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Action Bar for Android

ActionBar for Android

This projects aims to provide a reusable action bar widget. The action bar replaces the default title and is therefor located at the top of the screen. The action bar highlights important actions. The action bar pattern is well documented over at Android Patterns.

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


In your layout


In your activity

ActionBar actionBar = (ActionBar) findViewById(;
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() {
                "Example action", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();



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 ctionbar_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.


Copyright (c) 2010 Johan Nilsson

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0

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