Android: Replace return key with done, go, send...

A quick article on how to replace the return key on a soft keyboard (software based) on a touch-device.

I have an editText where a user can enter any text value but if they typed a return character, the app would crash because it didn't understand the data. I tried replacing the new lines but just stopping the return key or trying to catch it is an obsolete method.

The following example replaces the return key with a "GO" key:

        android:hint="Location: City, Zip ..."
  1.  <EditText 
  2.          android:id="@+id/myEditText" 
  3.          android:hint="Location: City, Zip ..." 
  4.          android:imeOptions="actionGo" 
  5.          android:inputType="text"> 
  6.  </EditText> 

The Java
EditText location = (EditText)findViewById(;
location.setOnEditorActionListener(new TextView.OnEditorActionListener() {
        public boolean onEditorAction(TextView v, int actionId, KeyEvent event) {
                boolean handled = false;
                if (actionId == EditorInfo.IME_ACTION_GO) {
                        openMap(v);  // do function on pressing the word GO
                        handled = true;
                return handled;
  1.  EditText location = (EditText)findViewById(
  2.  location.setOnEditorActionListener(new TextView.OnEditorActionListener() { 
  3.          @Override 
  4.          public boolean onEditorAction(TextView v, int actionId, KeyEvent event) { 
  5.                  boolean handled = false
  6.                  if (actionId == EditorInfo.IME_ACTION_GO) { 
  7.                          openMap(v);  // do function on pressing the word GO 
  8.                          handled = true
  9.                  } 
  10.                  return handled; 
  11.          } 
  12.  })

Other Noteworthy Actions

In some cases, this will change the keyboard layout (eg. Numbers)
text                    // Normal text
textNoSuggestions       // No suggestions/autocorrect
textEmailAddress        // valid email address
textPersonName          // name of a person
textPostalAddress       // standard postal address
textPassword            // password type field
textVisiblePassword     // um...
textPhonetic            // text that will sound like
number                  // changes keyboard to numeric
numberDecimal           // allow a decimal number
phone                   // enter a phone number
datetime                // enter a date and time
date                    // selectable date
time                    // selectable time
  1.  text                    // Normal text 
  2.  textNoSuggestions       // No suggestions/autocorrect 
  3.  textEmailAddress        // valid email address 
  4.  textPersonName          // name of a person 
  5.  textPostalAddress       // standard postal address 
  6.  textPassword            // password type field 
  7.  textVisiblePassword     // um... 
  8.  textPhonetic            // text that will sound like 
  9.  number                  // changes keyboard to numeric 
  10.  numberDecimal           // allow a decimal number 
  11.  phone                   // enter a phone number 
  12.  datetime                // enter a date and time 
  13.  date                    // selectable date 
  14.  time                    // selectable time 

  1.  normal 
  2.  actionUnspecified 
  3.  actionNone 
  4.  actionGo 
  5.  actionSearch 
  6.  actionSend 
  7.  actionNext 
  8.  actionDone 
  9.  actionPrevious 
IME_ACTION_DONE         // the action key performs a "done" operation, typically meaning there is nothing more to input and the IME will be closed.
IME_ACTION_GO           // the action key performs a "go" operation to take the user to the target of the text they typed.
IME_ACTION_NEXT         // the action key performs a "next" operation, taking the user to the next field that will accept text.
IME_ACTION_NONE         // there is no available action.
IME_ACTION_PREVIOUS     // like IME_ACTION_NEXT, but for moving to the previous field.
IME_ACTION_SEARCH       // the action key performs a "search" operation, taking the user to the results of searching for the text they have typed (in whatever context is appropriate).
IME_ACTION_SEND         // the action key performs a "send" operation, delivering the text to its target.
IME_ACTION_UNSPECIFIED  // no specific action has been associated with this editor, let the editor come up with its own if it can.
  1.  IME_ACTION_DONE         // the action key performs a "done" operation, typically meaning there is nothing more to input and the IME will be closed. 
  2.  IME_ACTION_GO           // the action key performs a "go" operation to take the user to the target of the text they typed. 
  3.  IME_ACTION_NEXT         // the action key performs a "next" operation, taking the user to the next field that will accept text. 
  4.  IME_ACTION_NONE         // there is no available action. 
  5.  IME_ACTION_PREVIOUS     // like IME_ACTION_NEXT, but for moving to the previous field. 
  6.  IME_ACTION_SEARCH       // the action key performs a "search" operation, taking the user to the results of searching for the text they have typed (in whatever context is appropriate)
  7.  IME_ACTION_SEND         // the action key performs a "send" operation, delivering the text to its target. 
  8.  IME_ACTION_UNSPECIFIED  // no specific action has been associated with this editor, let the editor come up with its own if it can. 


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Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided without warranty and any content is merely the opinion of the author. Please try to test in development environments prior to adapting them to your production environments. The articles are written in good faith and, at the time of print, are working examples used in a commercial setting.

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Kind Regards,

Joel Lipman

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