android – How can I focus on a collapsible action view EditText item in the action bar (when it is expanded) and force the soft keyboard to open?-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I am using Jake Wharton’s excellent ActionBarSherlock library and have a collapsible search action view. I want to popup the soft keyboard when the search action view is expanded.

We can read a recommended way of doing this in a DialogFragment in the “Using DialogFragments” blog post by Google (altered a bit for readability).

// Show soft keyboard automatically
mEditText.requestFocus();
int mode = WindowManager.LayoutParams.SOFT_INPUT_STATE_VISIBLE;
getDialog().getWindow().setSoftInputMode(mode);

This does not seem to work when expanding and requesting focus on a collapsable EditText action view. I currently have this.

@Override
public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
    MenuInflater inflater = getSupportMenuInflater();
    inflater.inflate(R.menu.my_activity, menu);

    MenuItem menuItem = menu.findItem(R.id.menu_search);
    final EditText searchText = (EditText) menuItem.getActionView();

    menuItem.setOnActionExpandListener(new OnActionExpandListener() {
        @Override
        public boolean onMenuItemActionCollapse(MenuItem item) {
            return true; // Return true to collapse action view
        }

        @Override
        public boolean onMenuItemActionExpand(MenuItem item) {
            searchText.requestFocus();
            int mode = WindowManager.LayoutParams.SOFT_INPUT_STATE_VISIBLE;
            getWindow().setSoftInputMode(mode);
            return true; // Return true to expand action view
        }
    });
}

Here’s my menu item definition in the my_activity menu xml file:

<item
    android:id="@+id/menu_search"
    android:icon="@drawable/ic_menu_search"
    android:actionLayout="@layout/collapsible_edittext"
    android:showAsAction="always|collapseActionView"
    android:title="@string/menu_search"/>

… and the collapsible_edittext action layout

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<EditText xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent"
    android:layout_height="wrap_content"
    android:hint="@string/hint_search"
    android:imeOptions="actionSearch"
    android:inputType="text"
    android:focusable="true"
    android:focusableInTouchMode="true" />

Caveat: I do not want to force the soft keyboard. When the user has a hardware keyboard requesting focus is sufficient.

Any thoughts anyone?

How to solve:

Maybe the requestFocus never occurred in the code in the question because the searchText was not expanded yet? I don’t know, anyway… this worked for me:

@Override
public boolean onMenuItemActionExpand(MenuItem item) {
    searchText.post(new Runnable() {
        @Override
        public void run() {
            searchText.requestFocus();
            InputMethodManager imm = (InputMethodManager) getSystemService(Context.INPUT_METHOD_SERVICE);
            imm.showSoftInput(searchText, InputMethodManager.SHOW_IMPLICIT);
        }
    });
    return true; // Return true to expand action view
}

###

Works for me too!

For Collapsing ActionView and hiding Keyboard I use:

Set Listener to capture search button (or any other) press on soft keyboard, then use collapseActionView():

searchText.setOnEditorActionListener(new OnEditorActionListener() {
    @Override
    public boolean onEditorAction(TextView v, int actionId, KeyEvent event) {
        if (actionId == EditorInfo.IME_ACTION_SEARCH) {
            searchMenuItem.collapseActionView();
            return true;
        }
        return false;
    }
});

Then write keyboard hiding code in onMenuItemActionCollapse() method.

public boolean onMenuItemActionCollapse(MenuItem item) {
    // Do something when collapsed
    searchText.post(new Runnable() {
        @Override
        public void run() {
            InputMethodManager imm = (InputMethodManager) getSystemService(Context.INPUT_METHOD_SERVICE);
            imm.hideSoftInputFromWindow(searchText.getWindowToken(), 0);
        }
    });
    return true; // Return true to collapse action view
}

###

For an easier implementation of a collapsible search item in your ActionBar, you may simply use SearchView which is also available in ActionBarSherlock (com.actionbarsherlock.widget.SearchView).

It comes with many handy methods and handles showing/hiding the software keyboard on expanding/collapsing the view automatically.
Plus, it is easier to define what to do on submitting the search. Just take a look at all the listeners you can set on that SearchView.

Here’s an example:

@Override
public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
    SearchView searchView = new SearchView(this);

    searchView.setQueryHint(getString(R.string.search_hint));
    searchView.setOnQueryTextListener(new OnQueryTextListener() {

        @Override
        public boolean onQueryTextSubmit(String query) {
            // what to do on submit, e.g. start an Activity and pass the query param
            return true;
        }

        @Override
        public boolean onQueryTextChange(String newText) {
            return false;
        }

    });

    menu.add(getString(R.string.search_title))
        .setIcon(R.drawable.ic_action_search)
        .setActionView(searchView)
        .setShowAsAction(MenuItem.SHOW_AS_ACTION_IF_ROOM|MenuItem.SHOW_AS_ACTION_COLLAPSE_ACTION_VIEW);

    // ...place to add other menu items

    return super.onCreateOptionsMenu(menu);
}

Another good reason: I had some layout issues on older devices when using a custom EditText as my search view (like you did in your question). The default SearchView solved all these issues and saved me many lines of code.

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