Friday, September 20, 2013

Android: Set Custom Attributes Via Programmatically and XML

Resources.Theme holds the current attribute values for a particular theme. In other words, a Theme is a set of values for resource attributes; these are used in conjunction with TypedArray to resolve the final value for an attribute.
The Theme's attributes come into play in two ways:
1.      A styled attribute can explicit reference a value in the theme through the "?themeAttribute" syntax;
2.      If no value has been defined for a particular styled attribute, as a last resort we will try to find that attribute's value in the Theme.
Let us take first point, where we need to get the value of a custom attribute programmatically.
We can access custom attr programmatically with the help of Resources.Theme class.

TypedValue, Container for a dynamically typed data value.
resolveAttribute, Retrieve the value of an attribute in the Theme.

Create two TextView in main.xml file, where we are changing background of TextView using custom attribute via xml and programmatically.

Define your own custom attribute: Create attr.xml in your layout folder
xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

    <attr name="CustomYellowColor" format="reference|color" />
    <attr name="CustomBlueColor" format="reference|color" />


Change Style.xml file
<style name="AppTheme" parent="AppBaseTheme">
    <item name="CustomYellowColor">@color/yellow</item>
    <item name="CustomBlueColor">@color/blue</item>

<color name="yellow">#FFFF00</color>
<color name="blue">#0040FF</color>

Go to your main.xml and change background color of a TextView’s

   android:text="@string/xml" />


TextView prgmTV = (TextView) findViewById(;
Resources.Theme themes = getTheme();
TypedValue storedValueInTheme = new TypedValue();
if (themes.resolveAttribute(R.attr.CustomYellowColor, storedValueInTheme, true)) {



  1. It save my time. Thank you so much!

  2. Change Style.xml file

    What if in above code instead of direct writing color we want to provide style for attribute values.
    How to do that