How to Create Your Own Topical Chain Reference in PocketBible

Posted on: November 1st, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 14 Comments

Topical chains are references that take you to the next verse in a topic. They are great for personal study, devotions, sermon prep, and for teaching or preaching. You can easily create your own topical chain reference in PocketBible. It can be as simple or detailed as you want: anything from a few verses and topics to a complete topical chain reference study Bible.


PocketBible’s bookmarking feature is one I’ve used for years to aid in memorizing scripture. I now have my entire family’s memory list on my Android. Each person’s list is under their own name (as a category). The ability to maintain multiple bookmark lists is perfect for creating your own topical chain reference list.

Simply select a verse in PocketBible and place the bookmark. Create a new or choose an existing category (or topic) to place the bookmark in and you’re done. Easy. There is no limit to the number of bookmark categories you can create or the number of verses you can have in each category.

Verse Links

The next step on the list is creating your own links. To do this you will use the note feature. Select the verse you want to use in your chain reference and type the reference in a note on that verse. The reference becomes a clickable link. You can create a link to just the next verse or you can include the previous verse if you want your chain to go backwards as well as forwards. For multiple topics or to show more detail, write the topic name along with the reference. An alternative is to copy and paste the verse into the note and then place the reference with the portion of the verse you want it to refer to. Go to each verse in your bookmarks and create your links. (Note: verse reference links can’t be created in the Windows Phone/Windows Store versions of PocketBible at this time but is on our request for consideration in updates to these versions).


Another option is to use the highlighting feature. Each highlight can represent a topic (highlights can be renamed if you have the Advanced Feature Set for the version of PocketBible you are using). There are 19 different highlights which include 16 colors and 3 types of underlining. You can use highlighting as the primary topic and write the names of the subtopics in the notes. Select the verse you want to highlight, and then choose your highlight color.

Reading by Topic

To read the verses in the topics/category, simply review the list of verses you’ve bookmarked or highlighted. Any verse links you have added will show up in the notes attached to the verses in your list. This makes it easy to look through and read every single topic and chain reference in your lists.


One of my favorite topics is the Scriptures themselves. I’ve created a chain that I call The Word of God. My list is not exhaustive, but the beauty of using PocketBible is that you can add to your list as much as you want. Here is the list of verses that appear in my bookmark category, The Word of God:

Psalms 119:11, Psalms 119:16, Psalms 119:89, Psalms 119:103, Psalms 119:105, Psalms 119:130, Proverbs 6:23, Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 5:18, Matthew 24:35, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:25, 1 Peter 2:2, 2 Peter 1:21, 2 Peter 3:15-16

As I come across verses that speak to me about God’s Word I simply add it to the list. I have color-coded these verses green because that’s the color I use for the Scriptures.

Where do you get the verses for the chains?

My favorite place to get the verses is from my own reading. As I come across a verse that I want in a topical list I simply place it there. Another option is to use other Bibles as resources. I do this when I’m studying from Bibles that contain topical lists or chain references. Another choice is using PocketBible for word-searches.

Have you created your own topical chain references in PocketBible? Do you use another feature not included here?

This article is a guest post by Randy Brown, a long-time PocketBible user and owner of the Bible Buying Guide blog.

NOTE: Some of the features mentioned in this article are only available with purchase of the Advanced Features Set for PocketBible. Advanced Feature sets vary and are sold separately for each version of PocketBible.

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14 Responses

  1. Kevin Thornsberry says:

    In your example, you show the “Scripture” Bookmark and indicate in your text that you have bookmarked some passages. I have only been able to bookmark single verses. How do you bookmark 2 Pet 3:15-16 other than bookmarking the two verses seperately?

    Same question regarding highlighting. Even when I use a passage action to highlight a passage, only the first verse gets highlighted.

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Kevin, with the iOS version of PocketBible, you can’t bookmark multiple verses at once. You should be able to highlight a passage in the iOS version – choose Passage Action, set the start and end of the passage and then tap on Select Passage Action | Highlight Passage. If you continue to have trouble doing this, let us know.


      • Dave Densmore says:

        Actually, you can, although it’s not intuitive.

        After holding on the verse and getting the menu, instead of choosing “HIghlight 2 Pet 3:15” go down to “Copy Passage 2Pet 3:15…”. It will then allow you to pick an end verse, then “Select Passage Action”, one of which is to highlight.

        Not exactly straight forward or obvious, but doable.

  2. Tim Ooyman says:

    I’m intrigued by the author’s recommendation but I’m not familiar with the names and aspects used. I have been an avid user for over a decade but don’t know about this. Is it an operating system difference?

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Tim, the author is using PocketBible on an Android device. What device are you using PocketBible on and is it the topical chain part you are not understanding or something else?


  3. Wayne Bird says:

    Like Tim, I too have been an avid user for over a decade but don’t know about the Advanced Feature Set for the ability to rename highlight colors. I’m using Windows Mobile on my PocketPC 2003SE. Please tell me about this.

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Wayne, we don’t have Advanced Feature sets available for all versions of PocketBible. Unfortunately, you are using one of the versions which does not have an Advanced Feature Set.


    • Craig Rairdin says:

      “I’m using Windows Mobile on my PocketPC 2003SE”

      We won’t be doing any further development for Windows Mobile. Microsoft has abandoned the platform, as have all but one of its users. 🙂

  4. Simon Baker says:

    Hi Using win 8.1 and advanced features but the clickable links dont appear as far as i can see. However I can set them up on my Android phone and they sync accross nicely. Thanks…be lovely to have them on Win 8.1 when you have a spare two minutes (only joking..)

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Simon, that is on our request list and I’ll add your vote to that.


      • Ronnie says:

        Michelle, please add the chain reference feature for us win 8.1 users!!! I’ve been a pocketbible user for ever and use it for studying, witnessing, teaching, and preaching! Having the chain reference feature in win 8.1 will make my work for the Lord better organized. In fact, go ahead and include all of the left-off features for win 8.1 so that we can stop feeling like forgotten orphans. Pocketbible is an awesome product. I can’t tell you the number of people I have gotten to download it. Thanks!!!

        • Michelle Stramel says:

          Ronnie, it is definitely on the request list for consideration. We strive to have feature parity on all versions but sometimes it takes time. We are constantly working to enhance PocketBible on each platform.

          Thank you for telling others about PocketBible. We appreciate that!


  5. Steve Harvey says:

    Michelle, add my vote, too, to that list of Win8 update. I love Pocket Bible, and was sad when I had to go through the quiet years while waiting to take my PDA to my smart phone.

    Thanks for a great product.

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