Monday, October 4, 2010

Using EditText's inputType to control what type of keyboard is shown

As software developers, there are many circumstances in which you'll want to limit the input options available to your users. We've all seen situations along the lines of the person who enters 'two' in a field where we've only been expecting the number 2. Oh how that screws things up! Oh the laughs we've had eh?

Fortunately, in Android it's easy to gently shepherd our precious users to input the sort of data we're expecting, and we do that with the editText's inputType attribute.

You can set your editText inputType as ‘Phone’ for example, and the user can able to type only numbers. If it is ‘Time’ it will allow only time related characters to be entered. Handy eh?

There are many options, and I've included (what I think is) all of them at the end of this post for your pleasure.

In the meantime, here are some examples that will hopefully illustrate this option:

        <EditText android:id="@+id/etWidth1"
            android:hint="@string/widthLabel"
            android:minWidth="75dip"
            android:inputType="textCapWords"
            android:lines="1"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content">
        </EditText>

notice the capitalised first letter of the each sentence, that happens automatically!



        <EditText android:id="@+id/etWidth1"
            android:hint="@string/widthLabel"
            android:minWidth="75dip"
            android:inputType="textCapCharacters"
            android:lines="1"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content">
        </EditText>




        <EditText android:id="@+id/etWidth1"
            android:hint="@string/widthLabel"
            android:minWidth="75dip"
            android:inputType="text"
            android:lines="1"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content">
        </EditText>
ok, so nothing special to see here..


        <EditText android:id="@+id/etWidth1"
            android:hint="@string/widthLabel"
            android:minWidth="75dip"
            android:inputType="phone"
            android:lines="1"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content">
        </EditText>



        <EditText android:id="@+id/etWidth1"
            android:hint="@string/widthLabel"
            android:minWidth="75dip"
            android:inputType="textUri"
            android:lines="1"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:layout_width="wrap_content">
        </EditText>


Remember, limiting the allowable input characters is only one part of good design.

You still need to run a sanity check on all fields that allow the user to enter data.

This is absolutely essential in many, many situations. Do a google search for 'sql injection' for more information on how unsafe fields can result in your entire system being vulnerable.

Here is (what I think is) the full list of EditText InputTypes available to you :

text
textCapCharacters
textCapWords
textCapSentences
textAutoCorrect
textAutoComplete
textMultiLine
textImeMultiLine
textNoSuggestions
textUri
textEmailAddress
textEmailSubject
textShortMessage
textLongMessage
textPersonName
textPostalAddress
textPassword
textVisiblePassword
textWebEditText
textFilter
textPhonetic
number
numberSigned
numberDecimal
phone
datetime
date
time

4 comments:

  1. Fantastic, just what I was looking for. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. it's truely aweeeeeeeeeesome... thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is there a way of finding out the date format used for the "date" inputType?

    ReplyDelete