How to get width/height of a View

As the idea of the Android evolved, Android has received wide attention and deployed on a very wide range of devices. Android UI had to move and make developers' life easier: AbsoluteLayout got deprecated. It is very logical because your app will be installed on very small devices and very large devices and all the devices in between.

Now, it is all WRAP_CONTENT, FILL_PARENT/MATCH_PARENT. Yet, a developer sometimes needs to know the dimensions of his view to do some extra tweaks to perfect his ui.

So, what is the best way to do so?
Well, there are several ways of getting the dimensions of a view. Most of them boil down to waiting the layout of the view hierarchy. In case you still have not gotten into the problem of getWidth() and getHeight() returning 0, well that is very normal in Android as the width and height of a view are zero until they are visible, measured, and part of the layout.

In the following I will assume that your View is called view.

  1. Using the famous OnGlobalLayoutListener:

  2. This is one of the most used mechanisms to get the view dimensions. You attach a Global Layout Listener to the view hierarchy. It helps you actually get the width of all the views in your view heirarchy:

    view.getViewTreeObserver().addOnGlobalLayoutListener(new OnGlobalLayoutListener() {
      public void onGlobalLayout() {
       //now we can retrieve the width and height
       int width = view.getWidth();
       int height = view.getHeight();
       //do whatever you want with them
       //this is an important step not to keep receiving callbacks:
       //we should remove this listener
       //I use the function to remove it based on the api level!
    if(android.os.Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= android.os.Build.VERSION_CODES.JELLY_BEAN) view.getViewTreeObserver().removeOnGlobalLayoutListener(this); else view.getViewTreeObserver().removeGlobalOnLayoutListener(this); } });

  3. By extending a View:

  4. Personally, I use this approach when the whole Activity or Layout is really dependant on one view only, most probably, a GridView or a ListView. I have already presented this solution on one SO question: How to manage GridView. The whole idea is to instantiate your view in your code instead of inserting it in the layout xml, and by doing this, you are able to override the onLayout function.

    mGrid = new GridView(this) {
        protected void onLayout(boolean changed, int l, int t, int r, int b) {
            super.onLayout(changed, l, t, r, b);
            //here you have the size of the view and you can do stuff

  5. By forcing a measurement of the View:

  6. This way is probably rarely used but I personally like it. I am not 100% sure but this probably is the most lightweight of them all, although it might not be as precise. If you force the view to measure itself, you can get the measured dimensions. I use this when you need to move some views (using their margins) based on other views when you can not simply use some of the layout properties because they have different parents or something. Here is the way to do it:

    view.measure(MeasureSpec.UNSPECIFIED, MeasureSpec.UNSPECIFIED);
    int widht = view.getMeasuredWidth();
    int height = view.getMeasuredHeight();


  1. Thank you very much. It's not so easy understand this concept without an explication.

  2. The third solution is perfect for my current case.
    (I use pixels between 0 and 100 in the xml to simulate percentages of screen size, and then compute at runtime the positions of the centres of my child views, relative to the screen size.)
    Thank you sir.