Change text color of one word in a TextView

The question:

I am looking for a way to change the color of a text of a single word in a TextView from within an Activity.

For example, with this:

String first = "This word is ";
String next = "red"
TextView t = (TextView) findViewById(;
t.setText(first + next);

How would I change the color of the next text to red?

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

Easiest way I know is to just use html.

String first = "This word is ";
String next = "<font color='#EE0000'>red</font>";
t.setText(Html.fromHtml(first + next));

But this will require you to rebuild the TextView when (if?) you want to change the color, which could cause a hassle.

Method 2

t.setText(first + next, BufferType.SPANNABLE);
Spannable s = (Spannable)t.getText();
int start = first.length();
int end = start + next.length();
s.setSpan(new ForegroundColorSpan(0xFFFF0000), start, end, Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE);

you have to use spannable this will also allows you to increase some text’s size, make it bold etc…. even put in some image.

Method 3

Use SpannableStringBuilder like this :

SpannableStringBuilder builder = new SpannableStringBuilder();

SpannableString str1= new SpannableString("Text1");
str1.setSpan(new ForegroundColorSpan(Color.RED), 0, str1.length(), 0);

SpannableString str2= new SpannableString(appMode.toString());
str2.setSpan(new ForegroundColorSpan(Color.GREEN), 0, str2.length(), 0);

TextView tv = (TextView) view.findViewById(;
tv.setText( builder, TextView.BufferType.SPANNABLE);

Method 4

for long string you can use this:

String help = getString(;
help = help.replace("some word", "<font color='#EE0000'>some word</font>");

Method 5

If you want to change the state of all the instances of a specific String inside a TextView text(case insensitive) you can use StringBuilders and SpannableString like this:

StringBuilder textBuilder = new StringBuilder(myTextView.getText().toString());
StringBuilder searchedTextBuilder = new StringBuilder((mySearchedString));
SpannableString spannableString = new SpannableString(myTextView.getText().toString());

int counter = 0;
int index = 0;

for (int i = 0;i < textBuilder.length() - mySearchedString.length() - 1;i++)
    counter = 0;
    if (Character.toLowerCase(textBuilder.charAt(i)) == Character.toLowerCase(searchedTextBuilder.charAt(index)))
        for (int j = 1,z = i + 1;j < mySearchedString.length() - 1;j++,z++)
            if (Character.toLowerCase(textBuilder .charAt(z)) == Character.toLowerCase(searchedTextBuilder .charAt(index)))
                if (index % mySearchedString.length() == 0)
                    index = 0;
        if (counter == mySearchedString.length() - 1) // A match
            spannableString.setSpan(new ForegroundColorSpan(Color.RED), i,
                                i + mySearchedString.length(), Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE); // Do the change you want(In this case changing the fore ground color to red)
            index = 0;
            index = 0;


  • Store the whole TextView text inside a StringBuilder.
  • Store the searched string inside a StringBuilder.
  • Store the wholre TextView text inside a SpannableString
  • Make a simple operation to find all the String instances inside the TextView text and change them when reached.
  • Set the text value of the TextView to the SpannableString.

Method 6

I implemented a utility function in Kotlin for my own usecase and maybe useful for someone else.

fun getCusomTextWithSpecificTextWithDiffColor(textToBold: String, fullText: String,
                                                  targetColor: Int) =
            SpannableStringBuilder(fullText).apply {
                        (fullText.indexOf(textToBold) + textToBold.length),

How I am using it:

context?.let {
        infoMessage.text = AppUtils.getCusomTextWithSpecificTextWithDiffColor(
                completeSentence, ContextCompat.getColor(it, R.color.white))

Method 7


makeTextBold("Your order is accepted","accepted", textView);
makeTextBold("Your order is canceled","canceled", textView);


public static void makeTextBold(String sentence, String word, AppCompatTextView textView) {
    SpannableStringBuilder builder = new SpannableStringBuilder();
    int startIndex = sentence.indexOf(word.toLowerCase().trim());
    int endIndex = startIndex + word.toLowerCase().trim().length();
    SpannableString spannableString = new SpannableString(sentence);
    StyleSpan boldSpan = new StyleSpan(Typeface.BOLD);
    spannableString.setSpan(boldSpan, startIndex, endIndex, Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE); //To make text Bold
    spannableString.setSpan(new ForegroundColorSpan(Color.RED), startIndex, endIndex, Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE); //To change color of text
    textView.setText(builder, TextView.BufferType.SPANNABLE);

Method 8

I think this is more readable
for coloring a word in a string
it is also probably more efficient a bit because you write once

    String str  = YOUR_STRING
    Spannable s = new SpannableString(str);
    int start = str.indexOf(err_word_origin);
    int end =  start + err_word_origin.length();
    s.setSpan(new ForegroundColorSpan(Color.BLUE), start, end, Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE);
    YOUR_TEXT_VIEW.setText(s , TextView.BufferType.SPANNABLE);

Method 9

my solution extension:

    fun coloredText(
    baseText: String,
    coloredText: String,
    targetColor: Int
): SpannableStringBuilder {
    val transformText = "$baseText $coloredText"
    return SpannableStringBuilder(transformText).apply {
            (transformText.indexOf(coloredText) + coloredText.length),


binding.mytextView.title = coloredText(
            baseText = getString(R.string.my_title),
            coloredText = getString(R.string.my_title_colored_part),
            targetColor = ContextCompat.getColor(requireContext(),

Method 10

Iv’e found this best answer
just changed one line to support also words that starts with uppercase letter

public void setHighLightedText(TextView tv, String textToHighlight) {
        // added "toLowerCase()" to support words that starts with uppercase letter
        String tvt = tv.getText().toString().toLowerCase();
        int ofe = tvt.indexOf(textToHighlight, 0);
        Spannable wordToSpan = new SpannableString(tv.getText());
        for (int ofs = 0; ofs < tvt.length() && ofe != -1; ofs = ofe + 1) {
            ofe = tvt.indexOf(textToHighlight, ofs);
            if (ofe == -1)
            else {
                // set color here
                wordToSpan.setSpan(new BackgroundColorSpan(0xFFFFFF00), ofe, ofe + textToHighlight.length(), Spannable.SPAN_EXCLUSIVE_EXCLUSIVE);
                tv.setText(wordToSpan, TextView.BufferType.SPANNABLE);

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Comment