Add a Button

  1. In Android Studio, from the res/layout directory, edit the content_my.xml file.

  2. Within the <LinearLayout> element, define a <Button> element immediately following the <EditText> element.

  3. Set the button's width and height attributes to "wrap_content" so the button is only as big as necessary to fit the button's text label.

  4. Define the button's text label with the android:text attribute; set its value to the button_send string resource you defined in the previous section.

Your <LinearLayout> should look like this:

<LinearLayout xmlns:android=""
        <EditText android:id="@+id/edit_message"
          android:hint="@string/edit_message" />
          android:text="@string/button_send" />

Note: This button doesn't need the android:id attribute, because it won't be referenced from the activity code.

The layout is currently designed so that both the EditText and Button widgets are only as big as necessary to fit their content, as Figure 2 shows.


Figure 2. The EditText and Button widgets have their widths set to "wrap_content".

This works fine for the button, but not as well for the text field, because the user might type something longer. It would be nice to fill the unused screen width with the text field. You can do this inside a inearLayout with the weight property, which you can specify using the android:layout_weight attribute.

The weight value is a number that specifies the amount of remaining space each view should consume, relative to the amount consumed by sibling views. This works kind of like the amount of ingredients in a drink recipe: "2 parts soda, 1 part syrup" means two-thirds of the drink is soda. For example, if you give one view a weight of 2 and another one a weight of 1, the sum is 3, so the first view fills 2/3 of the remaining space and the second view fills the rest. If you add a third view and give it a weight of 1, then the first view (with weight of 2) now gets 1/2 the remaining space, while the remaining two each get 1/4.

The default weight for all views is 0, so if you specify any weight value greater than 0 to only one view, then that view fills whatever space remains after all views are given the space they require.