Contentful provides a powerful mechanism to link to other entries, accessible on the UI trough the Reference field widget. Such field works perfectly for most of the cases, however, there are a few situations we may prefer a more minimalist widget, like when referencing to a less dynamic and populated content model. Let’s imagine that we have a content model Channel that is used to identify contents that are used in a website, mobile application, etc..

So, instead of using the Reference field and having to click and select from the modal the desired channel we can have instead a simple dropdown (select) or radio buttons, but maintaining the same reference data.

Installation (UI - using this repo)

The UI Extension can be installed manually from the Contentful UI following the below steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Extensions
  2. Click on “Add extension > Install from Github”
  3. Use in the URL
  4. On the extension settings screen change Hosting to Self-hosted using the URL


  1. Add a new Reference (One Reference) field to your content model, it can be localized.
  2. On validations ensure that Accept only specified entry type is selected and only one content type is selected.
  3. On the Appearance tab ensure that Simple Reference is selected, and on display option, we define the field we want to show in the dropdown/radios.


When creating/editing an entry where the field is defined it will display the references:

Dropdown Options

Dropdown Selected

If instead of Dropdown we select Radios it will display as:

Radio Buttons

The field saved data is the same as the default Reference widget, e.g.:

  "fields": {
    "title": {
      "en-US": "Test Page"
    "slug": {
      "en-US": "test-page"
    "channel": {
      "en-US": {
        "sys": {
          "type": "Link",
          "linkType": "Entry",
          "id": "fs0arvLf9GqSIOJklSwnF"

Download and installation instructions on github