Android: How to bind spinner to custom object list?


In the user interface there has to be a spinner which contains some names (the names are visible) and each name has its own ID (the IDs are not equal to display sequence). When the user selects the name from the list the variable currentID has to be changed.

The application contains the ArrayList

Where User is an object with ID and name:

public class User{
        public int ID;
        public String name;

What I don't know is how to create a spinner which displays the list of user's names and bind spinner items to IDs so when the spinner item is selected/changed the variable currentID is set to appropriate value.

I would appreciate if anyone could show the solution of the described problem or provide any link useful to solve the problem.


10/26/2009 2:45:09 PM

Accepted Answer

You can look at this answer. You can also go with a custom adapter, but the solution below is fine for simple cases.

Here's a re-post:

So if you came here because you want to have both labels and values in the Spinner - here's how I did it:

  1. Just create your Spinner the usual way
  2. Define 2 equal size arrays in your array.xml file -- one array for labels, one array for values
  3. Set your Spinner with android:entries="@array/labels"
  4. When you need a value, do something like this (no, you don't have to chain it):

      String selectedVal = getResources().getStringArray(R.array.values)[spinner.getSelectedItemPosition()];
5/23/2017 12:03:09 PM

I know the thread is old, but just in case...

User object:

public class User{

    private int _id;
    private String _name;

    public User(){
        this._id = 0;
        this._name = "";

    public void setId(int id){
        this._id = id;

    public int getId(){
        return this._id;

    public void setName(String name){
        this._name = name;

    public String getName(){
        return this._name;

Custom Spinner Adapter (ArrayAdapter)

public class SpinAdapter extends ArrayAdapter<User>{

    // Your sent context
    private Context context;
    // Your custom values for the spinner (User)
    private User[] values;

    public SpinAdapter(Context context, int textViewResourceId,
            User[] values) {
        super(context, textViewResourceId, values);
        this.context = context;
        this.values = values;

    public int getCount(){
       return values.length;

    public User getItem(int position){
       return values[position];

    public long getItemId(int position){
       return position;

    // And the "magic" goes here
    // This is for the "passive" state of the spinner
    public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
        // I created a dynamic TextView here, but you can reference your own  custom layout for each spinner item
        TextView label = (TextView) super.getView(position, convertView, parent);
        // Then you can get the current item using the values array (Users array) and the current position
        // You can NOW reference each method you has created in your bean object (User class)

        // And finally return your dynamic (or custom) view for each spinner item
        return label;

    // And here is when the "chooser" is popped up
    // Normally is the same view, but you can customize it if you want
    public View getDropDownView(int position, View convertView,
            ViewGroup parent) {
        TextView label = (TextView) super.getDropDownView(position, convertView, parent);

        return label;

And the implementarion:

public class Main extends Activity {
    // You spinner view
    private Spinner mySpinner;
    // Custom Spinner adapter (ArrayAdapter<User>)
    // You can define as a private to use it in the all class
    // This is the object that is going to do the "magic"
    private SpinAdapter adapter;

        public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        // Create the Users array
        // You can get this retrieving from an external source
        User[] users = new User[2];

        users[0] = new User();

        users[1] = new User();

        // Initialize the adapter sending the current context
        // Send the simple_spinner_item layout
        // And finally send the Users array (Your data)
        adapter = new SpinAdapter(Main.this,
        mySpinner = (Spinner) findViewById(;
        mySpinner.setAdapter(adapter); // Set the custom adapter to the spinner
        // You can create an anonymous listener to handle the event when is selected an spinner item
        mySpinner.setOnItemSelectedListener(new OnItemSelectedListener() {

            public void onItemSelected(AdapterView<?> adapterView, View view,
                    int position, long id) {
                // Here you get the current item (a User object) that is selected by its position
                User user = adapter.getItem(position);
                // Here you can do the action you want to...
                Toast.makeText(Main.this, "ID: " + user.getId() + "\nName: " + user.getName(),
            public void onNothingSelected(AdapterView<?> adapter) {  }

Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow