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SectionCursorAdapter    Build Status for master

SectionCursorAdapter adds sections and fast scroll to CursorAdapter as an easily implementable feature. A blog post on the implementation rational can be found on

SectionCursorAdapter 2.0

2.0 adds two new adapters and handles all recycling for you. For reasons which are specified in the 2.0 readme this version will not take over as master but none the less 1.0 is deprecated and it is highly recommended that you use 2.0. Follow this link to go to the 2.0 Master branch.

sections dialog


Android app on Google Play

If you are using maven add to your pom file:


or if you are using Gradle:

dependencies {
    compile 'com.twotoasters.SectionCursorAdapter:library:1.0.+'


SectionCursorAdapter is implemented in a similar way to Android's CursorAdapter which it extends. Instead of having newView and bindView the SectionCursorAdpater uses newSectionView and bindSectionView plus newItemView and bindItemView.

There is one additional abstract method Object getSectionFromCursor(Cursor cursor). This is the method tells the adapter how to remap the cursor positions to allow for sections. The object which is returned is then passed through to newSectionView and bindSectionView. You can make an alphabitical adapter with the following method. Noob tip: You will have to sort alphabitically when querying your database for your cursor.

protected Object getSectionFromCursor(Cursor cursor) {
    int columnIndex = cursor.getColumnIndex(StoreModel.NAME);
    String name = cursor.getString(columnIndex);
    return name.toUpperCase().substring(0, 1);

If you prefer to use the onItemClickListenter instead of using click listeners when binding your views you'll more then likely need to convert your position to a cursorPosition.

listView.setOnItemClickListener(new OnItemClickListener() {
    public void onItemClick(AdapterView<?> parent, View view, int position, long id) {
        MyAdapter adapter = (MyAdapter) parent.getAdapter();
        Object sectionObject = adapter.getItem(position);
        int cursorPosition = adapter.getCursorPositionWithoutSections(position);

        if (adapter.isSection(position) && sectionObject != null) {
            // Handle the section being clicked on.
            Log.i("SCA", "Section: " + sectionObject);
        } else if (cursorPosition != SectionCursorAdapter.NO_CURSOR_POSITION) {
            // Handle the cursor item being clicked on.
            Log.i("SCA", "CursorPosition: " + cursorPosition);


To build sections in a more advanced way you can override buildSections. The following is an example for how to build a simple alphabitical map.

protected SortedMap<Integer, Object> buildSections(Cursor cursor) {
    TreeMap<Integer, Object> sections = new TreeMap<>();
    int columnIndex = cursor.getColumnIndex(StoreModel.NAME);
    int cursorPosition = 0;

    while (cursor.moveToNext()) {
        String name = cursor.getString(columnIndex);
        String section = name.toUpperCase().substring(0, 1);
        if (!sections.containsValue(section)) {
            sections.put(cursorPosition + sections.size(), section);
    return sections;

You can give a custom object as a value in the map instead of a number or string. To use the fast scroll with this object override toString. This will allow you to control what is displayed in the fast scroll dialog. Note that in versions of Android before KitKat this dialog does not resize to fit content. SectionCursorAdapter by default only allows a maximum of 3 characters in this dialog on these older version of Android, but by overriding getMaxIndexerLength() the length can be whatever you choose.


Copyright 2014 Two Toasters

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.