Android TextView with Clickable Links: how to capture clicks?


This can be simply solved by using Spannable String.What you really want to do (Business Requirement) is little bit unclear to me so following code will not give exact answer to your situation but i am petty sure that it will give you some idea and you will be able to solve your problem based on the following code.

As you do, i'm also getting some data via HTTP response and i have added some additional underlined text in my case "more" and this underlined text will open the web browser on click event.Hope this will help you.

TextView decription = (TextView)convertView.findViewById(;
String dec=d.get_description()+"<a href='"+d.get_link()+"'><u>more</u></a>";
CharSequence sequence = Html.fromHtml(dec);
SpannableStringBuilder strBuilder = new SpannableStringBuilder(sequence);
UnderlineSpan[] underlines = strBuilder.getSpans(0, 10, UnderlineSpan.class);   
for(UnderlineSpan span : underlines) {
    int start = strBuilder.getSpanStart(span);
    int end = strBuilder.getSpanEnd(span);
    int flags = strBuilder.getSpanFlags(span);
    ClickableSpan myActivityLauncher = new ClickableSpan() {
        public void onClick(View view) {
            Log.e(TAG, "on click");
            Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW, Uri.parse(d.get_link()));
    strBuilder.setSpan(myActivityLauncher, start, end, flags);

I have a TextView which is rendering basic HTML, containing 2+ links. I need to capture clicks on the links and open the links -- in my own internal WebView (not in the default browser.)

The most common method to handle link rendering seems to be like this:

String str_links = "<a href=''>Google</a><br /><a href=''>Facebook</a>";
text_view.setText( Html.fromHtml( str_links ) );

However, this causes the links to open in the default internal web browser (showing the "Complete Action Using..." dialog).

I tried implementing a onClickListener, which properly gets triggered when the link is clicked, but I don't know how to determine WHICH link was clicked...

text_view.setOnClickListener(new OnClickListener(){

    public void onClick(View v) {
        // what now...?


Alternatively, I tried creating a custom LinkMovementMethod class and implementing onTouchEvent...

public boolean onTouchEvent(TextView widget, Spannable text, MotionEvent event) {
    String url = text.toString();
    // this doesn't work because the text is not necessarily a URL, or even a single link... 
    // eg, I don't know how to extract the clicked link from the greater paragraph of text
    return false;


Example solution

I came up with a solution which parses the links out of a HTML string and makes them clickable, and then lets you respond to the URL.


I have implemented a small class with the help of which you can handle long clicks on TextView itself and Taps on the links in the TextView.


TextView android:id="@+id/text"

import android.content.Context;
import android.text.Layout;
import android.text.Spannable;
import android.text.method.LinkMovementMethod;
import android.util.Patterns;
import android.view.GestureDetector;
import android.view.MotionEvent;
import android.widget.TextView;

public class TextViewClickMovement extends LinkMovementMethod {

    private final String TAG = TextViewClickMovement.class.getSimpleName();

    private final OnTextViewClickMovementListener mListener;
    private final GestureDetector                 mGestureDetector;
    private TextView                              mWidget;
    private Spannable                             mBuffer;

    public enum LinkType {

        /** Indicates that phone link was clicked */

        /** Identifies that URL was clicked */

        /** Identifies that Email Address was clicked */

        /** Indicates that none of above mentioned were clicked */

     * Interface used to handle Long clicks on the {@link TextView} and taps
     * on the phone, web, mail links inside of {@link TextView}.
    public interface OnTextViewClickMovementListener {

         * This method will be invoked when user press and hold
         * finger on the {@link TextView}
         * @param linkText Text which contains link on which user presses.
         * @param linkType Type of the link can be one of {@link LinkType} enumeration
        void onLinkClicked(final String linkText, final LinkType linkType);

         * @param text Whole text of {@link TextView}
        void onLongClick(final String text);

    public TextViewClickMovement(final OnTextViewClickMovementListener listener, final Context context) {
        mListener        = listener;
        mGestureDetector = new GestureDetector(context, new SimpleOnGestureListener());

    public boolean onTouchEvent(final TextView widget, final Spannable buffer, final MotionEvent event) {

        mWidget = widget;
        mBuffer = buffer;

        return false;

     * Detects various gestures and events.
     * Notify users when a particular motion event has occurred.
    class SimpleOnGestureListener extends GestureDetector.SimpleOnGestureListener {
        public boolean onDown(MotionEvent event) {
            // Notified when a tap occurs.
            return true;

        public void onLongPress(MotionEvent e) {
            // Notified when a long press occurs.
            final String text = mBuffer.toString();

            if (mListener != null) {
                Log.d(TAG, "----> Long Click Occurs on TextView with ID: " + mWidget.getId() + "\n" +
                                  "Text: " + text + "\n<----");


        public boolean onSingleTapConfirmed(MotionEvent event) {
            // Notified when tap occurs.
            final String linkText = getLinkText(mWidget, mBuffer, event);

            LinkType linkType = LinkType.NONE;

            if (Patterns.PHONE.matcher(linkText).matches()) {
                linkType = LinkType.PHONE;
            else if (Patterns.WEB_URL.matcher(linkText).matches()) {
                linkType = LinkType.WEB_URL;
            else if (Patterns.EMAIL_ADDRESS.matcher(linkText).matches()) {
                linkType = LinkType.EMAIL_ADDRESS;

            if (mListener != null) {
                Log.d(TAG, "----> Tap Occurs on TextView with ID: " + mWidget.getId() + "\n" +
                                  "Link Text: " + linkText + "\n" +
                                  "Link Type: " + linkType + "\n<----");

                mListener.onLinkClicked(linkText, linkType);

            return false;

        private String getLinkText(final TextView widget, final Spannable buffer, final MotionEvent event) {

            int x = (int) event.getX();
            int y = (int) event.getY();

            x -= widget.getTotalPaddingLeft();
            y -= widget.getTotalPaddingTop();

            x += widget.getScrollX();
            y += widget.getScrollY();

            Layout layout = widget.getLayout();
            int line = layout.getLineForVertical(y);
            int off = layout.getOffsetForHorizontal(line, x);

            ClickableSpan[] link = buffer.getSpans(off, off, ClickableSpan.class);

            if (link.length != 0) {
                return buffer.subSequence(buffer.getSpanStart(link[0]),

            return "";


String str_links = "<a href=''>Google</a><br /><a href=''>Facebook</a>";
text_view.setText( Html.fromHtml( str_links ) );
text_view.setMovementMethod(new TextViewClickMovement(this, context));


Hope this helops! You can find code here.

I've had the same problem but a lot of text mixed with few links and emails. I think using 'autoLink' is a easier and cleaner way to do it:

  text_view.setText( Html.fromHtml( str_links ) );
  text_view.setAutoLinkMask(Linkify.ALL); //to open links

You can set Linkify.EMAIL_ADDRESSES or Linkify.WEB_URLS if there's only one of them you want to use or set from the XML layout


The available options are: none, web, email, phone, map, all