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Using textured/repeating patterns as backgrounds

Levi Notik

In order to use textured pattern images as backgrounds for Layouts and Views in Android, it’s not enough to simply crop out a part of the image and run it through the Draw 9-Patch tool. Similarly, if you simply set the background resource/drawable to your image, you’ll find that it won’t look right. You’ll get the image repeating many times over in a way that doesn’t fill the background with the pattern you’re expecting.

Here’s how you should do it: define a Bitmap resource in your res/drawable and set the android:tileMode to “repeat” (it works similarly in html) which will repeat the bitmap in both directions.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<bitmap xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
        android:tileMode="repeat" />

then you’re free to use that as your backgroundResource in any View or Layout.

Head on over to subtlepatterns.com for some great, free textured patterns.

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