android – Which folder to put 9png images to?-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

We use 9png mainly to reduce the size of the apk. But, I am facing a peculiar problem. I am not sure in which folder I have to place the 9pngs in. I had put them in HDPI folder. Since Android is ‘clever’ it looks like if I use the app in an MDPI phone, it ‘scales’ the 9png which creates crazy effects. I didn’t face any major problem until I tried it in Galaxy note. Looks like the 9png was taken from HDPI and scaled (Note has 800×1280) and it created weird effects.

  • So which is the right place to put the 9pngs?
  • How to tell Android system not to ‘scale’ 9pngs based on the folder it is put in?
How to solve:

According to Romain Guy’s answer on Google groups:

The behavior of 9-patch is undefined when shrunk. In practice you will
see overlaps of the various sections of the 9patch. Don’t do it 🙂

From what I noticed in my projects, a 9PNG is scaled down just like any regular PNG, so I am usually requesting to our designer the entire set of images for ldpi, mdpi, hdpi and xhdpi, and I transform them all in 9patches.

That, unless there is a very simple 9patch, like a plain button background, that makes no difference when stretched or shrunk, so I usually place it in the regular drawable folder.


I had a similar problem with a nine patch image: if I placed it in the res/drawable folder, it didn’t work on an ldpi screen (it distorted the image and lost the transparency).

The solution for me was to put it in the res/drawable-nodpi folder. The documentation states:

This can be used for bitmap resources that you do not want to be
scaled to match the device density.


Just put the 9png in your HDPI folder.

if the effect looks weird in your Galaxy Note.

Ask the designer to give you a new 9png file for the XHDPI. and then put the new file in folder XHDPI.

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