In Android, how to make space between LinearLayout children?

0 votes
asked Nov 23, 2010 by ab11

I am programatically adding custom views to a vertical LinearLayout, and I would like there to be some space between the views. I have tried adding: setPadding(0, 1, 0, 1) to my CustomView constructor, but this doesn't seem to have any effect. Any advice?

*It was pointed out that I should use margins. Since I am dynamically adding views, I need to set the margins from code (not in xml). I believe the way to do this is below, but it isn't working.

public class MyView extends View
{
    public MyView (Context context)
    {
        super(context);

        MarginLayoutParams params = new MarginLayoutParams(LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT,  LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT);
        params.setMargins(0, 10, 0, 10);
        setLayoutParams(params);

*Edit. I also tried using MarginLayoutParams as a parameter while adding the views to the Linear layout (as below). This also did not work:

MarginLayoutParams params = new MarginLayoutParams(linearLayout.getLayoutParams());
linearLayout.setMargins(0, 10, 0, 10);
linearLayout.addView(view, params);

Thank you.

9 Answers

0 votes
answered Nov 23, 2010 by thomas

You should android:layout_margin<Side> on the children. Padding is internal.

0 votes
answered Nov 23, 2010 by chris-fei

Use LinearLayout.LayoutParams instead of MarginLayoutParams. Here's the documentation.

0 votes
answered Nov 1, 2011 by worked

Android now supports adding a Space view between views. It's available from 4.0 ICS onwards.

0 votes
answered Nov 24, 2011 by gorky

The sample below just does what you need programatically. I have used a fixed size of (140,398).

LinearLayout.LayoutParams layoutParams = new LinearLayout.LayoutParams(140, 398);
        layoutParams.setMargins(24, 0, 24, 0);
        layout.addView(button,layoutParams);
0 votes
answered Nov 4, 2013 by android-developer

If you use ActionBarSherlock, you can use com.actionbarsherlock.internal.widget.IcsLinearLayout :

<com.actionbarsherlock.internal.widget.IcsLinearLayout
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:divider="@drawable/list_view_divider"
        android:dividerPadding="2dp"
        android:showDividers="middle" >
...
</com.actionbarsherlock.internal.widget.IcsLinearLayout>
0 votes
answered Nov 30, 2013 by riwnodennyk

The API >= 11 solution:

You can integrate the padding into divider. In case you were using none, just create a tall empty drawable and set it as LinearLayout's divider:

    <LinearLayout
            android:showDividers="middle"
            android:divider="@drawable/empty_tall_divider"
...>...</LinearLayout>

empty_tall_divider.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<shape xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
    <size
            android:height="40dp"
            android:width="0dp"/>
</shape>
0 votes
answered Nov 16, 2016 by harish-rana

You can get the LayoutParams of parent LinearLayout and apply to the individual views this way:

LinearLayout.LayoutParams lp = new LinearLayout.LayoutParams(ViewGroup.LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT, ViewGroup.LayoutParams.WRAP_CONTENT);
lp.setMargins(8,8,8,8);
  • Take care that setMargins() take pixels as int data type.So, convert to dp before adding values
  • Above code will set height and width to wrap_content. you can customise it.
0 votes
answered Nov 18, 2016 by francis-bacon

Using padding in the layout of Child View.

layout.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<TextView xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
          android:layout_width="wrap_content"
          android:layout_height="wrap_content"
          android:layout_margin="5dp"
          android:background="@drawable/backage_text"
          android:textColor="#999999"
           >

</TextView>

backage_text.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<shape xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">

    <solid android:color="@color/white"/>
    <corners android:radius="2dp"/>
    <stroke
        android:width="1dp"
        android:color="#999999"/>
    <padding
        android:bottom="5dp"
        android:left="10dp"
        android:right="10dp"
        android:top="5dp" />
</shape>
0 votes
answered Nov 26, 2016 by teh-fonsi

Since API Level 14 you can just add a (transparent) divider drawable:

android:divider="@drawable/divider"
android:showDividers="middle"

and it will handle the rest for you!

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