ConstraintLayout

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Add ConstraintLayout to a project

Sebastiano Poggi

v3.3 All of the examples in this article have been created using Android Studio v3.3.
You may see differences if you are using a different version.

v1.1+ All of the examples in this article have been created using ConstraintLayout v1.1+.
You may see differences if you are using a different version.

Top level build configuration

You can add ConstraintLayout as you do with other dependencies, by referencing it in your build.gradle file.

Since ConstaintLayout is part of the AndroidX libraries provided by Google, you have to make sure your build file is using the Google Maven repository.

Most likely your project is using other parts of the AndroidX family anyway, but to be sure, here’s how to configure your top level build.gradle file to use the Google repository:

buildscript {
  repositories {
    google()
    mavenCentral()
    jcenter()
  }

  dependencies {
    classpath 'com.android.tools.build:gradle:3.3.2'
  }
}

allprojects {
  repositories {
    google()
    mavenCentral()
    jcenter()
  }
}

Module specific configuration

With this configuration in place, you simply add the version of ConstraintLayout you want to the module specific Gradle file (usually within the app module):

dependencies {
  // other libs...
  implementation 'androidx.constraintlayout:constraintlayout:2.0.0-alpha4'
  // other libs...
}

Versions

You should be using ConstraintLayout 1.1.x or newer - please refer to Google’s Maven repository for the most up-to-date information. Prefer using the AndroidX versions over the older com.android.support artifacts as those will not receive any further updates nor bugfixes.

Version 2.0.x is where most development is happening, and while at the time of writing it’s still in alpha, it’s absolutely stable enough for production usage. Besides, version 2.0 also includes MotionLayout which is absent from 1.x.

Android Studio’s Layout Editor

Newer features of the ConstraintLayout are best supported in newer versions of Android Studio. Generally speaking, the layout editor tends to be stable even in beta and canary versions of Studio, so it may be worth using a newer version of Studio for the newer features and bugfixes.