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Android Layout Tutorial

Alternate Layouts

On the LinearLayout page I mentioned that Android will shrink elements when they don’t all fit on the screen. You can reduce the need for this by using alternate layouts for different screen orientations. So, for example, you have a LinearLayout that looks pretty good in Landscape but does not have the room it needs in Portrait mode. Before looking in the res/layout folder for your layout XML Android will check for one of these alternate layouts.

  • res/layout-land – The alternate layout for a landscape UI
  • res/layout-port – The alternate layout for a portrait UI
  • res/lauout-square – The alternate layout for a square UI

There are many Alternate Resource types you can use in addition to screen orientation. A more complete list can be found here.

I am going to create a folder named layout-land under the res folder and place this XML under the new folder. The XML file should have the same name it has in the layout folder, in my case linear_layout.xml.

<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
	android:orientation="horizontal"
	android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="fill_parent">
     <Button 
    	android:id="@+id/backbutton"
    	android:text="Back"
    	android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    	android:layout_height="wrap_content" />
    <TextView
    	android:text="First Name"
    	android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    	android:layout_height="wrap_content" />
    <EditText
    	android:width="100px"
    	android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    	android:layout_height="wrap_content" />
    <TextView
    	android:text="Last Name"
    	android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    	android:layout_height="wrap_content" />
    <EditText
    	android:width="100px"
    	android:layout_width="wrap_content"
    	android:layout_height="wrap_content" /> 
</LinearLayout>

In the Emulator you can press 7 on your numberpad to change between Landscape and Portrait orientations. When I switch to landscape I see the Layout from the layout-land folder.

LinearLandscape

That wraps up my article on the standard layouts that come with Android. As always, please leave comments with any questions you have on the subject, or anything you would like to see elaborated on in a future article. Thank you for reading.

{ 35 } Comments

  1. Arshad Ali Soomro | December 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    This one is great Keep going on!!

  2. Uggabugga | May 31, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry but don’t ever use PIXELS for Android…. fail

  3. Asif | June 1, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Great article…very easy fully explained concepts. Thank you

  4. vikas | June 2, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    thanx a lot sir for this tutorial.. it was really help full.. with this tutorials beginner will defiantly feel android application is easy development.. πŸ™‚

  5. Sachin | June 21, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Awesome tutorial….thanks… keep posting….

  6. anton | June 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff – you nailed this one.

  7. omkar | July 5, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    good going man.. m fully satisfied…….

  8. Mike | July 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Good Tutorial!! Thank’s

  9. vivek | July 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Love to see how effectively and simply u make understood the layouts basic…great tutorial
    thanks a lot..

  10. Vikash | July 11, 2012 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    This is the most stunning layout tutorial I ever read…thanx man….very good

  11. alterego | July 19, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    hello, this tutorial is a great one, keep going so that people like me can learn esear in these way…and by the way, I descovered recentley Sublime Text 2. it is very powerfull. I apologize for my english.Thanks!

  12. nock starett | July 19, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    This is really sweet of you………..thanks for the help

  13. KS NAYAKA | August 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    thanks for info….it helped me a lot

  14. John | August 7, 2012 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Cool one.. ! I just learned layouts now, whats next as a beginer?

  15. krishna | August 9, 2012 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Great!!!! thanks a lot….

  16. Jason | August 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for the clear tutorial. I especially like how you provided a screenshot with each XML example.

    A bit miffed that layouts keep changing as technology progresses. The Android 3.2 way of layouts has me specifying resolutions in the layout structure.

    res/layout/main_activity.xml # For phones
    res/layout-sw600dp/main_activity.xml # For 7” tablets
    res/layout-sw720dp/main_activity.xml # For 10” tablets

    Ah well… thanks again for the jump start into understanding the different types of layouts.

  17. venkat | August 24, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    I got a lot of content from this tutorial. I expected u to provide same kind of tutorials in further

  18. Alexandre Verri | August 28, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Great given explanation, keep it up dude… ty a bunch

  19. parmar nitesh | August 29, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    nice ….

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  28. Lestat | August 1, 2014 at 3:28 am | Permalink

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  30. Sibyl | August 28, 2014 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Awesome article.

  31. Surya | August 29, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this tutorial, this really saved my time as i was following an android tutorial and got stuck due to different layouts available.

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  33. suyog | September 10, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    thanx mate.that helps alot to understand the Relative Layout for new Programmer.

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  35. zalek | September 23, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

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