Roadmap for managing navigation for a SharePoint site

You can customize the navigation for individual Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 sites or create a navigation structure that is shared across multiple sites in a site collection. How you choose to organize the navigational structure for your site depends on many factors such as the size of your site, and the needs of the people who will use it.

This roadmap is designed for individuals who are managing navigation for an Office SharePoint Server 2007 site but who are not IT professionals.

Note: To manage navigation for a SharePoint site, you must have the Full Control or Design permission level for the site. You have one of these permission levels if you can access the Sites Settings page for the site and you see the Navigation command under Look and Feel (on non-publishing sites, you will see the Quick Launch and Top link bar commands under Look and Feel instead of Navigation).

In this article

Concepts and planning

Configure and customize navigation settings

Customize the sites that appear in the Site Directory list

Advanced navigation customization

Concepts and planning

Before you customize the navigation for your site, it is a good idea to spend some time planning the navigation. You may want to think about how the site will be structured, the types of information or sites it will contain, and how users will need to interact with the site.

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Concept

Description

Introduction to site navigation

This article introduces the navigation controls available for an Office SharePoint Server 2007 site. It also explains how more advanced customization options are available for the sites in a site collection if the Office SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure is activated as a site collection feature.

Building Taxonomies

If you want to learn more about taxonomies, and how they can support information discovery and ultimately inform the navigation of your Web site, you might want to read this excerpt from the book Unlocking Knowledge Assets by Susan Conway and Char Sligar. In the book's sixth chapter, titled "Building Taxonomies," Conway and Sligar talk about the types of corporate taxonomies and their purposes. They also discuss what is involved in building and structuring taxonomies.

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Configure and customize navigation settings

There are several ways you can customize the navigation controls for your SharePoint sites. Before you customize the links on individual navigation controls such as the top link bar or the Quick Launch, you will probably want to configure navigation inheritance for the sites in your site collection. When you configure navigation inheritance, you specify whether subsites display the same navigation as their parent sites or whether they display navigation links relevant only to the current site and sites below it.

What do you want to explore?    

Task

Description

Configure navigation inheritance

This article explains the different ways you can configure navigation inheritance to create a shared navigation structure across sites and subsites within a site collection.

Customize the top link bar

This article explains how to add, remove, and change the links that display on the top link bar. It also explains how you can make subsites appear on drop-down menus from links in the top link bar if publishing is enabled for the sites in your site collection.

Customize navigation links on the Quick Launch

This article explains how to add, remove, and change the links that appear on the Quick Launch.

Show or hide tree view navigation for a site

The tree view is an extra navigation option that provides a hierarchical view of all sites, lists, and libraries on the site, including any sites below the current site level. You can display tree view navigation below the Quick Launch, or you can disable the Quick Launch and display tree view navigation instead of the Quick Launch.

Configure navigation items on the Site Navigation Settings page

If the publishing features in Office SharePoint Server 2007 are enabled for the sites in your site collection, you can use the Site Navigation Settings page to manage navigation for your site. You can use this page to configure navigation inheritance separately for the top link bar and the Quick Launch. You can use this page to specify whether to display subsites and pages in navigation. Finally, you can use this page to add, remove, or reorder links and headings for the top link bar and the Quick Launch.

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Customize the sites that appear in the Site Directory list

The Site Directory is a site for listing and categorizing important sites in your organization. The Site Directory includes different views for categorized sites, top sites, and a site map. A Site Directory is particularly useful for large portal sites because it can provide users with an additional way to navigate to sites and content. It is important to think about how you want site content to display in the Site Directory when you are planning the overall navigation for your site.

What do you want to explore?    

Task

Description

Manage sites from the Site Directory

This article explains the many site management tasks that you can perform directly from the Site Directory, including several with direct impact on navigation. You can add, rename, move, or delete links to sites.

Add or change categories in the Site Directory

To organize and display the sites in your Site Directory in meaningful ways, you can create categories in which to group the sites. As your portal site grows and your organization changes, you can change the categories in the Site Directory. You can change or delete the default categories in the Site Directory to suit your organizational structure or business processes.

Add Top Sites to the Site Directory

You can use the Top Sites section of the Site Directory to promote sites that are essential to your organization. Listing a site in the Top Sites section of the Site Directory does not change its actual location or category placement.

Find and delete broken links in the Site Directory

Over time, the Site Directory for your portal site might contain broken links because users have deleted sites. This article explains how you can easily identify these sites by running the Broken Link Checker.

Add a link to the Site Directory for an existing site

This article explains how you can manually add links to existing sites to the Site Directory.

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Advanced navigation customization

You can set up some advanced navigation customization options, such as audience targeted navigation links or the Table of Contents Web part, directly on your SharePoint site. To perform other advanced customizations, you may need to use a program such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, or you may need to enlist the assistance of a software developer or a Web developer who can write code to customize the navigation for your site.

What do you want to explore?    

Task

Description

Target content to specific audiences

This article explains how you can target different kinds of content on a SharePoint site to specific audiences. For information about how to target the links in your navigation, see "Target a navigation link to an audience" in the article. Audience targeting is available only if the publishing features for Office SharePoint Server 2007 are enabled for the sites in your site collection.

Use the Table of Contents Web Part to display navigation on a Web page

You can use the Table of Contents Web Part to automatically generate a site map that points to various parts of your site collection. When you add a Table of Contents Web Part to a page, you specify which part of your site collection the Web Part should generate links to, how the links are presented, and how the links are organized.

Get started with basic customizations

This article explores the ways you can customize a SharePoint site by using Office SharePoint Designer. For information specifically about customizing the navigation, see "Customize the top link bar" and "Customize the Quick Launch" in the article.

How to: customize navigation (programmatically)

This MSDN article is the introduction to a set of topics about customizing the navigation for a Office SharePoint Server 2007 site programmatically. It describes: how you can use the provider and data source APIs to customize the structure and behavior of vertical and horizontal menus; how to replace the default navigation provider included in Office SharePoint Server 2007 with your own custom provider; and how to configure multiple navigation providers for a site.

Note: You may need assistance from a software developer to customize navigation this way.

Add flyout menus to the Quick Launch

This blog post from the Office SharePoint Server 2007 product group shows you how to customize the Quick Launch to display several levels of data in a dynamic way. It also shows you how to use this customized menu for quick access to all views within a list without consuming space on the Quick Launch.

Note: You may need assistance from a software developer or a Web developer to customize navigation this way.

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