At present, I have a UI for selecting a particular bible passage in an application like so:

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The user selects a passage by selecting the book from a combobox, and then writing the chapter-verse combination textbox. However, users have pointed out (rightly so) that this is clunky, and it'd be quicker just to write the book name along with the verse, perhaps with some form of tab completion.

Problem is, I'd still like to have the "discoverability" of the combobox for those users that aren't so sure what they're looking for, and I'm loathe to provide two separate options of UI for accomplishing the same thing.

Is there a particular design that would work well in this case?

1 Answer 1


A true "combobox" is a select list that allows text entry. In very simple terms, imagine a text box with a menu arrow to the right. When that box gains focus, the cursor is positioned for entry and a menu drops.

As with all web controls these days, more elaborate solutions exist that will accomplish essentially the same thing.

Simple combobox

  • Thanks for the suggestion - I would just do this, but I need the chapter-verse to be typed in as well. While this solves the problem of the user typing in the book name, it would seem clunky (to me anyway) for them to have to type in "Genesis 1:5-7" in the field that just selects the book.
    – berry120
    Nov 18, 2015 at 0:03
  • That should dynamically populate based on the book chosen, right? So a user has to select the book first. Just allow them to return or tab over the reference entry field. Nov 18, 2015 at 0:07
  • Have you ever tried BibleGateway's Android app (not sure about the iOS version)? It uses a pretty smooth three column spinner. It's the best UI for this that I've come across. Might be good inspiration for your project. Nov 18, 2015 at 0:09
  • I haven't actually - I will give that a look! Thanks very much for the help.
    – berry120
    Nov 18, 2015 at 0:20
  • Glad to help. Good luck with the app! I would love to work on something like that :-) Nov 18, 2015 at 0:29

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