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android – Toolbar and Contextual ActionBar with AppCompat-v7

Posted by: admin March 10, 2020 Leave a comment


I am working on using the newly added Toolbar that was introduced in Lollipop and the AppCompat-v7 library. I followed this guide on setting up the Toolbar I noticed that when you invoke something that will bring up the contextual ActionBar (such as highlighting text for copy/pasting), that it will push the Toolbar down on the page. You can see what I am talking about in the image at the bottom of the page:

So, essentially, I set it up like this. I have the Toolbar defined in an xml file that I use with include tags:


Then, I instantiate it in my view:



    <!-- Rest of view -->


In code, I set it up like so:

    // On Create method of activity:
    Toolbar toolbar = (Toolbar) findViewById(R.id.toolbar);

Does anyone know how to make it so that the Contextual ActionBar comes overtop of the Toolbar?

Toolbar and Contextual ActionBar

How to&Answers:


Solution: use the windowActionModeOverlay property. Set this in your theme:

<item name="windowActionModeOverlay">true</item>

and the actionmode will be shown over the action bar instead of pushing it down. (If you’re not using the latest AppCompat then you need to add the “android:” prefix to the property). It basically lets AppCompat know that you have a toolbar located in the top of the screen and that it should draw the ActionMode on top of it.

Old answer/workaround:

I ran into the same problem. No matter what theme I set, it always pushes down the Toolbar I set as ActionBar. I tried with and without the support library, but it didn’t matter.

Unfortunately I was not able to fix it so I have built a workaround instead. In my ActionModeCallback‘s onCreateActionMode I hide the action bar:


and in onDestroyActionModeI show it again:


The hiding/showing happens so quickly it is not noticeable on my test devices. There is of course a downside: although the enter-animation still works, the exit-animation of the contextual action bar gets lost because the Toolbar immediately pops over it. But until we come across a better solution I guess we are stuck with this.

(My Activity is actually extending a custom BaseActivity class which has a method called getActionBarToolbar(), taken from the Google I/O 2014 app source code, so I can easily get fetch the Toolbar:

BaseActivity activity = (BaseActivity) getActivity();

Too bad the I/O app does not use the contextual action bar.)


Do not start it on your activity, but on your toolbar. In you activity:

Toolbar toolbar = (Toolbar) findViewById(R.id.toolbar);

and you have to use

<item name="windowActionModeOverlay">true</item>


Just a small addition:

<item name="windowActionModeOverlay">true</item>

to work it’s important to call super.onCreate(savedInstanceState) BEFORE calling setContentView(R.layout.your_activity) in your activity.
It really makes a difference in this case!


In my case,
<item name="windowActionModeOverlay">true</item>did not work,
but this work:<item name="android:windowActionModeOverlay">true</item>,the android is the key.


Jacob’s solution worked for me but the contextual ActionBar was transparent and the Toolbar visible through it. This can be resolved as follows:

<style name="AppTheme.Base" parent="Theme.AppCompat.Light">
    <item name="actionModeStyle">@style/CustomActionMode</item>

<style name="CustomActionMode" parent="@style/Widget.AppCompat.ActionMode">
    <item name="background">@color/primary_material_light</item>

The theme “AppTheme.Base” must be the one applied to the Toolbar.

More details regarding contextual ActionBar styling:

how to Customize the Contextual Action Bar using appCompat in material design


Very useful method to bring toolbar to front toolbar.bringToFront()


Another small addition: make sure to set at least an empty screen in the activity via setContentView(R.layout.empty_screen) if you load the whole ui in fragments (ft.replace(android.R.id.content, fragment)).