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page.title=Specifying the Input Method Type
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<h2>This lesson teaches you to</h2>
<li><a href="#Type">Specify the Keyboard Type</a></li>
<li><a href="#Spelling">Enable Spelling Suggestions and Other Behaviors</a></li>
<li><a href="#Action">Specify the Input Method Action</a></li>
<h2>You should also read</h2>
<li><a href="{@docRoot}guide/topics/ui/controls/text.html">Text Fields</a></li>
<p>Every text field expects a certain type of text input, such as an
email address, phone number, or just plain text. So it's important
that you specify the input type for each text field in your app
so the system displays the appropriate soft input method (such as an on-screen keyboard).</p>
<p>Beyond the type of buttons available with an input method, you should specify
behaviors such as whether the input method provides spelling suggestions,
capitalizes new sentences, and replaces the carriage return button with an
action button such as a <b>Done</b> or <b>Next</b>.
This lesson shows how to specify these characteristics.</p>
<h2 id="Type">Specify the Keyboard Type</h2>
<p>You should always declare the input method for your text fields by adding
the <a href="{@docRoot}reference/android/widget/TextView.html#attr_android:inputType"
>{@code android:inputType}</a> attribute to the {@link android.widget.EditText
&lt;EditText&gt;} element.</p>
<div class="figure" style="width:300px">
<img src="{@docRoot}images/ui/edittext-phone.png" alt="" />
<p class="img-caption"><strong>Figure 1.</strong> The {@code phone} input type.</p>
<p>For example, if you'd like an input method for entering a phone number,
use the {@code "phone"} value:</p>
android:inputType="phone" />
<div class="figure" style="width:300px">
<img src="{@docRoot}images/training/input/ime_password.png" alt="" />
<p class="img-caption"><strong>Figure 2.</strong> The {@code textPassword} input type.</p>
<p>Or if the text field is for a password, use the {@code "textPassword"} value
so the text field conceals the user's input:</p>
... />
<p>There are several possible values documented with the
<a href="{@docRoot}reference/android/widget/TextView.html#attr_android:inputType"
>{@code android:inputType}</a> attribute and
some of the values can be combined to specify the input method
appearance and additional behaviors.</p>
<h2 id="Spelling">Enable Spelling Suggestions and Other Behaviors</h2>
<div class="figure" style="width:300px">
<img src="{@docRoot}images/training/input/ime_autocorrect.png" alt="" />
<p class="img-caption"><strong>Figure 3.</strong> Adding {@code textAutoCorrect}
provides auto-correction for misspellings.</p>
<p>The <a href="{@docRoot}reference/android/widget/TextView.html#attr_android:inputType"
>{@code android:inputType}</a> attribute allows you to specify various behaviors for the
input method. Most importantly, if your text field is intended for basic text input (such
as for a text message), you should enable auto spelling correction with the
{@code "textAutoCorrect"} value.</p>
<p>You can combine different behaviors and input method styles with the
<a href="{@docRoot}reference/android/widget/TextView.html#attr_android:inputType"
>{@code android:inputType}</a> attribute. For example,
here's how to create a text field that capitalizes the first word of a sentence
and also auto-corrects misspellings:</p>
... />
<h2 id="Action">Specify the Input Method Action</h2>
<p>Most soft input methods provide a user action button in the
bottom corner that's appropriate for the current text field.
By default, the system uses this button for either a <b>Next</b> or
<b>Done</b> action unless your text field allows multi-line text (such as with {@code
android:inputType="textMultiLine"}), in which case the action button is a carriage return.
However, you can specify additional actions that might be more appropriate for your
text field, such as <b>Send</b> or <b>Go</b>.</p>
<p>To specify the keyboard action button, use the <a
android:imeOptions}</a> attribute with an action value such as {@code "actionSend"} or
{@code "actionSearch"}. For example:</p>
<div class="figure" style="width:300px">
<img src="{@docRoot}images/ui/edittext-actionsend.png" alt="" />
<p class="img-caption"><strong>Figure 4.</strong> The Send button appears when you declare
{@code android:imeOptions="actionSend"}.</p>
android:imeOptions="actionSend" />
<p>You can then listen for presses on the action button by defining a
{@link android.widget.TextView.OnEditorActionListener} for the {@link android.widget.EditText}
element. In your listener, respond to the appropriate IME action ID defined in the
{@link android.view.inputmethod.EditorInfo} class, such as
{@link android.view.inputmethod.EditorInfo#IME_ACTION_SEND}. For example:</p>
EditText editText = (EditText) findViewById(;
editText.setOnEditorActionListener(new OnEditorActionListener() {
public boolean onEditorAction(TextView v, int actionId, KeyEvent event) {
boolean handled = false;
if (actionId == EditorInfo.IME_ACTION_SEND) {
handled = true;
return handled;