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Monday, 10 May 2010

Auto Complete Text View | Android Beginner Dev Tutorial

This is a very simple tutorial on using Auto Complete Text View provided by Android SDK.

It consists of a single text box which can show suggestions based on a list of data that I provide as a source for this field. Just like Google Suggest, this also shows the nearest matches to the string that is being input by the end user.

So, here is the layout xml file:


Nothing special. It just consists of one element.

Now in the main activity, I create an array of android books:

String[] androidBooks =
"Hello, Android - Ed Burnette",
"Professional Android 2 App Dev - Reto Meier",
"Unlocking Android - Frank Ableson",
"Android App Development - Blake Meike",
"Pro Android 2 - Dave MacLean",
"Beginning Android 2 - Mark Murphy",
"Android Programming Tutorials - Mark Murphy",
"Android Wireless App Development - Lauren Darcey",
"Pro Android Games - Vladimir Silva",

Then in the onCreate(..) method, I create an ArrayAdapter that I can pass to this AutoCompleteTextView as the data Source.

ArrayAdapter<String> adapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this,android.R.layout.simple_dropdown_item_1line,androidBooks);

Then, I get a handle to the AutocompleteTextView, and set the arrayAdapter to it along with the Threshold. The Threshold defines the number of charaters a user should type before the suggestions start showing up.

AutoCompleteTextView acTextView = (AutoCompleteTextView)findViewById(;

That is it. Now execute and see it work. 
This is the way it would look:

The example code can be downloaded here.


  1. hi,very nice application,but when i type * in autotext all the arraay elements should appear in screen as same as Api demos
    (Contacts with Hint:
    Demonstates an autocomplete text box that understands the * wildcard.) in android.can u please help me

  2. Hi, very nice example. I was wondering how to go about grabbing the index of the String[] that auto complete uses?


  3. Hi,

    how can i print the statement("any print statement") when the array is not match to the items.

  4. that's rite @watson, i can't handle it too.. :(
    how 'bout you now?

  5. Naveen Sabesan2 April 2011 at 18:16

    thanku so much for :) it really helped :)

  6. hi,
    provide me the build automation tools for android apps.

  7. Great post. I really appereciate your work done in developing this blog.
    Thankfully for this unique article, I will definitely add this website to my own rss feeds, a buddy basically told me concerning this a while back.I just stumbled across your site. Pretty interesting topic, it really makes me think.

  8. The post is pretty interesting. I really never thought I could have a good read by this time until I found out this site. I am grateful for the information given. Thank you for being so generous enough to have shared your knowledge with us.

  9. Hi Geetha, Krishna here, HOw to fill a textview with large string?

  10. hi, very helpful article, but i am facing problem in dynamically updating the auto complete adapter, and even unable to handle click event on it.
    so please can you tell me appropriate way to implement it into my code of logic.


  11. Hi Great tutorial ,but as you took an strings collection and made an addapter for that but i want to use an adapter which will collect to the phone contacts or say sqlite database how to do this can you explain please.........thanks in advance

  12. Thanks for the afflatus I was fatigued by appointment but i learn that action is about alive to the fullest and able every moment.

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  18. Thank you mam for writing this valuable tutorial.

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  20. Sai Geetha Can you tell me or show me how to write the android code to auto populate forms? you can e-mail me the answer at
    Look forward to hearing back from you

  21. This is a great post; it was very informative. I look forward in reading more of your work.

  22. I think this auto suggestion box will surely help all of us. Goo and thank for this innovative idea.

  23. I could tell how great you are in your field of interest. You could relate in each detail very well. Thank you for spending a time on sharing such informative writings to us.

  24. Hi,I have a small problem in AutoCompleteText view.The suggestion direction changed by default based on the EditText position(like DropDown or BottomUp).But i want to fix the suggestion direction only BottomUp is this possible.

  25. hello mem i want to that when i press dot (.) in a AutoCompleteTextView it automatically add that string which required.. like when we type in any browser www. it automatically search of website name after that when we type dot(.) it also added .com,.in automatically what i do for it.plzz reply..thanxx in advance..

  26. good support for beginners ... really thank u sis....

  27. In android,How to Insert Auto complete text view within creating popup. Help me.