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View Binding

View binding is a feature that allows you to more easily write code that interacts with views. Once view binding is enabled in a module, it generates a binding class for each XML layout file present in that module. An instance of a binding class contains direct references to all views that have an ID in the corresponding layout.

In most cases, view binding replaces findViewById.

Setup instructions

View binding is enabled on a module by module basis. To enable view binding in a module, add the viewBinding element to its build.gradle file, as shown in the following example:

android {
    ...
    viewBinding {
        enabled = true
    }
}

If you want a layout file to be ignored while generating binding classes, add the tools:viewBindingIgnore="true" attribute to the root view of that layout file:

<LinearLayout
        ...
        tools:viewBindingIgnore="true" >
    ...
</LinearLayout>

Usage

If view binding is enabled for a module, a binding class is generated for each XML layout file that the module contains. Each binding class contains references to the root view and all views that have an ID. The name of the binding class is generated by converting the name of the XML file to camel case and adding the word "Binding" to the end.

For example, given a layout file called result_profile.xml:

<LinearLayout ... >
    <TextView android:id="@+id/name" />
    <ImageView android:cropToPadding="true" />
    <Button android:id="@+id/button"
        android:background="@drawable/rounded_button" />
</LinearLayout>

The generated binding class is called ResultProfileBinding. This class has two fields: a TextView called name and a Button called button. The ImageView in the layout has no ID, so there is no reference to it in the binding class.

Every binding class also includes a getRoot() method, providing a direct reference for the root view of the corresponding layout file. In this example, the getRoot() method in the ResultProfileBinding class returns the LinearLayout root view.

The following sections demonstrate the use of generated binding classes in activities and fragments.

Use view binding in activities

To set up an instance of the binding class for use with an activity, perform the following steps in the activity's onCreate() method:

  1. Call the static inflate() method included in the generated binding class. This creates an instance of the binding class for the activity to use.
  2. Get a reference to the root view by either calling the getRoot() method or using Kotlin property syntax.
  3. Pass the root view to setContentView() to make it the active view on the screen.

Kotlin

private lateinit var binding: ResultProfileBinding

override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
    binding = ResultProfileBinding.inflate(layoutInflater)
    val view = binding.root
    setContentView(view)
}

Java

private ResultProfileBinding binding;

@Override
protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    binding = ResultProfileBinding.inflate(getLayoutInflater());
    View view = binding.getRoot();
    setContentView(view);
}

You can now use the instance of the binding class to reference any of the views:

Kotlin

binding.name.text = viewModel.name
binding.button.setOnClickListener { viewModel.userClicked() }

Java

binding.getName().setText(viewModel.getName());
binding.button.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
    viewModel.userClicked()
});

Use view binding in fragments

To set up an instance of the binding class for use with a fragment, perform the following steps in the fragment's onCreateView() method:

  1. Call the static inflate() method included in the generated binding class. This creates an instance of the binding class for the fragment to use.
  2. Get a reference to the root view by either calling the getRoot() method or using Kotlin property syntax.
  3. Return the root view from the onCreateView() method to make it the active view on the screen.

Kotlin

private var _binding: ResultProfileBinding? = null
// This property is only valid between onCreateView and
// onDestroyView.
private val binding get() = _binding!!

override fun onCreateView(
    inflater: LayoutInflater,
    container: ViewGroup?,
    savedInstanceState: Bundle?
): View? {
    _binding = ResultProfileBinding.inflate(inflater, container, false)
    val view = binding.root
    return view
}

override fun onDestroyView() {
    _binding = null
}

Java

private ResultProfileBinding binding;

@Override
public View onCreateView (LayoutInflater inflater, 
                          ViewGroup container, 
                          Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    binding = ResultProfileBinding.inflate(inflater, container, false);
    View view = binding.getRoot();
    return view;
}

@Override
public void onDestroyView() {
    binding = null;
}

You can now use the instance of the binding class to reference any of the views:

Kotlin

binding.name.text = viewModel.name
binding.button.setOnClickListener { viewModel.userClicked() }

Java

binding.getName().setText(viewModel.getName());
binding.button.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
    viewModel.userClicked()
});

Differences from findViewById

View binding has important advantages over using findViewById:

  • Null safety: Since view binding creates direct references to views, there's no risk of a null pointer exception due to an invalid view ID. Additionally, when a view is only present in some configurations of a layout, the field containing its reference in the binding class is marked with @Nullable.
  • Type safety: The fields in each binding class have types matching the views they reference in the XML file. This means that there's no risk of a class cast exception.

These differences mean that incompatibilities between your layout and your code will result in your build failing at compile time rather than at runtime.

Comparison with data binding

View binding and data binding both generate binding classes that you can use to reference views directly. However, view binding is intended to handle simpler use cases and provides the following benefits over data binding:

  • Faster compilation: View binding requires no annotation processing, so compile times are faster.
  • Ease of use: View binding does not require specially-tagged XML layout files, so it is faster to adopt in your apps. Once you enable view binding in a module, it applies to all of that module's layouts automatically.

Conversely, view binding has the following limitations compared to data binding:

Because of these considerations, it is best in some cases to use both view binding and data binding in a project. You can use data binding in layouts that require advanced features and use view binding in layouts that do not.