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last updated: 2016-07
Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced a new action bar component called the Toolbar. The Toolbar provides a great deal of flexibility for implementing an app's action bar: it can be placed anywhere in the app, its size can be changed, and it can use a color scheme that is different from the app's theme. Also, each app screen can have multiple Toolbars.
- Part 1 – Replacing the Action Bar
- Part 2 – Adding a Second Toolbar
- Part 3 – Toolbar Compatibility
A key design element of any Android activity is an action bar. The action bar is the UI component that is used for navigation, search, menus, and branding in an Android app. In Android versions before Android 5.0 Lollipop, the action bar (also known as the app bar) was the recommended component for providing this functionality.
Toolbar widget (introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop) can be
thought of as a generalization of the action bar interface – it
is intended to replace the action bar. The
Toolbar can be used
anywhere in an app layout, and it is much more customizable than an
action bar. The following screenshot illustrates the customized
Toolbar example created in this guide:
There are some important differences between the
Toolbar and the
Toolbarcan be placed anywhere in the user interface.
Multiple toolbars can be displayed on the same screen.
If fragments are used, each fragment can have its own
Toolbarcan be configured to span only a partial width of the screen.
Toolbaris not bound to the color scheme of the Activity's window decor, it can have a visually distinct color scheme.
Unlike the action bar, the
Toolbardoes not include an icon on the left. Its menus on the right use less space.
Toolbarheight is adjustable.
Other views can be included inside the
Toolbar can contain one or more of the following elements:
A branded logo image
Title and subtitle
Google's Material Design guidelines recommends taking advantage of these elements to give apps a distinct look (rather than relying solely on an application icon and title).
This guide covers the most commonly-used
Replacing an Activity's default action bar with a
Adding a second
Toolbarto an Activity.
Using the Android Support Library v7 AppCompat library (referred to as AppCompat in the rest of this guide) to deploy
Toolbaron earlier versions of Android.
Toolbar is available on Android 5.0 Lollipop (API 21) and later.
When targeting Android releases earlier than Android 5.0, use the
Android Support Library v7 AppCompat,
which provides backwards-compatible
Toolbar support in a NuGet
Part 3 - Toolbar Compatibility
explains how to use this library.