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Multiplatform resources

Compose Multiplatform provides a special library and Gradle plugin support for accessing resources in common code across all supported platforms. Resources are static content, such as images, fonts, and strings, which you can use from your application.

When working with resources in Compose Multiplatform, consider the current conditions:

  • Almost all resources are read synchronously in the caller thread. The only exceptions are raw files and all of the resources on the JS platform that are read asynchronously.

  • Reading big raw files, like long videos, as a stream is not supported yet. Use the getUri() function to pass separate files to a system API, for example, the kotlinx-io library.

  • Starting with 1.6.10, you can place resources in any module or source set, as long as you are using Kotlin 2.0.0 or newer, and Gradle 7.6 or newer.


To access resources in your multiplatform projects:

  1. In the build.gradle.kts file in the composeApp directory, add a dependency to the commonMain source set:

    kotlin { sourceSets { commonMain.dependencies { implementation(compose.components.resources) } } }
  2. Create a new directory composeResources in the source set directory you want to add the resources to (commonMain in this example):

    Compose resources project structure
  3. Organize the composeResources directory structure according to these rules:

    • Images should be in the drawable directory.

    • Fonts should be in the font directory.

    • Strings should be in the values directory.

    • Other files with any hierarchy should be in the files directory.


You can alter the default settings for Compose Multiplatform resources by adding the compose.resources {} block to the build.gradle.kts file:

compose.resources { publicResClass = true packageOfResClass = "me.sample.library.resources" generateResClass = always }
  • publicResClass set to true makes the generated Res class public. By default, the generated class is internal.

  • packageOfResClass allows you to assign the generated Res class to a particular package (to access within the code, as well as for isolation in a final artifact). By default, Compose Multiplatform assigns the {group name}.{module name}.generated.resources package to the class.

  • generateResClass set to always makes the project unconditionally generate the Res class. This may be useful when the resource library is only available transitively. By default, the auto value is used, to generate the Res class only if the current project has an explicit implementation or api dependency on the resource library.


Sometimes, the same resource should be presented in different ways depending on the environment, such as locale, screen density, or interface theme. For example, you might need to localize texts for different languages or adjust images for the dark theme. For that, the library provides special qualifiers.

All resource types (except for raw files in the files directory) support qualifiers. Apply qualifiers to directory names using a hyphen:

Qualifiers in compose resources

The library supports (in the order of priority) the following qualifiers: language, theme, and density.

  • Different types of qualifiers can be applied together. For example, "drawable-en-rUS-mdpi-dark" is an image for the English language in the United States region, suitable for 160 DPI screens in the dark theme.

  • If a resource with the requested qualifier doesn't exist, the default resource without a qualifier is used instead.

Language and regional qualifiers

You can combine language and region qualifiers:

  • The language is defined by a two-letter (ISO 639-1) or a three-letter (ISO 639-2) language code.

  • You can add a two-letter ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 regional code to your language code. The regional code must have a lowercase r prefix, for example: drawable-spa-rMX

The language and regional codes are case-sensitive.

Theme qualifier

You can add "light" or "dark" qualifiers. Compose Multiplatform then selects the necessary resource depending on the current system theme.

Density qualifier

You can use the following density qualifiers:

  • "ldpi" − 120 DPI, 0.75x density

  • "mdpi" − 160 DPI, 1x density

  • "hdpi" − 240 DPI, 1.5x density

  • "xhdpi" − 320 DPI, 2x density

  • "xxhdpi" − 480 DPI, 3x density

  • "xxxhdpi" − 640dpi, 4x density

The resource is selected depending on the screen density defined in the system.

Resource usage

After importing a project, a special Res class is generated which provides access to resources. To manually generate the Res class and all the resource accessors, build the project or re-import the project in IDE.


You can access drawable resources as simple images, rasterized images or XML vectors. SVG images are supported on all platforms except Android.

  • To access drawable resources as Painter images, use the painterResource() function:

    @Composable fun painterResource(resource: DrawableResource): Painter {...}

    The painterResource() function takes a resource path and returns a Painter value. The function works synchronously on all targets except for web. For the web target, it returns an empty Painter for the first recomposition that is replaced with the loaded image in subsequent recompositions.

    • painterResource() loads either a BitmapPainter for rasterized image formats, such as .png, .jpg, .bmp, .webp, or a VectorPainter for the Android XML vector drawable format.

    • XML vector drawables have the same format as Android, except that they don't support external references to Android resources.

  • To access drawable resources as an ImageBitmap rasterized image, use the imageResource() function:

    @Composable fun imageResource(resource: DrawableResource): ImageBitmap {...}
  • To access drawable resources as an ImageVector XML vector, use the vectorResource() function:

    @Composable fun vectorResource(resource: DrawableResource): ImageVector {...}

Here's an example of how you can access images in your Compose Multiplatform code:

Image( painter = painterResource(Res.drawable.my_icon), contentDescription = null )


Store all string resources in XML files in composeResources/values directories. A static accessor is generated for each item in each file.

Simple strings

To store a simple string, add a <string> element to your XML:

<resources> <string name="app_name">My awesome app</string> <string name="title">Some title</string> </resources>

To get string resources as a String, use the following code:

@Composable fun stringResource(resource: StringResource): String {...} @Composable fun stringResource(resource: StringResource, vararg formatArgs: Any): String {...}

For example:

suspend fun getString(resource: StringResource): String suspend fun getString(resource: StringResource, vararg formatArgs: Any): String

For example:

coroutineScope.launch { val appName = getString(Res.string.app_name) }

You can use special symbols in string resources:

  • \n — for a new line

  • \t — for a tab symbol

  • \uXXXX — for a specific Unicode character

String templates

Currently, arguments have basic support in string resources:

<resources> <string name="str_template">Hello, %1$s! You have %2$d new messages.</string> </resources>

There is no difference between %...s and %...d when using string templates with arguments from composable code, for example:

Text(stringResource(Res.string.str_template, "User_name", 100))

String arrays

You can group related strings into an array and automatically access them as a List<String> object:

<resources> <string name="app_name">My awesome app</string> <string name="title">Some title</string> <string-array name="str_arr"> <item>item \u2605</item> <item>item \u2318</item> <item>item \u00BD</item> </string-array> </resources>

To get the corresponding list, use the following code:

@Composable fun stringArrayResource(resource: StringArrayResource): List<String> {...}

For example:

suspend fun getStringArray(resource: StringArrayResource): List<String>

For example:

coroutineScope.launch { val appName = getStringArray(Res.string.str_arr) }


When your UI displays quantities of something, you might want to support grammatical agreement for different numbers of the same thing (one book, many books, and so on) without creating programmatically unrelated strings.

The concept and base implementation in Compose Multiplatform are the same as for quantity strings on Android. See the Android documentation for more about best practices and nuances of using plurals in your project.

  • The supported variants are zero, one, two, few, many, and other. Note that not all variants are even considered for every language: for example, zero is ignored for English because it is the same as any other plural except 1. Rely on a language specialist to know what distinctions the language actually insists upon.

  • It's often possible to avoid quantity strings by using quantity-neutral formulations such as "Books: 1". If this doesn't worsen the user experience,

To define a plural, add a <plurals> element to any .xml file in your composeResources/values directory. A plurals collection is a simple resource referenced using the name attribute (not the name of the XML file). As such, you can combine plurals resources with other simple resources in one XML file under one <resources> element:

<resources> <string name="app_name">My awesome app</string> <string name="title">Some title</string> <plurals name="new_message"> <item quantity="one">%1$d new message</item> <item quantity="other">%1$d new messages</item> </plurals> </resources>

To access a plural as a String, use the following code:

@Composable fun pluralStringResource(resource: PluralStringResource, quantity: Int): String {...} @Composable fun pluralStringResource(resource: PluralStringResource, quantity: Int, vararg formatArgs: Any): String {...}

For example:

Text(pluralStringResource(Res.string.new_message, 1, 1))
suspend fun getPluralString(resource: PluralStringResource, quantity: Int): String suspend fun getPluralString(resource: PluralStringResource, quantity: Int, vararg formatArgs: Any): String

For example:

coroutineScope.launch { val appName = getPluralString(Res.string.new_message, 1) }


Store custom fonts in the composeResources/font directory as *.ttf or *.otf files.

To load a font as a Font type, use the Font() function:

@Composable fun Font( resource: FontResource, weight: FontWeight = FontWeight.Normal, style: FontStyle = FontStyle.Normal ): Font

For example:

val fontAwesome = FontFamily(Font(Res.font.font_awesome))

Raw files

To load any raw file as a byte array, use the Res.readBytes(path) function:

suspend fun readBytes(path: String): ByteArray

You can place raw files in the composeResources/files directory and create any hierarchy inside it.

For example, to access raw files, use the following code:

var bytes by remember { mutableStateOf(ByteArray(0)) } LaunchedEffect(Unit) { bytes = Res.readFileBytes("files/myDir/someFile.bin") } Text(bytes.decodeToString())
coroutineScope.launch { val bytes = Res.readFileBytes("files/myDir/someFile.bin") }

Remote files

Only files that are part of the application are considered resources.

You can also load remote files from the internet using their URL. To load remote files, use special libraries:

Accessing resources from external libraries

If you want to make Compose Multiplatform resources available to other libraries used in your project, you can call the Res.getUri() function with the general path of the resource:

val uri = Res.getUri("files/my_video.mp4")

The uri variable will contain the precise platform-specific path to the file that the path points to. External libraries can use that path to access the file in a manner that suits them.


Starting with Compose Multiplatform 1.6.10, all necessary resources are included in the publication maven artifacts.

To enable this functionality, your project needs to use Kotlin 2.0.0 or newer and Gradle 7.6 or newer.

What's next?

Check out the official demo project that shows how resources can be handled in a Compose Multiplatform project targeting iOS, Android, and desktop.

Last modified: 27 May 2024