11. Create a list with RecyclerView

The RecyclerView widget is a more advanced and flexible version of ListView. It is used for displaying a scrolling list of elements based on large data sets. This worksheet will create a scrolling list of users’ names and their address.

11.1. Add RecyclerView to layout

  1. Create a new empty project, and remove the Hello World TextView in activity_main.xml.

  2. Search RecyclerView in the Palette and drag it to activity_main.xml. Click OK when it asks to add the RecyclerView dependency. Under the Text tab it should look something like this:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
        app:layout_constraintStart_toStartOf="parent" android:layout_marginStart="16dp"
        app:layout_constraintTop_toTopOf="parent" android:layout_marginTop="8dp"
        app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent" android:layout_marginBottom="8dp"/>
  3. If there is error at


This can be removed by clicking the infer constraint button.

11.2. Create a layout for items in the list

In this exercise, one item consists of a name and a corresponding address. This can be modified to contain other information/pictures.

  1. Click the Text tab and change




    By doing this, item will be placed under the previous one, otherwise, every new item will appear on a new page.

  2. Create a new layout resource file and name it item_layout.xml.

  3. Add a TextView and constrain the text box to the top and left of the layout (with suitable margins). Name id “textViewName”.

  4. Similarly, add another TextView. Constrain the top of the new text box to the bottom of the previous text box, and constraint the right side of the new text box to the left of the layout. Name id “textViewAddress”.

11.3. Create a data class

Right-click on the com.example.yourProjectName folder and create a new Kotlin file called User. Create a data class User with 2 String parameters name and address.

11.4. Create RecyclerView Adapter

  1. Under the same folder where User data class was created, create a Kotlin class RecyclerViewAdapter. The class should be specified as below:

    class RecyclerViewAdapter (val userList: ArrayList<User>) : RecyclerView.Adapter<RecyclerViewAdapter.ViewHolder>(){
  2. There are three functions required for RecyclerViewAdapter class.

    override fun getItemCount(): Int {
      return userList.size

    getItemCount() function provides the size of the list.

    override fun onCreateViewHolder(parent: ViewGroup, viewType: Int): ViewHolder {
      val layoutInflater = LayoutInflater.from(parent.context)
      val row = layoutInflater.inflate(R.layout.item_layout, parent, false)
      return ViewHolder(row)

    LayoutInflater is used to instantiate layout XML file into its corresponding View objects. onCreateViewHolder function returns the view for each item in the list.

    override fun onBindViewHolder(holder: ViewHolder, position: Int) {

    onBindViewHolder function is called for each ViewHolder to bind it to the adapter. This is where data is passed to ViewHolder.

  3. Then create another class called ViewHolder inside the RecyclerViewAdapter class. This class holds the list view.

    class ViewHolder(itemView: View) :RecyclerView.ViewHolder(itemView){
      fun bindItems(user: User) {
        val textViewName = itemView.findViewById(R.id.textViewName) as TextView
        val textViewAddress = itemView.findViewById(R.id.textViewAddress) as TextView
        textViewName.text = user.name
        textViewAddress.text = user.address

11.5. Create RecyclerView

Now go to MainActivity.kt and write the following code inside onCreate function.

  1. First, create a RecyclerView:

    val recyclerView = findViewById(R.id.RecyclerView) as RecyclerView
  2. Then add a LayoutManager. It is responsible for measuring and positioning item views within a RecyclerView as well as determining the policy for when to recycle item views that are no longer visible to the user. This one implements a standard vertically scrolling list.

    recyclerView.layoutManager = LinearLayoutManager(this, RecyclerView.VERTICAL, false)
  3. Add data to the list:

    val users = ArrayList<User>()
    users.add(User("user1", "address1"))
    users.add(User("user2", "address2"))
    users.add(User("user1", "address1"))
    users.add(User("user2", "address2"))
    users.add(User("user3", "address3"))
    users.add(User("user4", "address4"))
    users.add(User("user5", "address5"))
    users.add(User("user6", "address6"))
    users.add(User("user7", "address7"))
    users.add(User("user8", "address8"))
    users.add(User("user9", "address9"))
    users.add(User("user10", "address10"))
    users.add(User("user11", "address11"))
    users.add(User("user12", "address12"))
    users.add(User("user13", "address13"))
    users.add(User("user14", "address14"))
    users.add(User("user15", "address15"))
    users.add(User("user16", "address16"))
    users.add(User("user17", "address17"))
    users.add(User("user18", "address18"))
    users.add(User("user19", "address19"))
  4. Create adapter and add it to RecyclerView:

    val adapter = RecyclerViewAdapter(users)
    recyclerView.adapter = adapter

11.6. Run the app

Click Run to install and run the app. It should look like the pictures below on the Lenovo tablet.