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android – Storing R.drawable IDs in XML array

Posted by: admin March 10, 2020 Leave a comment


I would like to store drawable resources’ ID in the form of R.drawable.* inside an array using an XML values file, and then retrieve the array in my activity.

Any ideas of how to achieve this?

How to&Answers:

You use a typed array in arrays.xml file within your /res/values folder that looks like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

    <integer-array name="random_imgs">


Then in your activity, access them like so:

TypedArray imgs = getResources().obtainTypedArray(R.array.random_imgs);

// get resource ID by index
imgs.getResourceId(i, -1)

// or set you ImageView's resource to the id
mImgView1.setImageResource(imgs.getResourceId(i, -1));

// recycle the array


In the value folder create xml file name it arrays.xml
add the data to it in this way

<integer-array name="your_array_name">

Then obtain it to your code this way

private TypedArray img;
img = getResources().obtainTypedArray(R.array.your_array_name);

Then to use a Drawable of these in the img TypedArray for example as an ImageView background use the following code

ImageView.setBackgroundResource(img.getResourceId(index, defaultValue));

where index is the Drawable index.
defaultValue is a value you give if there is no item at this index

For more information about TypedArray visit this link


You can use this to create an array of other resources, such as drawables. Note that the array is not required to be homogeneous, so you can create an array of mixed resource types, but you must be aware of what and where the data types are in the array.

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <array name="icons">
    <array name="colors">

And obtain the resources in your activity like this

Resources res = getResources();
TypedArray icons = res.obtainTypedArray(R.array.icons);
Drawable drawable = icons.getDrawable(0);

TypedArray colors = res.obtainTypedArray(R.array.colors);
int color = colors.getColor(0,0);



kotlin way could be this:

fun Int.resDrawableArray(context: Context, index: Int, block: (drawableResId: Int) -> Unit) {
  val array = context.resources.obtainTypedArray(this)
  block(array.getResourceId(index, -1))

R.array.random_imgs.resDrawableArray(context, 0) {


In Kotlin, you can do as:-

 <integer-array name="drawer_icons">

You will get array of Image from the resource as TypedArray

 val imageArray = resources.obtainTypedArray(R.array.drawer_icons)

get resource ID by the index


OR you can set imageView’s resource to the id


and in last recycle the array



You can’t store arrays in R.drawable as far as I know.

What you can do is create an array in config.xml or strings.xml that maps a path to a drawable resource by using an alias resource.

See if this works, and please let me know if you need any additional help.