Creating a custom Android ActionBar

By default, new Android projects have an ActionBar at the top (also known as a title bar), which usually contains a title, an optional back button on the left, and optional action(s) on the right. For many cases, minor customisations to colour are enough, but if a project requires exactly meeting a client’s design more advanced functionality will need to be utilised.

This tutorial will walk through the steps needed to turn a default ActionBar into a fully customised area of the screen, whilst keeping useful functionality like displaying a back button intact. Kotlin is used for this sample project, but all code can be easily converted to Java.

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