Android EditText InputTypes – In Kotlin

Embark on a journey into Android app creation with our article, where we uncover the secrets of the EditText widgets input types. This guide is your roadmap to making user experiences shine, covering key aspects of collecting user info. Discover how to set up inputtypes right in your app design, or dynamically with code in Kotlin. We break down the benefits of both approaches so you can choose what fits your project.

Delve into numbers: we show you how number, numberDecimal, and numberSigned input types shape interactions, from precise digits to special signed and decimal combinations. Get the lowdown on handling time data with datetime, date, and time input types – essential for handling dates and times in your app. And don’t miss our insights into special inputs: learn how to gather phone numbers effectively, and handle longer responses using multi-line text input.

Also, don’t miss to validate the user’s input.

Set InputType in Layout

To set the inputType for an EditText widget in an XML layout file in Android, you can use the android:inputType attribute. For example, to configure the EditText for collecting an email address, you would add the following line within the EditText element:

    android:hint="Enter your email address"
    android:inputType="textEmailAddress" />

In this snippet, the android:inputType attribute is set to textEmailAddress, which ensures that the EditText is optimized for entering email addresses. Similarly, you can replace textEmailAddress with other appropriate inputType values depending on the type of input you want to collect.

Set Input Type programatically

In order to programmatically set the input type for an EditText widget in Kotlin, you can use the inputType property of the EditText object. Here’s an example of dynamically setting the input type to handle numbers:

class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {

    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {

        val editText: EditText = findViewById(

        // Set input type programmatically
        editText.inputType = InputType.TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER

In this snippet, we retrieve the EditText object using its ID, and then we use the inputType property to assign the input type TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER, which configures the EditText to accept numeric input. You can replace TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER with other appropriate input type constants based on your requirements.

Comparing Layout and Programming Approach

Setting the inputType for an EditText widget in Android can be done either in the XML layout file or programmatically in Kotlin code. Let’s compare the approaches:

Setting inputType in XML Layout:

  1. Declaration in Layout: You define the inputType directly in the XML layout file using the android:inputType attribute within the EditText element.
  2. Ease of Design: This approach is more suitable when you know the input type at design time. It’s convenient for configuring input types that won’t change dynamically during runtime.
  3. Static Configuration: The input type remains fixed unless you manually edit the XML layout. Changes to the input type will require modifications in the XML file.

Setting inputType Programmatically in Kotlin:

  1. Dynamic Configuration: You can change the inputType programmatically based on runtime conditions or user interactions within your Kotlin code.
  2. Flexibility: This approach is beneficial when the input type needs to be adjusted dynamically during the app’s lifecycle.
  3. Complex Scenarios: You can create more complex logic to determine and adjust the input type as needed, enabling versatile user interactions.

Numeric Input

The inputType attribute with the value TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER influences both the appearance of the EditText widget and the behavior of the keyboard when a user interacts with it. This input type is particularly useful when you want to collect numeric input from the user. Here’s how it affects the EditText and keyboard behavior:

EditText Widget Appearance:

  1. Numerical Keypad: When the input Type is set to TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER, the EditText widget is optimized to display a numerical keypad by default. This makes it easier for users to input numeric values without needing to switch between different keyboard layouts.
  2. Limited Character Set: The EditText only accepts numeric characters (0-9) and certain special characters like decimal points and minus signs. Any attempt to enter non-numeric characters is typically prevented, ensuring the entered content remains numeric.

Keyboard Behavior:

  1. Numeric Layout: The keyboard that appears when the EditText gains focus is a numeric layout, usually with buttons for digits (0-9) and auxiliary keys like decimal points and minus signs.
  2. No Text Suggestions: The keyboard doesn’t provide text suggestions or autocorrect for the input, which is ideal for preventing unintended changes to numeric entries.
  3. Numeric-Specific Keys: The keyboard may include keys for common numeric symbols such as decimal points and minus signs, making it easier to input numbers accurately.
  4. Layout Optimization: The keyboard layout is designed to maximize the space for numeric keys, reducing the clutter of alphabetic keys that aren’t relevant for numeric input.
  5. Action Key: Depending on context, the keyboard might have an action key, often labeled as “Done” or “Next,” which allows users to confirm their numeric input or proceed to the next field.


// Layout

// Code
editText.inputType = InputType.TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER

Setting these values will allow only positive integers in the EditText. See the image below for an example of the keyboard.


// Layout

// Code
editText.inputType = InputType.TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER or InputType.TYPE_NUMBER_FLAG_DECIMAL

Setting these values will allow positive decimal numbers (including integers).


// Layout

// Code
editText.inputType = InputType.TYPE_CLASS_NUMBER or InputType.TYPE_NUMBER_FLAG_SIGNED

Setting these values will allow positive and negative integer values. Decimals are not allowed.

Combining Signed and Decimal

// Layout
android:inputType="numberDecimal | numberSigned"

// Code

You can combine different flags to get your desired behavior. Here we have combined the decimal and signed number flags. The result is that you can input positive and negative decimal numbers.

Android EditText with numeric inputtype

Numeric InputType – Only positive numbers

Signed Numeric InputType - Positive and negative numbers

Signed Numeric InputType – Positive and negative numbers

Decimal InputType - Positive decimal numbers

Decimal InputType – Positive decimal numbers

Signed Decimal InputType - Positive and negative decimal numbers

Signed Decimal InputType – Positive and negative decimal numbers

Date and Time Input

Date and Time Input Types in Android allow developers to specify the desired format for entering dates and times using the inputType attribute of the EditText widget. These input types provide users with a more convenient and contextually relevant keyboard layout, making it easier to enter dates and times accurately. For instance, using the input Type value “date” will display a date picker or a numeric keypad with forward slashes, while “time” will display a time picker or a numeric keypad with colon separators. By utilizing these input types, developers can enhance the user experience when collecting date and time information in their applications.


In the Kotlin code, we set the input type using EditorInfo.TYPE_CLASS_DATETIME combined with EditorInfo.TYPE_DATETIME_VARIATION_NORMAL to achieve a similar effect to the “datetime” input type.

// Layout

// Code
editTextDateTime.inputType = EditorInfo.TYPE_CLASS_DATETIME or EditorInfo.TYPE_DATETIME_VARIATION_NORMAL


In the Kotlin code, we programmatically set the input type using EditorInfo.TYPE_CLASS_DATETIME combined with EditorInfo.TYPE_DATETIME_VARIATION_DATE flags, which achieves the same effect as the “date” input type in XML.

// Layout

// Code
editTextDate.inputType = EditorInfo.TYPE_CLASS_DATETIME or EditorInfo.TYPE_DATETIME_VARIATION_DATE


In the Kotlin code, we dynamically configure the input type by combining EditorInfo.TYPE_CLASS_DATETIME with EditorInfo.TYPE_DATETIME_VARIATION_TIME. This approach replicates the functionality of the “time” input type defined in the XML layout.

// Layout

// Code
editTextTime.inputType = EditorInfo.TYPE_CLASS_DATETIME or EditorInfo.TYPE_DATETIME_VARIATION_TIME
Date InputType

Date InputType

DateTime InputType

DateTime InputType

Time InputType

Time InputType

Special Input


Both the layout XML and Kotlin code above set the input Type to phone, configuring the EditText to accept phone number input. The numeric keypad that appears when the EditText gains focus will typically have buttons for digits (0-9) as well as keys for common phone symbols like a plus sign and a pound sign. The InputType.TYPE_CLASS_PHONE constant is used in the Kotlin code to achieve the same behavior programmatically.

// Layout

// Code
editTextTime.inputType = InputType.TYPE_CLASS_PHONE


Both the layout XML and Kotlin code provided above designate the input Type as textMultiLine, thereby configuring the EditText widget to accommodate multi-line text input. The keyboard that emerges upon focusing the EditText is generally equipped with a return or enter key, simplifying the process of creating new lines. In the Kotlin code, the equivalent behavior is achieved using the InputType.TYPE_TEXT_FLAG_MULTI_LINE constant.

// Layout

// Code
editTextTime.inputType = InputType.TYPE_TEXT_FLAG_MULTI_LINE