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Drawables in Android - Layer drawable

Let us see how to use layer drawable. You can have two or more bitmaps on different layers to create such a drawable

Using xml:

You should use layer-list in your xml file to create layerdrawable. Here is layer.xml
 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>  
 <layer-list xmlns:android="">  
 <bitmap android:src="@drawable/whiteicon"  
 <bitmap android:src="@drawable/blueicon"  
 <bitmap android:src="@drawable/redicon"  

We are using three different bitmaps whiteicon.png, redicon.png and blueicon.png which are present in /res/drawable/mdpi folder. All these are of different sizes and aligned to top left. This drawable can be used as a background to any widget in your program.

Button b = (Button)findViewById(;

Now the button would look like this

Using code:

Next let us see how to create layerdrawable using the code.
  private LayerDrawable createBmp(){  
     BitmapDrawable d1 = (BitmapDrawable) getResources().getDrawable(R.drawable.blueicon);  
     BitmapDrawable d2 = (BitmapDrawable) getResources().getDrawable(R.drawable.redicon);  
     BitmapDrawable d3 = (BitmapDrawable) getResources().getDrawable(R.drawable.blueicon);  
     Drawable drawableArray[]= new Drawable[]{d3,d2,d1};  
     LayerDrawable layerDraw = new LayerDrawable(drawableArray);  
     layerDraw.setLayerInset(1, 15, 15, 0, 0);//set offset of 2 layer  
     layerDraw.setLayerInset(2,40,40,0,0);//set offset for third layer  
     return layerDraw;  

It is important to arrange your bitmaps properly and give offsets so that bigger bitmap does not overlap smaller one completely.

And in code add this drawable as a background to some widget.

LayerDrawable ld = createBmp();

Now here is our layer drawable image


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