Is it possible to have multiple styles inside a TextView?


Is it possible to set multiple styles for different pieces of text inside a TextView?

For instance, I am setting the text as follows:

tv.setText(line1 + "\n" + line2 + "\n" + word1 + "\t" + word2 + "\t" + word3);

Is it possible to have a different style for each text element? E.g., line1 bold, word1 italic, etc.

The developer guide's Common Tasks and How to Do Them in Android includes Selecting, Highlighting, or Styling Portions of Text:

// Get our EditText object.
EditText vw = (EditText)findViewById(;

// Set the EditText's text.
vw.setText("Italic, highlighted, bold.");

// If this were just a TextView, we could do:
// vw.setText("Italic, highlighted, bold.", TextView.BufferType.SPANNABLE);
// to force it to use Spannable storage so styles can be attached.
// Or we could specify that in the XML.

// Get the EditText's internal text storage
Spannable str = vw.getText();

// Create our span sections, and assign a format to each.
str.setSpan(new StyleSpan(, 0, 7, Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE);
str.setSpan(new BackgroundColorSpan(0xFFFFFF00), 8, 19, Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE);
str.setSpan(new StyleSpan(, 21, str.length() - 1, Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE);

But that uses explicit position numbers inside the text. Is there a cleaner way to do this?

10/24/2012 12:59:51 AM

Accepted Answer

In case, anyone is wondering how to do this, here's one way: (Thanks to Mark again!)

mBox = new TextView(context);
mBox.setText(Html.fromHtml("<b>" + title + "</b>" +  "<br />" + 
            "<small>" + description + "</small>" + "<br />" + 
            "<small>" + DateAdded + "</small>"));

For an unofficial list of tags supported by this method, refer to this link or this question: Which HTML tags are supported by Android TextView?

5/23/2017 11:47:30 AM

Try Html.fromHtml(), and mark up your text with bold and italic HTML tags e.g:

Spanned text = Html.fromHtml("This mixes <b>bold</b> and <i>italic</i> stuff");

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