Loading string resources in Android

To support i18n, internationalization, Android provides a resource file, usually /res/values/strings.xml.  That XML and others are compiled and each resource is assigned a unique integer ID.  The IDs are placed into a resource file, “R”, as public static final variables.  Here’s how to get the value of a string resource in your application.

In a layout XML


In an Activity


In an area of the program in which you have access to a Context or Application, such as a ListAdapter.

Posted in Android by Connor Garvey at January 18th, 2009.
Tags: , , ,

18 Responses to “Loading string resources in Android”

  1. bkdev says:

    This is great. Thank you so much. I had been trying to access a string resource from the java code for a couple of hours already and could not figure it out.

  2. Rakesh says:

    how can I use “@string” here ? I am a newbee..

    • Izzuddin says:

      for example, you have a like this…

      So, u need to create a string variable in strings.xml that can be found at : projectname/res/layout/values/strings.xml

      what to do? there are two ways of doing this :
      1. Resources tab :
      - Click ADD button
      - Choose STRING
      - Give the name same as you did in the layout : title
      - Give the value of that string such as : this is the title

      2. via code in strings.xml file tab
      - Just add this syntax :
      This is the title

      ** But you can just do like this in your layout :

      Hope its could help you… :-)

  3. alexb says:

    This concept is not intuitive. Your blog was a lifesaver!

  4. Izzuddin says:

    TQ… i really appreciate this!!

  5. Optimus says:

    Sir, I got “R.java was modified manually!Reverting to generated version!” message when I changed “String r = getResources().getString(R.String.nameHere); ” line and saved the project…
    So whats wrong with it?
    thank you…

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  7. Aparna says:

    ooo u r a saviour

  8. bob says:

    In case there is not a Context or Activity handy:

    final Resources r = Resources.getSystem();

    • Toclmi says:

      can also do

      String r = getResources().getString(R.String.nameHere);

      to skip the 2nd line

  9. wes says:

    this seems so extraneous. I thought doing something like:

    EditText textBox = (EditText)findViewById(R.id.textBox);

    and then

    String strMessage = textBox.getText().toString();

    would have done it… but so far only your way works, so, thanks!

  10. David Lee says:

    MrSqueezles: You need to watch out for memory leaks on orientation change (or other environment changes) when you do that.

    Googling “Android memory leak” gets a page by Romain Guy that explains it well.

    • MrSqueezles says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, David, but I think I covered it. amidroid, please note that I mentioned holding on to the Application. Don’t hold an instance of an Activity. You can get the Application by calling this.getApplication() from an Activity.

  11. amidroid says:

    what for other classes? which do not have access to context or application. e.g. an independent class.

    • MrSqueezles says:

      amidroid, if you don’t have access to a context, you can’t read data from it. You could hold an instance of the application in whatever class needs it or make some kind of a proxy.

  12. Erwin says:


  13. Sonja says:

    Thanks, that’s what I searched for. Had a crazy hack around to include two string resources in one TextView, like load the first, save the text to a string, load the other and append the first… Haha this is really easy :)

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