How to Limit Text Length in Android EditText

How to Limit Text Length in Android EditText

6 June 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

Setting a maximum length for text input in an Android EditText is a common requirement. Whether you’re looking to enforce character limits for user input or ensure data integrity, there are multiple ways to achieve this. This article will guide you through the best practices for limiting text length in an Android EditText using both XML and Java/Kotlin.

Setting Maximum Length in XML

The simplest and most direct way to set a maximum text length for an EditText is through XML. This method is particularly useful when the limit is static and known at the time of development.

    android:hint="Enter text" />

This will limit the maximum length of the EditText to 10 characters.

Setting Maximum Length Programmatically

If you need to set or change the text length limit dynamically, you can do so programmatically using an InputFilter. However, it’s essential to ensure that you don’t override any existing filters unintentionally.

Basic Example

int maxLength = 10;
InputFilter[] filters = new InputFilter[1];
filters[0] = new InputFilter.LengthFilter(maxLength);

Preserving Existing Filters

To avoid losing previously added filters, you can combine the new length filter with the existing ones:

InputFilter[] currentFilters = yourEditText.getFilters();
InputFilter[] newFilters = new InputFilter[currentFilters.length + 1];
System.arraycopy(currentFilters, 0, newFilters, 0, currentFilters.length);
newFilters[currentFilters.length] = new InputFilter.LengthFilter(maxLength);

Kotlin Example

Kotlin simplifies this process further:

yourEditText.filters += InputFilter.LengthFilter(maxLength)

Advanced Considerations

When working with custom input filters, it’s essential to combine them correctly to avoid unintentional behavior.

myEditText.setFilters(new InputFilter[] {
    new CustomFilter(), new InputFilter.LengthFilter(20)

This ensures that both the custom filter and the length filter are applied.


Whether you choose to set the maximum length in XML or programmatically, both methods are effective for different use cases. For static limits, XML is straightforward and quick. For dynamic limits, programmatic methods offer flexibility and control.

For more advanced techniques and troubleshooting, you can explore our documentation on advanced testing techniques and test exception handling.

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