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How to hide one item in an Android Spinner

Posted by: admin March 11, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

I am looking for a way to hide one item in an Android spinner widget. This would allow you to simulate a spinner with no items selected, and ensures that the onItemSelected() callback is always called for every item selected (if the hidden item is the “current” one). Normally there is always one item in the spinner that doesn’t generate a callback, namely the current one.

There is some code on stackoverflow for how to disable (gray out) items, but not how to hide items completely as if they don’t exist.

After much experimentation I’ve come up with a somewhat hack-ish solution that works on various old and new Android platforms. It has some minor cosmetic drawbacks which are hard to notice. I’d still like to hear of a more official solution, other than “don’t do that with a spinner”.

This always hides the first item in the spinner, but could fairly easily be extended to hide an arbitrary item or more than one item. Add a dummy item containing an empty string at the start of your list of spinner items. You may want to set the current spinner selection to item 0 before the spinner dialog opens, this will simulate an unselected spinner.

Spinner setup example with ArrayAdapter method override:

List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>();
list.add("");   //  Initial dummy entry
list.add("string1");
list.add("string2");
list.add("string3");

// Populate the spinner using a customized ArrayAdapter that hides the first (dummy) entry
ArrayAdapter<String> dataAdapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this, android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item, list) {
    @Override
    public View getDropDownView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent)
    {
        View v = null;

        // If this is the initial dummy entry, make it hidden
        if (position == 0) {
            TextView tv = new TextView(getContext());
            tv.setHeight(0);
            tv.setVisibility(View.GONE);
            v = tv;
        }
        else {
            // Pass convertView as null to prevent reuse of special case views
            v = super.getDropDownView(position, null, parent);
        }

        // Hide scroll bar because it appears sometimes unnecessarily, this does not prevent scrolling 
        parent.setVerticalScrollBarEnabled(false);
        return v;
    }
};

dataAdapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.simple_spinner_dropdown_item);
mySpinner.setAdapter(dataAdapter);
How to&Answers:

To hide an arbitrary item or more than one item I think that you can implement your own adapter and set the index (or array list of indexes) that you want to hide.

public class CustomAdapter extends ArrayAdapter<String> {

     private int hidingItemIndex;

     public CustomAdapter(Context context, int textViewResourceId, String[] objects, int hidingItemIndex) {
         super(context, textViewResourceId, objects);
         this.hidingItemIndex = hidingItemIndex;
     }

     @Override
     public View getDropDownView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
         View v = null;
         if (position == hidingItemIndex) {
             TextView tv = new TextView(getContext());
             tv.setVisibility(View.GONE);
             v = tv;
         } else {
             v = super.getDropDownView(position, null, parent);
         }
         return v;
     }
 }

And use your custom adapter when you create the list of items.

List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>();
list.add("");   //  Initial dummy entry
list.add("string1");
list.add("string2");
list.add("string3");

int hidingItemIndex = 0;

CustomAdapter dataAdapter = new CustomAdapter(this, android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item, list, hidingItemIndex);

dataAdapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.simple_spinner_dropdown_item);
mySpinner.setAdapter(dataAdapter);

(I have not tested the code) hope that helps.

Answer:

It’s easier to hide an item at the end of the list by truncating the list.

But you have to select it first so it appears in the spinner, and then check if the selection has been changed to one of the items displayed.

List<String> list = new ArrayList<String>();
list.add("string1");
list.add("string2");
list.add("string3");
list.add("[Select one]");
final int listsize = list.size() - 1;

ArrayAdapter<String> dataAdapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this,android.R.layout.simple_spinner_item, list) {
    @Override
    public int getCount() {
        return(listsize); // Truncate the list
    }
};

dataAdapter.setDropDownViewResource(android.R.layout.simple_spinner_dropdown_item);
mySpinner.setAdapter(dataAdapter);
mySpinner.setSelection(listsize); // Hidden item to appear in the spinner

Answer:

To hide any item in the spinner dropdown you need to pass the position of item which needs to hided based on criteria required.
I have achieved this in a use case of hiding the item which is selected from dropdown

public class CustomAdapter extends ArrayAdapter<String> {

private List<String> dates;
private int hideItemPostion;

public CustomAdapter (Context context, int resource, List<String> dates) {
    super(context, resource,dates);
    this.dates=dates;
}
public void setItemToHide(int itemToHide)
{
    this.hideItemPostion =itemToHide;
}
@Override
public View getDropDownView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
    View v = null;
    if (position == hideItemPostion) {
        TextView tv = new TextView(getContext());
        tv.setVisibility(View.GONE);
        tv.setHeight(0);
        v = tv;
        v.setVisibility(View.GONE);
    }
    else
        v = super.getDropDownView(position, null, parent);
    return v;
}}

And setting the adapter is something like this

final CustomAdapter dataAdapter = new CustomAdapter(this,R.layout.spinner_item,dates);
    dataAdapter.setDropDownViewResource(R.layout.spinner_dropdown_item);
    spinner.setAdapter(dataAdapter);
    dataAdapter.setItemToHide(0);

On selecting some items from the dropdown also the position needs to changed

 spinner.setOnItemSelectedListener(new AdapterView.OnItemSelectedListener() {
        @Override
        public void onItemSelected(AdapterView<?> adapterView, View view, final int i, long l) {
        dataAdapter.notifyDataSetChanged();
            mEPGDateSelector.setSelection(i);
            dataAdapter.setItemToHide(i);}

             @Override
        public void onNothingSelected(AdapterView<?> adapterView) {

        }
    });

Answer:

Just for interest, I made a solution to use “Prompt” as a hint. This code is made for Xamarin.Android, but it could be perfectly ported to Java in 10 minutes. Use it like a simple ArrayAdapter without adding 0-indexed or count-indexed items to source array. It also set SpinnerGeolocation.SelectedItemId to -1 when nothing is chosen (hint is the current item).

public class ArrayAdapterWithHint<T>: ArrayAdapter<T>
{
    protected bool HintIsSet = false;
    protected int HintResource = 0;

    public ArrayAdapterWithHint(Context context, int textViewResourceId,
                   T[] objects)
        : base(context, textViewResourceId, objects)
    {
    }
    public ArrayAdapterWithHint(Context context, int hintResource,
                   int textViewResourceId, T[] objects)
        : base(context, textViewResourceId, objects)
    {
        HintResource = hintResource;
    }
    public ArrayAdapterWithHint(Context context, int textViewResourceId,
             IList<T> objects)
        : base(context, textViewResourceId, objects)
    {
    }
    public ArrayAdapterWithHint(Context context, int hintResource,
                    int textViewResourceId, IList<T> objects)
        : base(context, textViewResourceId, objects)
    {
        HintResource = hintResource;
    }

    public override View GetDropDownView(int position, View convertView,
                ViewGroup parent)
    {
        if (HintIsSet)
            return base.GetDropDownView(position + 1,
                               convertView, parent);
        return base.GetDropDownView(position, convertView, parent);
    }

    public override View GetView(int position, View convertView,
                      ViewGroup parent)
    {
        if (!HintIsSet && parent is Spinner && 
                    !string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace((parent as Spinner).Prompt))
        {
            Insert((parent as Spinner).Prompt, 0);
            HintIsSet = true;
            (parent as Spinner).SetSelection(base.Count - 1);
        }
        if (HintIsSet && position >= base.Count - 1)
        {
            View hintView = base.GetView(0, convertView, parent);
            if (hintView is TextView)
                (hintView as TextView).SetTextAppearance(
                                                     Context, HintResource);
            return hintView;
        }
        if (HintIsSet && position < base.Count - 1)
            return base.GetView(position + 1, convertView, parent);
        return base.GetView(position, convertView, parent);
    }

    public override long GetItemId(int position)
    {
        if (HintIsSet)
        {
            if (position >= base.Count - 1)
                return -1;
            return position;
        }
        return base.GetItemId(position);
    }

    public override int Count
    {
        get
        {
            return base.Count > 0 && HintIsSet ? base.Count - 1 : base.Count;
        }
    }
}

Answer:

I found this solution which solved my problem.

final Spinner mySpinner = (Spinner)findViewById(R.id.spinner_triptype);

   final ArrayAdapter<String> adapter = new ArrayAdapter<String>(this,R.layout.spinner_item, R.id.weekofday, triptype_initial);

   final ArrayAdapter<String> adapter_temp = new ArrayAdapter<String>
(this,R.layout.spinner_item, R.id.weekofday, triptype_array);


   mySpinner.setAdapter(adapter);
    mySpinner.setOnTouchListener(new View.OnTouchListener() {
       @Override
       public boolean onTouch(View v, MotionEvent event) {
       // display your error popup here
        if(flag_spinner_isFirst){
           mySpinner.setAdapter(adapter_temp);
           flag_spinner_isFirst = false;
          }
           v.onTouchEvent(event);
           return true;

       }
    });

Answer:

I think it will be better to put validation on the Array List rather than on Spinner because once the item is filtered, it will be safe to add in Spinner

Answer:

Another approach which worked best for me is to return a new blank view object. This is considerably a clean approach as you are not playing with array elements.

Create your adapter class extending ArrayAdapter

inside your method

public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
    View row = getCustomView();
    if(position==0) // put the desired check here.
         {
            row  = new View(context);
         }
    }
    return row;
}

Answer:

This is very old question but I’ve found a nice (and probably) clean way to not show first items as well.
Inspired by @Romich’s answer I’ve added similar logic to skip first item(s).

This effectively hides arbitrary number of items (1 by default). The code only reports the size of the objects to render to be shorter than it actually is and also changes index of items to be rendered so we skip arbitrary number of items.

To keep things simple I’ve excluded solution that I’m currently using which supports hiding list of random items, but that can easily be managed by few tweaks to the code.

class ArrayAdapterCustom(context: Context, textViewResourceId: Int, vararg objects: String)
    : ArrayAdapter<String>(context, textViewResourceId, objects) {

    //Can skip first n items (skip 1 as default)
    var hideFirstItemsCount = 1

    override fun getCount(): Int {
        return super.getCount() - hideFirstItemsCount
    }

    override fun getDropDownView(position: Int, convertView: View?, parent: ViewGroup): View {
        return super.getDropDownView(position + hideFirstItemsCount, convertView, parent)
    }
}