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Android: How do I get string from resources using its name?

Posted by: admin March 10, 2020 Leave a comment


I would like to have 2 languages for the UI and separate string values for them in my resource file res\values\strings.xml:

<string name="tab_Books_en">Books</string>
<string name="tab_Quotes_en">Quotes</string>
<string name="tab_Questions_en">Questions</string>
<string name="tab_Notes_en">Notes</string>
<string name="tab_Bookmarks_en">Bookmarks</string>

<string name="tab_Books_ru">Книги</string>
<string name="tab_Quotes_ru">Цитаты</string>
<string name="tab_Questions_ru">Вопросы</string>
<string name="tab_Notes_ru">Заметки</string>
<string name="tab_Bookmarks_ru">Закладки</string>

Now I need to retrieve these values dynamically in my app:

String pack = getPackageName();
String id = "tab_Books_" + Central.lang;
int i = Central.Res.getIdentifier(id, "string", pack);
String str = Central.Res.getString(i);

My problem is that i = 0.

Why does not it work in my case?

How to&Answers:

The link you are referring to seems to work with strings generated at runtime. The strings from strings.xml are not created at runtime.
You can get them via

String mystring = getResources().getString(R.string.mystring);

getResources() is a method of the Context class. If you are inside a Activity or a Service (which extend Context) you can use it like in this snippet.

Also note that the whole language dependency can be taken care of by the android framework.
Simply create different folders for each language. If english is your default language, just put the english strings into res/values/strings.xml. Then create a new folder values-ru and put the russian strings with identical names into res/values-ru/strings.xml. From this point on android selects the correct one depending on the device locale for you, either when you call getString() or when referencing strings in XML via @string/mystring.
The ones from res/values/strings.xml are the fallback ones, if you don’t have a folder covering the users locale, this one will be used as default values.

See Localization and Providing Resources for more information.


I have the same problem. But this code below works for me:
Verify if your packageName is correct. You have to refer for the root package of your Android application.

private String getStringResourceByName(String aString) {
      String packageName = getPackageName();
      int resId = getResources().getIdentifier(aString, "string", packageName);
      return getString(resId);


Not from activities only:

    public static String getStringByIdName(Context context, String idName) {
        Resources res = context.getResources();
        return res.getString(res.getIdentifier(idName, "string", context.getPackageName()));


getResources().getString(getResources().getIdentifier("propertyName", "string", getPackageName()))


I would add something to the solution of leonvian, so if by any chance the string is not found among the resources (return value 0, that is not a valid resource code), the function might return something :

private String getStringResourceByName(String aString) {
    String packageName = getPackageName();
    int resId = getResources()
            .getIdentifier(aString, "string", packageName);
    if (resId == 0) {
        return aString;
    } else {
        return getString(resId);


Easier way is to use the getString() function within the activity.

String myString = getString(R.string.mystring);

Reference: http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/resources/string-resource.html

I think this feature is added in a recent Android version, anyone who knows the history can comment on this.


A simple way to getting resource string from string into a TextView. Here resourceName is the name of resource

int resID = getResources().getIdentifier(resourceName, "string", getPackageName());


Best Approach


Will work Everywhere (Utils, Models also).

I have read all the answers, all answers can make your work done.

  • You can use getString(R.string.some_string_id) in both Activity or Fragment.
  • You can use Context.getString(R.string.some_string_id) where you don’t have direct access to getString() method. Like Dialog.


When you don’t have Context access, like a method in your Util class.

Assume below method without Context.

public void someMethod(){
    // can't use getResource() or getString() without Context.

Now you will pass Context as a parameter in this method and use getString().

public void someMethod(Context context){

What i do is

public void someMethod(){

What? It is very simple to use anywhere in your app!

So here is a solution by which you can access resources from anywhere like Util class .

import android.app.Application;
import android.content.res.Resources;

public class App extends Application {
    private static Resources resources;

    public void onCreate() {

        resources = getResources();

    public static Resources getAppResources() {
        return resources;


Add name field to your manifest.xml <application tag.


Now you are good to go. Use App.getAppResources().getString(R.string.some_id) anywhere in app.


If you don’t have an Activity reference, you can use your context in this way:



There is also a set of predefined Android strings such as “Ok”, “Cancel” and many others – so you don’t have to declare all. They’re available simply by:


(In this case, “Ok” string). BTW there are also other Android resources available like for example icons images etc.


String myString = getString(R.string.mystring);

easy way


You can try this in an Activity:

getResources().getString(R.string.your string name);

In other situations like fragments,… use

getContext().getResources().getString(R.string.your string name);


To safe, you should add:

mContext can be: context in onAttach() of Fragment or this of Activity.


If you wannt get it inside an activity or fragmnet, then:


If you want to get it from a class outside of activity or fragment where you don’t have the activity context then use application context: