “No orders to display”.

    Is this really working for anyone else? Did you have to make some tweaks?


  28. admin March 24, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Hello Joe,
    you would have to provide more details what exactly is happening, simply saying what you can see on the screen doesn’t help me to help you. Try to debug your app and if you still have a problem let me know.

  29. admin March 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Not sure, I will have a look at the weekend at this tutorial again, if I’ll find something I’ll let you know.

  30. kobiwan March 24, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Thanks for great tutorial!

    Little improvement IHO:

    Inside OrderAdapter,

    It doesn’t seem to be necessary to have this object variable
    private ArrayList items;

    as it should be available in the parent class.

    And use
    getItem(position) ( or super.getItem(position))

    instead of

  31. Valentin Vázquez O. April 3, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    wow it works perfrect! thank you!

  32. Nosli April 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Combined this with a webservices (ksoap) and it works perfectly. Also nice details of the ProgressDialog. SWEET 🙂

    Thank you.

  33. Andy April 5, 2010 at 5:44 pm


    I see lots of comments about how this could be sleaker. Has anyone got a working example?? Specifically about the items.get part.


  34. Paul April 6, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I try to run this but after the retrieving dialog box runs it shuts down and displays that it has shut down unexpectedly. Do you know what may be the cause of this? I am running on google api 1.5 sdk 2.

  35. admin April 6, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Try to debug it, at least by placing the Log(“”,””) statements in your code. Otherwise I won’t be able to help you.

  36. Quanglh April 9, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Thanks for great tutorial!

  37. Marvin April 9, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I tried running this application..
    Although the icons loaded the text was nowhere to be seen. And the vertical space for each item is very wide. Did I forget to set something?

  38. admin April 9, 2010 at 8:50 am

    hmnn, interesting. Please double check your layout xml files and the string variables they contain.

  39. Daniel April 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Hi, Great tutorial.
    But i am having problems with this line

    for(int i = 0; i < data2.size(); i++){

    (i changed the variable names)

    Basically it loops forever. the arraylist seems to increase in size and keeps going

  40. admin April 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    thats pretty basic, please double check you code or try to use debugger.

  41. Daniel April 16, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Well i scratched my head for a while and removed that code. this works perfectly without the loop

    private Runnable returnData = new Runnable(){

    public void run() {
    if(listViewData != null && listViewData.size() > 0){

  42. Daniel April 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    In your example how would you refresh the list view?

  43. Pablo April 19, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    HI, great tutorial! Thanks… can you post a .RAR or .ZIP with the complete project to know exaclty where to put each part off the code?

    Thanks again!!

  44. Shaun April 20, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Hi Daniel,

    I encountered the same “infinite for loop” problem with you where the arraylist seemed to increase in size.

    under my equivalent of “getOrders()” i made a http connection, received an xml response and parsed it into an arraylist of objects.

    i followed your fix and removed the loop. seems to work fine, and the listview displays all the correct items, but i was wondering if there are any drawbacks to this.

    any updates?


  45. pawan April 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    the tutorials is gr8, it works absolutely fine.
    But can someone tell me how to add filter to this
    what i mean is:
    [if i write A in a testbox all the names starting with A should come up]

    i need this very urgently so plz….

    Thanks in adv

  46. admin April 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    sorry Pablo, don’t have the sources any more.

  47. Me April 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Great…. you goth my respect dude…

  48. Johan Karlsson April 25, 2010 at 10:39 am


    this was very useful for me. However I think it is strange that you have to add each item and copy them from one list to the other, as mentioned above. Does anybody have a solution to this problem?


  49. Dai Hoang April 27, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Many thanks, It’s helpful

  50. Morgan April 28, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Great tutorial.

    Did you ever get around to doing a tutorial on a more-robust getOrders() method? Maybe one that reads from XML or pulls via http?

    That would be awesome if you did.

  51. admin April 28, 2010 at 9:46 am

    well, look at my other posts about parsing JSON data and executing POST/GET requests, combine them togheter and you will get an answer 🙂

  52. Rek May 1, 2010 at 2:25 am

    Two notes on this.

    1. getSystemService(…) does not exist in ArrayAdapter. You need to change it to (LayoutInflater)getContext().getSystemService(…

    2. It is not necessary to create a new list in copy all of those items into a new list in your getOrders function, nor do you need to have the loop in your returnRes function. You’ve already passed the m_orders list into the ArrayAdapter (by reference), so when you notify the adapter that the list has changed, it is able to access the list you just added stuff to.

  53. bernsy May 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for the code…it really helped me to get started. I am new to both Java and Android…started doing some Silverlight DEV 6 months a go.

    Question on a piece of your code. What exactly does this do? I am still trying to understand how the structure of android views work.

    View v = convertView;
    if (v == null) {
    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
    v = vi.inflate(R.layout.row, null);

  54. ale May 8, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I can understand how the code works more or less. but i have a question about getView() method. I got a book showing something like your code, it’s just that it doesn’t explain well when the convertView might have null or non-null value. Plus I don’t get when this method is called. I break-pointed on this method with 3 elements in a normal array string and saw that this method was called 6 times, with convertView shifting from non-null to null value on every call. thanks for the help in advance!!!

  55. Koby May 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Hey! Thank you for this very helpfull code snip. My question is now: How can i get the TextView Views out of the Listview over a onItemCLickListener….. im not able to do this.. please help me!.. i need the text view because i have to change the textstyle in the textview (which is in our listview) after clicking on it..

  56. rrd May 20, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I am a beginner in Java and Android

    I put OrderAdapter to a separate file and I get this:

    Illegal modifier for the class OrderAdapter; only public, abstract & final are permitted

    What should I do?

  57. rrd May 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    It had to be changed to public as I want to use it from a different class.

  58. Marco May 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Hi. I am struggeling with

    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);

    Eclipse always tells me: method getSystemService(String) is undefinied for type OrderAdapter

    What am I doing wrong?

  59. tiandong May 30, 2010 at 2:19 am

    I want to put a RadioGroup, which has 4 RadioButtons as Children, in each Row.
    Now i can click on the RadioButtons with no Problem, but if i scroll the ListView, my selection is gone. I habe tried several days, but still i can not fix the problem.
    Can anybody help?

  60. David June 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I’m struggling to grasp where and how exactly I can attach an onItemClickListener. Is it to the adapter (m_adapter) and if so at which point? Does the update/runnable affect this too?

    Great article by the way.

  61. Noelle June 9, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Hello, my application still has errors though the code doesn’t show any. It says that my application has stopped unexpectedly. Please help me out!

    I’m a super beginner in android and your code really helps me out!

    THANKS. You can email me too.

  62. Jyahao June 9, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Can you continue using this code, whereby its clickable and goes to another page?

  63. Anon June 9, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    To add onItemClickListener:
    1) Add this:
    private OnItemClickListener listlistener = new OnItemClickListener() {

    public void onItemClick(AdapterView parent, View arg1, int position,
    long arg3) {
    Toast.makeText(getApplicationContext(), “You have clicked on ” + ((Order)parent.getItemAtPosition(position)).getOrderName(), Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

    2) Then add this to the OnCreate after setContentView:

  64. arlen June 11, 2010 at 1:54 am

    Can you continue using this code, whereby its clickable and goes to another page?

    or read the data from website and show in listView ?

  65. nunux June 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Great post !
    But how and where do you say to the progress dialog to shutdown ?

  66. Turism June 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks man!

    Just wanted to say that your tutorial was GREAT 🙂 it helped me alot with my android project.

    So THANKS! 🙂

    Brgds Robert

  67. Ale June 19, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    it is possibile to show a different icon for different type of item in list? thanks

  68. Noelle June 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Hey Anon, what you mean by Step 2?

    2) Then add this to the OnCreate after setContentView:

  69. Jyahao June 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Omg thanks for the OnItemClick code Anon. But it doesn’t work! 🙁 HELP! Can’t toast didn’t appear!!!! 🙁

  70. Weiting June 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

    If i dont want to use the hard code for the data. I wanna take it out from my data base.

    does this means i need nt the order class? and the arraylist?

  71. Jyahao June 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Is it possible to get data from my database and set the text as from my data? so does this means I do not need the Order class? and the adapters?

  72. Noelle June 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hi there! Your code works fine already and the onclicklistener too! :>

    But now I’m kinda stuck, hope you guys help me out!!!!

    I want everything above, the progress dialog and the listview. However, I wanna use my own data from my database. Help anyone? Cause I can’t solve this problem.

  73. laynyinn June 22, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Is it possible to show another list in a list item ?

  74. Arief June 23, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Hi, I’m having a trouble with this, how can i put data in 2 different listview? When i try to implement this, my listview content is exactly the same, and before i add new data i declare new adapter, and the result is both listview contains the same data which is combination of data from each listview. Thanks for your help, i really appreciate it a lot.

  75. Sasikumar June 24, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Nice article.
    How can i set single choice mode for custom listview ?.

  76. Patel July 2, 2010 at 12:26 am

    This is a great tutorial. At first i was a bit taken that there was soo much code, but once i read through it and implemented it, it works great. Thanks so much for the help.

  77. Ram July 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Admin : thanks a ton for this……successfully implemented the same functionality to my project……Kudos to u

    Jyahao : What is the Error?

  78. Mswiczar July 16, 2010 at 4:41 am

    Inside the adapter use custom views.
    If u use custom view with x items inside like textviews image views and many other view object u culd replace this 2 calls to findviewbyid to just one call to get the custom view by id and then refer to the n itmes in the custom view.
    So instead n calls you just need one call.
                            TextView tt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;
                            TextView bt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;

  79. Arpit July 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I tried the exact same code, without any changes and it didn’t work.

    What could be the possible problem? The screen after the ProgressDialog (in the background show empty text) shows a empty screen?!…

    Now log for error. Any idea? I tried removing the thread and doing all process in same thread, still no result?

  80. CK July 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Excellent sample to get folks new to Android started. The ListView is one of those things that you would use again and again. Great service! Thanks!

  81. jean July 28, 2010 at 2:47 am

    thanks for the helpful walkthrough!!

  82. sgm August 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Just what I needed! Thanks.
    But, please, repair the code where getSystemService() call.

  83. ranjit August 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    i want to display admob or tab in the button of this custum listview ,i tried but not got any success,any help for displaying admob.

  84. duskstriker August 4, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Great tutorial!! I’m trying to adapter this to a Spinner widget and when I try to select the spinner, i get “java.lang.IllegalStateException: ArrayAdapter requires the resource ID to be a TextView”. The resource ID I’m using is R.layout.row (the same as the tutorial). The XML says it’s parent node is a LinearLayout so maybe that’s my problem? If so, I’m stumped because I was hoping to control positions with LinearLayout. If anyone has got this working I’d appreciate any input. 🙂

  85. duskstriker August 4, 2010 at 10:34 am

    This got me the rest of the way implementing this with a spinner 🙂 …

  86. Solo August 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Please help me on this, I want have listview of short sentences in my app. These sentences are stored in a xyz.xml resource file as string array items. What confuses me is the layout xml file. Everywhere I read some tutorials have both ListView and TextView tags and some have one of them. So I am not sure why they use either one. Also, how to use ArrayAdapter to place the sentences into the listview.

    Please help, I just started this journey.

  87. Arun Kumar Arjunan August 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you very much.. Exactly what I was looking for..

  88. Michael Geribaldi August 24, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Like this!
    Thanks for great tutorial.

  89. Elias September 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Excellent tutorial! Can you follow up with a part-2 on how to implement the Item Click Listener?

  90. Jim September 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    In getOrders I wanted to grab data from a db and found creating new Order objects redundant o1, 02 so I modified the code to be:

    Order o1 = new Order();

    o1.setOrderName(“[name from db]”);
    o1.setOrderStatus(“[status from db]”);
    o1 = new Order();
    } //for

    I was surprised that o1 had to have the “new Order()” but I guess it gets saved by reference of some sort. Without it all items have the value of the last item in the database.

  91. eran September 9, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    that’s great!!
    thank a lot..

  92. handy.wnag September 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I browsed it , but now I will practise it.

  93. John September 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Good example…easy to follow…saved me trying to figure it out. Thanks!

  94. David September 26, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Thanks for a good code.

  95. chetan September 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    thanks alot, ur row xml was my first of my custom list.
    everythings r fine, but now i have added a button in the list but the listener is not at al listening to the clicks. wher m i going wrong, is there nything that i need to do..

  96. mobibob September 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Perfect. Nicely broken down into the working code bits and associated documentation / discussion.

  97. jonzim September 29, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Excellent tutorial! This worked great, along with the click events. All I needed to do after this was figure out how to use a selector (to highlight selected list items), and I made huge strides in my understanding of Android.


  98. Brett Kromkamp September 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm


    This was *exactly* what I was looking for my LifeMapper and ProjectMappr applications.

    Brett Kromkamp

  99. OneWorld October 1, 2010 at 11:44 am

    How to access “No orders to display” through code? I only want to display this label, after downloading the model data.

  100. OneWorld October 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    You made that list in 2008 with API 0.9, are there better options now? Maybe a nativ solution?

  101. stelioschar October 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm


    That was a very useful example, but i want to make something more advanced.

    I want to make it dynamic. I want to produce a Custom Listview with such item as i get from a Sax Xml Parsing using this example:

    Being an inexperienced android and java developer, any help and tip could be useful!! 🙂

  102. Mike October 12, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Hi, thanks for the tutorial it was really helpful to me, but please correct the code.

    in getOrders(), m_orders = new ArrayList(); is wrong and in run() only those two lines are necessary:

  103. farhan October 14, 2010 at 11:49 am

    see this blog, it will help you how perform action on list items

  104. Olivier October 20, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Why do you need to init with a “new” the ArrayList member in getOrders ? It’s already initialized entering the onCreate.
    Deleting one or the other of those inits make the app crash. I don’t understand why…

  105. Don October 20, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Your codes work! Thanks a lot.

  106. dave October 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Hi, thanks for the post, nice tutorial. I am having some problem with my android application. I am trying to pass an object array to ListActivity to create a listview . My array object contains (int key, String value).

    What i need is to some how modify listAdapter to show the key and values for that passed arrayObject. Can someone help me on that. Thanks

  107. assaf October 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Great code, thank you very , just what I was looking for.

  108. Henning October 27, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Thanks for the example. Complete and to the point.

  109. Kapil October 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Hi Krzysztof Grajek

    Good tutorial.

    I want layout of listview like call log listview in emulator of android. i.e with call details and icons for incoming call,outgoing call,missed call and with icon of call. please tell me how to compate the two events : 1) calling when clicking on call icon
    2) displaying call detail information when clicking on list item.

    Thanks & Regards

  110. Xeno November 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Hi, thank you for your tutorial.
    I am currently going through, 2 things have popped up:

    1) I had to add

    private Context ctx;
    this.ctx = context;

    to the OrderAdapter to get the line
    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)ctx.getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
    to work.


    On public class OrderAdapter extends ArrayAdapter{
    I get an error “The public type OrderAdapter must be defined in its own file. Only final, static or abstract may be used”. Am I missing something or has something changed since when you wrote this?


  111. Joshua November 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    This has got to be the sexist posting on the internet. Thank you.

  112. Nathan November 7, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Can you please publish a tutorial on creating a custom list view with images defines from a cursor. I hate tutorials that pull back a set list of items from an array. When would I ever user this code

  113. Jack Veenstra November 8, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Nice example, but the “m_orders” ArrayList is written in a background thread and read in the Main UI thread so all accesses need to be synchronized.

    It would be better to create a new, local ArrayList in the background thread, fill it with data, and then pass it to the main UI thread as an argument. Then you don’t need any synchronization.

  114. Takis Pournaras November 8, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Well written and useful tutorial. Thanks.

  115. Simon November 9, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Truly awesome! Thanks a lot for clarifying this messy jungle of views, arrays, adapters and alike 🙂
    I honestly didn’t expect that using this tutorial – and making adaptions on the go 😉 – would work straight away, especially when done at 3AM without any coffee in my bloodstream.

  116. Tyler Collier November 9, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for the code, it’s awesome! It helped me so much!

    The list scrolled VERY slowly though. I fixed this performance issue simply by removing the [android:ellipsize=”marquee”] line from row.xml. I’m not even sure what that does, and it doesn’t seem to matter for this example.

  117. Daan November 10, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Lol @ Ctrl+Shit+O

  118. Yogi November 11, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Awesome tutorial..

  119. B November 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Thank you very much. Nice writeup.

  120. JP Hellemons November 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Hi, nice tutorial. I am currently trying to add an onclick listener but I can’t seem to figure it out.
    somehow this doesn’t work: ListView lv = (ListView)findViewById(;
    Sorry for being such a noob. But extending the tutorial with a click listener would help me out big time. thanks in advanced! Best regards, JP

  121. canhong November 29, 2010 at 1:15 am

    The best ListView and Adapter example I have ever found !!! Many thanks.

  122. Thiago December 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Very nice tutorial!

    i have a question… is there a way to make the items returned by the listview be displayed horizontally?

    Best regards.

  123. Serdel December 10, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Don’t know if anyone can reply but I have a strange problem with layout – I have changed the ‘row’ layout to Relative and want to place some images. However when I select layout_alignParentBottom=”true” it looks good in the eclipse ‘layout preview’ but on the device it’s almost at the top of the row. Why is that?

  124. Serdel December 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    PS: aligning to parent top,left,right works perfectly…

  125. admin December 11, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Could you provide a screenshot of what you are trying to achieve?

  126. Ayaz Alavi December 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Great, working perfectly after few modifications. using this now in one of my projects.

  127. Serdel December 14, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I don’t think a screen shot is necessary – in general the ‘vertical’ parameters of RelativeLayout seem to be not working in a list item. When I pick alignParentBottom, or centerVertical the images just ignore it. I have seen an google I/O with Romain Guy and he answered a similar question by saying we should pass the parent ViewGroup followed by false, to the inflate function, but that still doesn’t solve my problem. Don’t know what is going on here. I solved this by placing my items below some others and playing with the margin/padding but I don’t really like that solution.

  128. Sam December 16, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I found your pictures could not be retrieved, e.g. , android11,, is not available. Please check.

  129. zapnap December 19, 2010 at 12:43 am

    Excellent tutorial, thanks!

  130. jdub December 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks as this was a very illustrative example.

  131. Kapil January 7, 2011 at 10:32 am


    I have used this code its working really well.
    But i want reload my listview in on resume too.
    But its giving error.

  132. Srikar January 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    This is AWESOME example. I was struggling to get simple list to show in a new activity with custom view for almost 3 days.

    I am 2 weeks newbie to Android framework and this example worked like a charm. Now I have to pour over the lines to understand all this.

  133. Andy January 12, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Great example. Thanks!

  134. p.t. January 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    I got exception on this

  135. Crius January 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Nice tutorial, thank you very much.
    How could i use click handlers in this situation? For example add a text page when i click a row?

    Thank you in advantage.

  136. alp January 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    awesome. thanks.

  137. Eugene van der Merwe January 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I noticed the author had no comments on @Jack Veenstra’s comments about the threads and synchronisation. Would anyone care to comment? This is kind of important to me at this stage of my implementation.

  138. Stephen January 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Great tutorial – I had been trying various tutorials to try and get my head around ListViews and custom adapters, without any real success.
    Then I found this one and was up and running within 1/2 hour. Brilliant!

  139. Peter February 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks. This is a great tutorial. Very helpful.

  140. kcs February 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Excellent Tutorial. Thanks.

  141. ayreon February 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Noo! Please do not post such misleading concepts! Never ever modify UI elements from another thread! It is strictly prohibited! Please read at least the basics before start posting on a topic!

  142. John mabassa February 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Really nice tutorial!!

  143. Dimitri February 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Hi! really good tutorial!Very Helpful

    Is there any chance of updating it using auto-complete for as newbies!

  144. WhoRU February 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks a lot! Works great, simple to understand.

  145. Marek March 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks a lot it helped me exactly the way I wanted. Had before dealt with custom ArrayAdapter but had problems with custom objects array instead of just strings array.

  146. peter March 8, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Thanks – finally a decent tutorial

  147. Roberto March 9, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I get an error on the line:
    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);

    I saw the Android API and the getSystemService is part of the Context Object.

    Should I use the same context that is specified in the constructor?

    I’m using Android 2.2


  148. Thomas March 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    awsome tutorial ! helped me out a lot!

  149. Harry March 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Great article. Thanks.

    When I run this in the emulator and switch between landscape and portrait modes a couple of times, the example throws the following exception:

    Thread [ main] (Suspended (exception IllegalArgumentException))
    WindowManagerImpl.removeView(View) line: 208
    Window$LocalWindowManager.removeView(View) line: 432
    ProgressDialog(Dialog).dismissDialog() line: 280
    Dialog.access$000(Dialog) line: 73
    Dialog$ line: 109
    ProgressDialog(Dialog).dismiss() line: 264
    MyActivity$ line: 76

    And ideas?


  150. Harry March 14, 2011 at 9:11 pm


    You have to add this to the activity declaration in the manifest:


    So putting that in the configuration file avoids the system destroying your activity. Instead it invokes the onConfigurationChanged(Configuration) method.

  151. Frank March 15, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Great tutorial!
    I’m getting the following runtime error:
    Your content must have a ListView whose id attribute is ‘’

    My main layout has a ListView that looks like this:

    Any ideas? Thanks!

  152. Dat Nguyen March 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Thank you very much for your post. This is exactly what I’m looking for.

  153. Manoj March 18, 2011 at 9:01 am

    good work, thats really helpful..

  154. Paul March 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you very much, this was just the example I was looking for.

  155. basit March 24, 2011 at 5:44 am

    can u send me the project file???

  156. Joe March 25, 2011 at 7:49 am

    This was a perfect, wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much

  157. simon March 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

    actually the way you handle the backing list in the adapter is a little sloppy. you don’t need to declare your own list in the adapter class, you can just use the one provided by the arrayadapter

  158. JK March 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Brilliant post, thank you.

    I found the following link fixed the issue with getSystemService.

  159. AF March 30, 2011 at 4:34 am

    Great tutorial.

    A couple of suggestions for the getView() method in the OrderAdapter class.

    1. For me the line:
    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
    did not work.

    getSystemService() is obviously not a method of OrderAdapter. It is a method that can be provided by the Context class. In the context of an ArrayAdapter class (which is the base class for our OrderAdapter class) you can access the current context using the getContext() method. Thus, the thing that worked for me is:

    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater) getContext().getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);

    2. The getView() method can be optimized. The inflating, text setting and all that processing needs to take place ONLY when the view is constructed for the first time. In other words only when the convertView parameter is null. All the other times, you just need to return the convertView as it is.

    The convertView parameter acts both as an input parameter (when its initial value is null) or as an output parameter (when its initial value is something else other than null). Below is the way I re-wrote this method.

    public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
    View v = convertView;

    if (v != null) {
    LOG.d(“OrderAdapter#getview()”, “No need to do anything…”);
    return v;

    LOG.d(“OrderAdapter#getview()”, “Inflate the layout and properly set the view’s controls…”);

    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);
    v = vi.inflate(R.layout.row, null);

    Order o = items.get(position);
    if (o != null) {
    TextView tt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;
    TextView bt = (TextView) v.findViewById(;
    if (tt != null) {
    tt.setText(“Name: “+o.getOrderName()); }
    if(bt != null){
    bt.setText(“Status: “+ o.getOrderStatus());

    return v;

    This can lead to some significant optimization (especially when the list gets long enough) because the number of times when this parameter is different than null is far greater that the number of situations when it is null. I have added a couple of debug log statements to illustrate this.

  160. Andy March 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    This is a great post, exactly what i was looking for. I had a problem with my XML setup, but was quickly resolved. There should be more tutorials like this out there!

  161. Elias March 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Awesome man!
    Great example for Threading and Cool lists 😉

  162. Jasdiu April 1, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Can you send me the project file please?

    Thanks in advance.

  163. MrINeedHelp April 5, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Hi, I modified this tutorial to have a dialog that you input data. The only problem is the view is never refreshed despite putting notifyDataSetChanged(); after I add my object (you use an Order object in the tutorial). After the dialog I create a new intent and when I click back the new data isn’t there. It only comes about when the onCreate method is called. I also tried putting the thread call after I add my data but that created duplicate entries. Any ideas? Thanks

  164. Tom April 6, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Thank you! Excellent tutorial.

  165. neil April 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    @ Krzysztof: Really great tutorial. There is so much unreadable and crappy blog post regarding this out, but your’s is awesome. Thanks for it.

    @ AF: I can’t second any of your comment. The original source (if not changed so far) works fine (concerning Context). And your changes concerning convertview are simply wrong: Indeed, you can use convertview, but in this case you have to update the view with the information kept in place in your items list for the given position. Otherwise you just replicate old content in your list. So the “return v” once you’ve found a convertview is wrong. You may use convertview, of course, but you have to update it with the most recent values. Same as with the iPhone table view.

  166. Zerga April 13, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Thanks a lot!! Exactly what i needed… now accessing a webservice for the list items would be awesome! 🙂

  167. obed33 April 27, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I do believe that same as Zerga, Thank you!!

  168. iaindownie April 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    since converting my simple textual listView to something like your version above (text and image), I have lost the ability to keyboard search for elements in the listView.

    Do you know if it’s possible to search a ListView when each element is actually a View in an Adapter class?


  169. Deepak May 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I took the help of this tutorial. everything works fins but I am not able to use ItemClickListener. If I click on any item in list then nothing happens. I tried it with below given code:

    MyAdapter adapter = new MyAdapter(this, R.layout.row, list);

    lv.setOnItemClickListener(new OnItemClickListener() {
    public void onItemClick( AdapterView parent, View view, int position, long id) {


  170. Zack May 6, 2011 at 4:55 am


    Can anyone tell me where i could get the image for the icon? Any link?

  171. AK-47 May 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Great! Thanks a lot!

  172. Jyosna May 8, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I want to do Item click on list view item.
    So can i know how to do here & where to write? that is under OrderAdapter class or SoftwarePassionView ListActivity?

    please reply me as soon as possible

  173. NathofGod May 16, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    This is the best tutorial I’ve seen for a custom listview

  174. Ryan May 18, 2011 at 10:27 am

    After hours of bashing my head against it, I realized that you can’t use the convertView if some elements of the list have different layouts and the list is large enough to require scrolling. I think the convertView passed when getView is called during a scroll is actually the one at the opposite end of the screen (say the view at the top if scrolling downward), and the result is that if those two views are of a different layout, the new one gets switched to the layout of the convertView. Anyway, I said to hell with the optimization and just inflated the view every time after spending too much time working out a more efficient solution. I hope this helps anyone else who runs into my problem.

  175. Rafal May 20, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    thank you for that tutorial 🙂

    It helped me a lot while I”m just beginning my journey with android!

  176. andrew May 25, 2011 at 12:31 am

    A quick note: For the project to work you need to change “@+id/android:list” to just “@id/android:list” and “@+id/android:empty” to “@id/android:empty” in main.xml layout. Otherwise it seems to create new IDs and ListActivity then throws an error being unable to find its hard-coded value for

  177. Sandeep May 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

    great work dude..

  178. Brandon May 29, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Works great. Thanks a lot!

  179. Jerome June 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

    thank you. Excellent tutorial.
    I have made some modifcations for my app like “Load More Button” and kind of stuff but your tutorial showed me the path ^^

  180. eladerezador June 6, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    please, the method getSystemService OrderAdapter class which is defined?

  181. delux_247 June 7, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Great Post, thanks! Question: why does the text view with the string “No orders to display” get displayed? It works.. but I am not sure how (noob)?. Is it because the text view is the last view in the xml file?


  182. merimm June 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Hi all,

    is there a way to make the listview multiselect? I’m an absolute beginner to android and have not much idea on how can I do it.

    This doesn’t work:

    this.m_adapter = new OrderAdapter(this,android.R.layout.simple_list_item_multiple_choice, m_orders);


    Thanks in advance!

  183. Denis Cherkasov June 9, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Огромное спасибо, за доступный для понимания пример.

  184. Cris June 11, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    This is the only custom ListView example I have been able to find on the net (and I am pretty good at finding things with Google).

    Thank you..


  185. Tamer June 13, 2011 at 1:42 am

    it is amazing one; but I try :
    lv1.setOnItemClickListener(new OnItemClickListener() {
    public void onItemClick(AdapterView a, View v, int position, long id) {
    AlertDialog.Builder adb=new AlertDialog.Builder(ListViewExampleActivity.this);
    adb.setTitle(“The Selected Item”);

    adb.setMessage(“Selected Item is = “+ lv1.getItemAtPosition(position).toString());
    adb.setPositiveButton(“Ok”, null);;

    I want only to display the toptext of the selected item.. any idea/ ???

  186. khacpv June 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    thank you for your post. and I have problem in:
    what do it? i only know it make myprogram sleep in 2 second. but i do not understand, when I set: //Thread.sleep(2000); then I do not give any Order in my ListView.
    any one answer for me? thank you so much, 😡

  187. Aakash June 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Thank you so much for this code. It works perfectly. With just a few modifications, I’ve already got it to work with spinners in a listview, and now I’ve already implemented it in my app.
    Given credits to you too!

  188. Tim June 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    There is a bug in the code, a new thread is created each time the view changes, so if go from portrait to landscape while the items are loading and the thread is sleeping, it will crash…

  189. Peter June 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial. Can you give me a clue about how to set up an itemclicklistener?

  190. vidp June 21, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Thanks, It’s great. when an item is focused it change background to orange (very beauty). But when I clicked in an item how can I make the same focus. any body help me. Thanks.

  191. Martin June 30, 2011 at 4:37 am

    excellent tutorial.

    How would you extend the same concept to data from a database using a cursor and string of multiple values such as :

    Cursor studCursor = mDbHelper.fetchAllExercisesStud(mRowId);

    // Create an array to specify the fields we want to display in the list
    String[] from = new String[]{

  192. Kenny July 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I’m having an issue with the code. I’m trying to run SoftwarePassionView inside of a tabbed layout. For some reason it is blowing up to full screen, covering up the tabs as well as the title bar. Does this have to do with the vi.inflate function?

    Otherwise, great code! Thanks!

  193. Roli July 3, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Thanks..this is really helpful. But one question,
    why do you need to execute the below code in the run method of the returnRes???
    if(m_orders != null && m_orders.size() > 0){
    for(int i=0;i<m_orders.size();i++)

    The OrderAdapter was already passed the m_orders arraylist in the onCreate() method (OrderAdapter constructor). Shouldn't you just be able to call notifyDataSetChanged()???

  194. AS July 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Like Deepak, I wanted to know if there is any way to still use setOnItemClickListener or setTextFilterEnabled? The formatting worked perfectly but I really need to be able to click on the TextView items.

  195. Robin Thapa July 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you for such a nice tutorial with list view.
    I followed your tutor and i was able to slove my problem to an extend.
    Since you have an icon in the list view, i decided to have a checkbox and thats fine for me.

    I wish to know how to accomplish questions below:
    1. Firstly how to hide check box initially when the list is fetched.
    2. Secondly, i have a menu, which has Edit, when i press the edit, i wish to show checkbox in the ListView.

    How can i perform as such in question 1 and 2.
    Please put some insight in it.

  196. shankha July 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks a lot for such self sufficient tutorial ….
    It helped me a lot to know how to create proper Listview
    after listening the Google conference video on Listview.

  197. cyfire July 17, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Great tutorial. Learning android and used this to help with my first app.

    @AF – that doesn’t work as you need to update convertView based on the position index

  198. anji July 21, 2011 at 7:00 am

    thanks a lot.

  199. Mahen July 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    To access the selected item in the list, you can straightaway override ‘onListItemClick’ method since its base is a ‘ListActivity’. Use the following code and change ‘Booking’ to ‘Order’.


    protected void onListItemClick(ListView l, View v, int position, long id)
    super.onListItemClick(l, v, position, id);
    Booking bkg = (Booking)l.getItemAtPosition(position);
    String strTextToDisplay = “Selected item is : ” +bkg.getBookingName();
    Toast.makeText(this, strTextToDisplay, Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();
    catch(Exception ex)
    Toast.makeText(this, ex.getMessage(), Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show();


  200. Priyank July 31, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Many thanks, its was really helpful.

  201. Anders August 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Finally! – a tutorial based on populating a ListView with entity objects instead of just string arrays. Very nice, can’t wait to copy it in my own project. 🙂

  202. fitim August 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    can you please send me the project file because the application stops runing (its not runing at all)

  203. Zidar August 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Hi, i followed this tutorial and when i run the app, i get

    E/AndroidRuntime(11676): Caused by: java.lang.RuntimeException: Your content must have a ListView whose id attribute is ‘’

    and the list in the main.xml is

    Do you have any tips for this?

  204. Abdullah August 28, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Thanks allot, very nice explaining

  205. Califf August 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    very nice tut!

  206. manju September 6, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    hi tried to run ur application but for me its giving exception (force close).
    i tried to create a new project and just changed “extends Activity” to “extends ListActivity” even this project is getting crash, is their any thing i am missing..

  207. Stefan September 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Very Good!! THANKS

  208. unpix September 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial! Finally i understand the system.

  209. Leaky September 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Has anyone tried this using 2.2 as a build target? It just seems to FC when it tries to run. Switching it back to 1.5 works fine.

  210. Munazza September 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    awsome tutorial . loved it and learned what i wanted.

  211. Márcio Brener October 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Congratulations! It`s the best Adapter tutorial I have found, simple and straightfoward.

  212. gigabyte October 7, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Thanks. Great tutorial. I’m just learning java/android (I’ve been developing in php/perl/python/etc for years). development. Tutorials such as this are awesome for guys like me trying to wrap their heads around a new language.

  213. Dineshkumar October 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Awesome tutorial. It’s help me a lot. Moreover I need to implement filter in order to implement search on list view. But m_adapter wont filter the listview. I want to filter the entire list view based on text in a textview. Please help me!!

  214. 735 October 11, 2011 at 9:36 am

    same with Zidar said on 23-08-2011

    I also get message :

    “Your content must have a ListView whose id attribute is ‘’

    Do you have any solution?

  215. Aaron October 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Hehe… Ctrl+SHIT+O can really help me out! :D. Change Shit to Shift please.

  216. admin October 11, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    He he, thanks Aaron! Fixed!

  217. iMark October 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Great article!

  218. sbeike October 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Great work! Thanks a lot!

  219. Bryan October 20, 2011 at 4:35 am


    “Your content must have a ListView whose id attribute is ‘’”

    Since you are extending the ListVew class, the ListView in your layout must use a standard id from the android package.

  220. Bryan October 20, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Oops it stripped it out, here’s what you add to the ListView definition:


  221. Rajendhiran.E November 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Thank you Boss 🙂

  222. Bhakti November 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    it was really helpful tutorial…

    thank you so much…

  223. Tos November 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I agree with Roli. As is, the run method is creating memory problems.
    This version works for me:

    public void run() {

  224. Paweł November 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    świetna stronka 😉

  225. ghouse November 29, 2011 at 7:18 am

    hi i am new to this android i have doubt first you are calling the listview defined in main.xml and calling the row .xml after loading the data then why you need listview u are not using it anywhere and android:layout_height=”?android:attr/listPreferredItemHeight” means what ? please let me know anybody and this doubt must seems to be little bit silly .but as a starty to this environment i need to know. thanks in advance

  226. john francis December 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I am getting the error in OrderAdapter class in below line..

    LayoutInflater vi = (LayoutInflater)getSystemService(Context.LAYOUT_INFLATER_SERVICE);

    The method getSystemService(String) is undefined for the type OrderAdapter

    Whats is the solution for this error

  227. Gori December 22, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I had the same error but when i declared OrderAdapter as a private class inside my main public class (SoftwarePassionView here) the error solved itself.

    Good luck,

    and thanks to the author!

  228. Daniel December 29, 2011 at 3:54 am

    great tutorial one cuestion
    how i can update the list view??????

  229. Munazza December 29, 2011 at 8:54 am

    best tutorial … very useful.. thank u so much for ur effort.

  230. dbunic | January 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Very good tutorial. It helped me to create custom ListView for my phone log application. My next move will be to create tabs and to put this custom ListView in one tab.

    Thank you!

  231. Thenextone January 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I got the same error at the SystemService (getSystemService… method not defined).

    I haven’t created a private class inside.
    The solution was to add a new private field at the adapter class with type “Context”.
    At the constructor you have to put the parameter context to the private field property ( = context).

    After this you are able to trigger the “getSystemService” method.
    Just put the property name . getSystemService etc..

    With these changes it works perfect! Thanks for the great tutorial and I hope I could help someone else too 🙂

  232. Pablo Formoso January 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Great tut!! Sharing source code will be awesome 🙂

  233. vinay February 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Thank u !! It is really helpful

  234. Jason February 15, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Thank you so much! It is a very usefull tutorial.

    I have a question. Is it possible to use a different picture for every element in the list?

    I need it because then I can use pictures from the internet depending on the content in the list.

    Best regards Jason

  235. shreni February 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    i m trying to get data from database(postgresql)
    …i m able to get single row
    now i want to display all records of a particular table…
    can u please help me..
    i m using android(eclipse)
    please hepl me.

    Thanks in advance…….

  236. Raul February 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    I don’t know how but every time I get into the “returnRes” iteration and add the object instead of adding into the ar_adapter I see that the object is added to the data collection (actors_ranking)… The result is a never-ending loop…

    Any idea??


    private Runnable returnRes = new Runnable() {
    public void run() {
    if(actors_ranking != null && actors_ranking.size() > 0){
    for(int i=0;i<actors_ranking.size();i++) {

  237. Andy February 22, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Consider using a ViewHolder so you don’t have to findViewById() every time a View get reused in your custom adapter.

  238. Ignacio February 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Dineshkumar asked:
    “Awesome tutorial. It’s help me a lot. Moreover I need to implement filter in order to implement search on list view. But m_adapter wont filter the listview. I want to filter the entire list view based on text in a textview. Please help me!!””

    Someone has found a solution. please contact by email

    thank you very much

  239. sudhakar March 4, 2012 at 5:41 am

    very niice tute …thanks a ton

  240. Tanka March 6, 2012 at 8:41 am

    thanks it was helpfull.

  241. kodeks pracy March 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Super. Czytam wszystkie posty po kolei.

  242. Bert March 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Hi there, is there an tutorial how to you set the onclick item listener on this?

    on topic: very good tutorial!

  243. MrA March 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Awesome tutorial!

    I had the same problem. I just wrote a method in my adapter to add my whole list instead of item per item. Like this:

    if(mCustomWidgets != null && mCustomWidgets.size() > 0)

    in the adapter class:
    public void setItems(ArrayList items)

    don’t know if it is the correct way of working but it fixed the problem for me.


  244. Mukund prasad March 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I am also getting the error. Please share the project code.

  245. Mohamed AShraf March 29, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Instead of this

    Use this

  246. Mohamed AShraf March 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Instead of this android:id=”@+id/android:list”
    Use this android:id=”@android:id/list”

  247. paul March 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    This helped me a lot as adapters and cursors are quite different than ArrayAdapters

  248. Jordi April 5, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Many thanks! I’m beginning with Android and you helped me a lot! I’ve adapted your code to fit my needs and, not without problems, I have reached it! Thanks a lot!

  249. Derrick April 7, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I can’t tell you how much this has helped me! THANK YOU! This is a wonderful example of how to build array adapters and get them populating your listview. Great job!

  250. Torben April 10, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    For adding an item click listener use this:
    ListView lv = getListView();
    lv.setOnItemClickListener(new OnItemClickListener() {
    public void onItemClick(AdapterView parent, View view, int position, long id) {

  251. Naveen May 8, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Really great tutorial. Thanks very much

  252. bigor May 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Great article, one of the very few which provide whole code in very clear and consistent way. This helped me a lot. Thanks!

  253. Tea June 3, 2012 at 3:21 am

    this tutorial was great, but how can I add an OnItemClickListener?

  254. Jelle July 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I see you are setting setContentView(R.layout.main); aswell as setListAdapter.. is that really needed? Can you explain? 🙂 Thanks!

  255. raul8 July 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    My code is getting into infinite loop in:
    for (int i = 0; i < m_orders.size(); i++)

  256. Umair Ali September 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Ooh…you made it so simple…thank u soo much…:)

  257. shanewaj September 13, 2012 at 5:22 am

    If you have a large list
    I will die.
    Never works

  258. Scamparelli September 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Hi there, nice post thank you. Your post sets the icon image in the layout, but I am wondering if it is possible to alter this in the code. For example, I have three flag icons (red, amber, green) and I want a certain flag, depending on what the cursor returns in the cursorAdpater..

    Thanks, Dave.

  259. R Star October 16, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks Very Much!

  260. Ramon October 23, 2012 at 6:17 am

    I encounter an error running your code. It’s an error in thread

  261. Shadowcrow October 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Hello, first of all, the tut is great but I have some problems to implement a click listener. I have a dynamic content because I add the items from a db (code below) which is everytime an other length. So my question: wherer do I put a clicklistener for single itemparts (I implemented a checkbox). I tried to use a holder but I am just learning android developing. Any ideas?

    m_ekl = new ArrayList();
    DBHelper listhelper = new DBHelper(getApplicationContext());
    newDB = listhelper.getWritableDatabase();
    Cursor c = newDB.rawQuery(“SELECT name, anzahl, imwagen FROM ” +
    tableName, null);
    String[] name = new String[c.getCount()];
    Integer[] anzahl = new Integer[c.getCount()];
    Integer[] imwagen = new Integer[c.getCount()];
    Boolean imwagenboo;
    for(int i=0;i<c.getCount();i++){
    name[i]= c.getString(0);
    anzahl[i]= c.getInt(1);
    imwagen[i]= c.getInt(2);
    if (imwagen[i]==0){
    imwagenboo = false;
    else {
    imwagenboo = true;
    ekl ei = new ekl();

  262. Hammad November 11, 2012 at 7:42 am

    You could have used AsyncTask for the retrieval and progress dialog display which automatically work in a separate thread.

  263. Hans November 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for this article, its helped me a lot 🙂

  264. Bharat February 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Iam getting an error in the the methods of are not accessible

  265. Tomek February 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Hey there, nice tutorial, but i can`t compile the example code. its not working.

    Console says:

    [2013-02-26 13:46:28 – selectlistitem] W/ResourceType( 2456): Bad XML block: header size 110 or total size 0 is larger than data size 0
    [2013-02-26 13:46:28 – selectlistitem] F:\Privates\Java\Workspace\selectlistitem\res\layout\row.xml:6: error: Error: No resource found that matches the given name (at ‘src’ with value ‘@drawable/icon’).
    [2013-02-26 13:46:28 – selectlistitem] F:\Privates\Java\Workspace\selectlistitem\res\menu\select_list_item.xml:3: error: Error: No resource found that matches the given name (at ‘title’ with value ‘@string/action_settings’).

  266. Howard February 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    thank you for the clear tutorial. It worked for me right out of the box !
    Just curious though why it’s so *slow*
    threaded public void run() {
    } // even if I pull this out and run it unthreaded, the response is far slower than other listview adapters I’ve experimented with. (e.g. List8, List14, in the SDK API Demo’s) … understood this tutorial is several years old. Regardless, this is great stuff ! Thanks again. – H

  267. Howard February 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

    oops – should have read more carefully :-0



  268. kamran March 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    hi in my app the user opens gallery choose a picture the app stores the imagepath to sqlite and when i want to show all saved people and the application crashes i use a baseadapter and a viewholder and this line of code makes my application crash what shoud i do?

  269. Anth April 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    getSystemService() doesn’t exist in OrderAdapter. You must set Context to a class member in constructor, e.g.:

    this.context = context;

    and then call context.getSystemService()

  270. avalencia May 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    nice! worked like a charm!

  271. Marek August 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    I cannot use this, because I use ListItem adapter in custom GridView adapter. And then mixed my data. I need help. Can I send you my class?

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