Android Keyboard Part 3: TextInputLayout

By now you’ve probably noticed the fancy moving hints above the text views in the last two posts. How does that work? The answer is incredibly simple: the TextInputLayout. Added as part of the Design Support Library, TextInputLayout wraps a text field and gives you a lot of nice design options that are very easy to set up. Here’s an example of what they can do.

There are a couple things going on here:

  • The password hint moves out of the way
  • The wrong password error message is much prettier than what you get with editText.setError()
  • The toggle changes to password visibility

All of these are built in feature of TextInputLayout! Let’s see how they work

Setting up a TextInputLayout

Before you start, TextInputLayouts are part of this design support library, so add

implementation 'com.android.support:design:27.0.2'

to your build.gradle.

In order to use a TextInputLayout, simply wrap one around a TextInputEditText. TextInputEditText is a special type of EditText that’s designed to work well inside a TextInputLayout, and that’s why so much of this works. Here’s the xml I used to create the password field above.



Because I’m using a TextInputEditText, the hint will automatically animate, no extra work required.

Take a look at theapp:passwordToggleEnabled="true" line inside the TextInputLayout. That’s all you need to get a password toggle!

Showing errors

Errors are displayed using TextInputLayout#setError(String). Note that this is called on the parent layout, not the text field. Here it is in Kotlin:

private fun signIn() {
    if(password.text.toString() == "1234" ) {
        passwordWrapper.error = null
        Toast.makeText(context, "Success!", Toast.LENGTH_LONG).show()
    } else {
        passwordWrapper.error = "Wrong password"

Set the error text to display an error, or set it to null to hide it. That’s all!


TextInputLayouts are a great way to give your app a modern, professional feel, and they’re incredibly simple to use. Put them in all your apps!