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Action Bar for Android

Note This library is deprecated, use either v7 appcompat library or ActionBarSherlock.

ActionBar for Android

This projects aims to provide a reusable action bar component. The action bar pattern is well documented at Android Patterns.

The action bar component is an Library Project. This means that there's no need to copy-paste resources into your own project, simply add the action bar component as a reference to any project.

Need icons to your action bar? Olof Brickarp has ported some of Androids native icons to vector format.


In your layout


The use of app:title is optional, it's also possible to assign the title using the setTitle programmatically on the ActionBar. To be able to use the more convenient app:title the application namespace must be included in the same manner as the android namespace is. Please refer to the layout other.xml in the example project for a full example. Again, note that it's the application namespace and not the actionbar namespace that must be referred like xmlns:app="".

In your activity

ActionBar actionBar = (ActionBar) findViewById(;
// You can also assign the title programmatically by passing a
// CharSequence or resource id.
actionBar.setHomeAction(new IntentAction(this, HomeActivity.createIntent(this), R.drawable.ic_title_home_default));
actionBar.addAction(new IntentAction(this, createShareIntent(), R.drawable.ic_title_share_default));
actionBar.addAction(new ToastAction());

Custom actions

ActionBar comes with a convenient IntentAction that makes it easy to create action out of Intents. To create custom actions simply implement the Action interface and build your own like the Toast example below.

private class ToastAction implements Action {

    public int getDrawable() {
        return R.drawable.ic_title_export_default;

    public void performAction(View view) {
                "Example action", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();


Handle on click on the title

To handle on clicks on the title pass a android.view.View.OnClickListener to the method setOnTitleClickListener on the action bar. The View that is passed in onClick is the TextView that the title is assigned to.

actionBar.setOnTitleClickListener(new OnClickListener() {
    public void onClick(View v) {
        // Your code here


Since the ActionBar is an Libary Project all resources will be merged to the project that referencing the ActionBar. The values in the main project will always be used before the default values of the ActionBar.

If you don't like the default colors that is defined in the colors.xml file simply override the default values in the main projects colors.xml file. To create a blue ActionBar create a colors.xml file that looks something like the one below. Note that we don't override the values for actionbar_background_item_pressed_start and actionbar_background_item_pressed_end since we decided to stick with the default values.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <color name="actionbar_separator">#3A5FCD</color>
    <color name="actionbar_background_start">#3A5FCD</color>
    <color name="actionbar_background_end">#27408B</color>

The same can be done with the drawables, layouts and everything else that is located in the ActionBar project.

Is it stable?

Yes it is, but there's no guarantees. The api however is still not stable so please check all commits since the last pull. It might also be an good idea to depend on your own fork instead of this component directly. Eventually there will be more controlled releases but until then.

Are you using this widget?

Want to be featured in a gallery of apps using it? Then please send a screenshot and details of your app to Johan Nilsson.


This widget wouldn't be the same without the excellent contributions by;

Want to contribute?

GitHub has some great articles on how to get started with Git and GitHub and how to fork a project.

Contributers are recommended to fork the app on GitHub (but don't have too). Create a feature branch, push the branch to git hub, press Pull Request and write a simple explanation.

One fix per commit. If say a a commit closes the open issue 12. Just add closes #12 in your commit message to close that issue automagically.

All code that is contributed must be compliant with Apache License 2.0.

Code Style Guidelines

Contributers are recommended to follow the Android Code Style Guidelines with exception for line length that I try to hold to 80 columns where possible.

In short that is;

  • Indentation: 4 spaces, no tabs.
  • Line length: 80 columns
  • Field names: Non-public, non-static fields start with m.
  • Braces: Opening braces don't go on their own line.
  • Acronyms are words: Treat acronyms as words in names, yielding XmlHttpRequest, getUrl(), etc.
  • Consistency: Look at what's around you!

Have fun and remember we do this in our spare time so don't be too serious :)


Copyright (c) 2010 Johan Nilsson

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0


DEPRECATED Android Action Bar Implementation






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