Android: why is my OnKeyListener() not called?-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I defined an EditText-field and I want to be informed when the user edits that fields.
So I thought: simple – I add an OnKeyListener and so I did. But even though the text field gets edited (and even displays the entered/modified text) I don’t get any callback, i.e. the LOG-output doesn’t show up.

    TextView text = new TextView(this);
    text.setOnKeyListener(new OnKeyListener()
        public boolean onKey(View v, int keyCode, KeyEvent event) {
            TextView tv = (TextView)v;
            CharSequence val = tv.getText();
            Log.v(TAG, "value: " + val);
            // ... rest omitted for brevity

Any idea, why that callback is never called?


PS.: Sigh! Android is really full of oddities! It seems that almost nothing I touched so far worked immediatly as one would expect. And – believe it or not – I have LOTS of experience with GUIs, esp. in Java (AWT, Swing, SWT, you name it…) But Android is a really tough beast!

How to solve:

Are you using the soft keyboard (ime) to type in the edit text? I believe that the onKeyListener only gets invoked with events from the hardware keyboard. You are better off using the TextWatcher if you can. onKeyListener not working with soft keyboard (Android)


I had the exact same problem, but on only 1 of my Android apps and I never did figure out what the difference was.

My solution though was to do what Mayra suggested and add a TextWatcher to handle the TextChanged events. So it works no matter how the text entry occurs.

editName.addTextChangedListener(new TextWatcher () {
        public void afterTextChanged(Editable s) {
            Button btnSave = (Button)findViewById(;
            if(s.length() > 0)

        public void beforeTextChanged(CharSequence s, int start, int count, int after) {
            // TODO Auto-generated method stub

        public void onTextChanged(CharSequence s, int start, int before, int count) {
            // TODO Auto-generated method stub


Works like a charm in the emulator and on my HTC Inspire


You say that you’re dealing with an EditText, but your code refers to a TextView. My guess is that you have an EditText in your layout XML files, but you’re referring to this newly created TextView in your code, which is in fact not even in the app’s UI at all.

If there is already an EditText in your layout XML file, then you need to get a pointer to it in your Java code, probably using the findViewById() method. Then add your OnKeyListener to that EditText.

Defining your layout in XML actually makes a lot more sense (at least in many, if not most, cases) than defining it one component at a time and then adding each those components to the UI, like you do in Swing. But it takes some getting used to, no question.

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