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Create Bottom Navigation Bar in Flutter

Rui.Z
Software Engineer | Futter | React | NodeJS
Updated on ・2 min read

To implement a navigation bar for user to navigate between views in Flutter, we can use a Material Widget called BottomNavigationBar.

BottomNavigationBar

The BottomNavigationBar is usually used as tha argument of Scaffold.bottomNavigationBar.

Guidance

Material design guidance suggests that BottomNavigationBar should have no more than 5 items.

Style

The bottom navigation bar's type changes how its items are displayed. If not specified, then it's automatically set to BottomNavigationBarType.fixed when there are less than four items, and BottomNavigationBarType.shifting otherwise.

BottomNavigationBarType.fixed

BottomNavigationBarType.shifting

Example

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';

void main() => runApp(const MyApp());

/// Main application
class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  const MyApp({Key? key}) : super(key: key);
  static const String _title = 'App title';

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return const MaterialApp(
      title: _title,
      home: MyStatefulWidget(),
    );
  }
}

/// The stateful widget that the main application instantiates.
class MyStatefulWidget extends StatefulWidget {
  const MyStatefulWidget({Key? key}) : super(key: key);

  @override
  State<MyStatefulWidget> createState() => _MyStatefulWidgetState();
}

class _MyStatefulWidgetState extends State<MyStatefulWidget> {
  int _selectedIndex = 0;
  static const List<Widget> _widgetOptions = <Widget>[
    Text('Index 0: Home'),
    Text('Index 1: Business'),
    Text('Index 2: School'),
  ];

  void _onItemTapped(int index) {
    setState(() {
      _selectedIndex = index;
    });
  }

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
      appBar: AppBar(
        title: const Text('App with BottomNavBar'),
      ),
      body: Center(
        child: _widgetOptions.elementAt(_selectedIndex),
      ),
      bottomNavigationBar: BottomNavigationBar(
        currentIndex: _selectedIndex,
        unselectedItemColor: Colors.blue,
        selectedItemColor: Colors.black,
        onTap: _onItemTapped,

        items: const <BottomNavigationBarItem>[
          BottomNavigationBarItem(
            icon: Icon(Icons.home),
            label: 'Home',
          ),
          BottomNavigationBarItem(
            icon: Icon(Icons.business),
            label: 'Business',
          ),
          BottomNavigationBarItem(
            icon: Icon(Icons.school),
            label: 'School',
          ),
        ],
      ),
    );
  }
}
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Tips

However, switching between views would dispose and rebuild the widgets. It means the status of each view cannot be retained when being switched away. A solution for this is to use IndexedStack. I will write another article on how to use IndexedStack. You may also want to explore it by reading this.

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