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Cover image for How to create a beautiful multiselect using Contrast in React.

How to create a beautiful multiselect using Contrast in React.

Originally published at on ・3 min read

Multi-select is a form control, that after the click displays a collapsable list of multiple values. This is especially important in creating forms, menus or surveys. Multi-select enables you to use ↑ and ↓ arrow keys to navigate through options and use ↵ key to select required option.

We are going to look at how to create this multi-select drop-down with search today using a react library known as contrast.

Contrast also known as CDBReact is a react library which is an Elegant UI kit with full bootstrap support that has reusable components for building mobile-first, responsive websites, and web apps. To use multi-select drop-down with search you need to download the pro version here.


The multi-select drop-down with search would be built using React, Bootstrap, and CDBReact. You don’t need to have any previous knowledge of CDBReact but the following are necessary:

  • Basic React Knowledge
  • JavaScript knowledge
  • Basic Bootstrap knowledge
  • NPM installed

The multi-select we are going to create in this tutorial is going to look like this

Alt Text


First Check that you have node installed. To do this, run the following command in your terminal.


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This should show you the current version of node you have installed on your machine.
If you don’t have nodejs installed, download it here..
Installing node also installs npm on your PC but you can still confirm using npm-v. Now that we have node installed, we can start up our React project by going to the directory of our choice and running


npx create-react-app multiselect-app
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I named the project multiselect-app but you can use any name of your choice.

Install CDBReact

Now, we have to install CDBReact in our project
Run the following command to install CBDReact

npm install --save ./path-to-the-cdbreact-pro-tgz-file
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Or using Yarn

yarn add ./path-to-the-cdbreact-pro-tgz-file
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Note that we don’t need to install bootstrap or add it anywhere in our project as CDBReact does that for us upon installation.
multi select dropdown with search
we can now create a file named multiselect.js. This is where we are going to import the multi-select and container component. This is also where we will be writing our code.

Import the multi-select and container components from CDBReact


import React from "react";
import { CDBMultiselect, CDBContainer } from "cdbreact-pro";
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in the code below, we set up the features and styles for the multi-select.

export const Multiselect = () => {

// "showing" key:value pair optional
const option = [
      text: "Value 1",
      showing: true,
      text: "Second Value",
      showing: true,
      text: "Third Value",
      showing: true,
      text: "Final Value",
      showing: true,
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In the code below, we have the search prop included in which you can change if you wish.

return (
export default Multiselect;
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After you have styled and created the multiselect component. You can move to your app.js file and render the component on the App component.


import './App.css';
import Multiselect from './Multiselect';
import Reactdom from 'react-dom';

function App() {
  return (
      <div className="App">
       <Multiselect  />

Reactdom.render(<App />, document.getElementById('root'))
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The page we created should look like the image below

Alt Text

Now we have create the Multi-select dropdown with a search using contrast.


CDBReact Multiselect Docs

Link to code on github

Get Contrast Pro

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