You are here: Home Plone Book Navigation on a Plone site

Navigation on a Plone Site

by Olha Pelishok last modified 2010-05-18

This article applies to: Plone 3.0, Plone 2.5, Plone 2.1

Plone possesses several ways of organizing navigation on the site. These are:

  1. Navigation Tabs
  2. Breadcrumbs
  3. Navigation Tree (left portlet)



1. Navigation Tabs

Navigation Tabs can be organized automatically basing on the folders that exist in the root of your Plone site.


In Site Setup -> Navigation Settings

: tick a box Automatically generate tabs and all the published folders that are there in the root will be displayed in Navigation tabs (like in a picture above).



If you remove that tick only one tab Home will be there:



You can customize navigation tabs the way you want. There is a possibility to add, remove tabs, change their order, but to fulfil any of these tasks you have to install a Quintagroup's product - Plone tabs

to the site.


2. Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs - are little lines, that also show where you are on site. Sometimes it's the easiest way to see where you are (if navigation tree is done so that it doesn't display all the levels).


3. Navigation Tree

Navigation tree can be configured at:

  • Plone 2.x - Site Setup -> Navigation Settings,
  • Plone 3.0.x - Site Setup -> Navigation and Manage Portlets -> Navigation Portlet.
Navigation tree displays different content types of different workflow states that are on site. You can select those content types that should be shown in the navigation tree (Displayed content types) and of what workflow state (Filter on workflow state




Besides, you can give a title to the navigaiton portlet. It is called Navigation

by default, but you can enter your own title in the corresponding box:

Navigation tree can display all the documents that are on site. If you want only the contents of the current folder to be displayed in the navigation tree - tick the box.


There are two sections in Navigation Settings (Plone 2.x) / Navigation Portlet

(Plone 3.0.x) that are responsible for navigation tree look. These are:

  • Navigation tree start level (SL)
  • Navigation tree depth (TD)

Navigation settings allows you to make different combinations of what navigation tree displays: whether these are all folders or just those, of the exact level.



Imagine we have a usual Plone site that  consists of several folders and subfolders. The structure of the site looks approximately like this:





  • Folder1 Level2
    • Folder1 Level3
    • Folder2 Level3
  • Folder2 Level2
    • Folder3 Level3
    • Folder4 Level3

Let's discuss several possible variants of Navigation on this Plone site.

  • All the folders of all higher levels are displayed (SL=0, TD=0):


If you don't want folders of higher levels are displayed when you are inside one of them, increase Start Level number to what you need. The higher this number is, the less amount of levels are shown.:

  • SL=1, TD=0:
  • SL=2, TD=0:

You can also control the tree depth: the bigger number you put the bigger amount of levels will be displayed beginning with the highest one:

  • SL=0, TD=1,2:


  • SL=0, TD=3:
  • SL=0, TD=4:
Document Actions

Navigation tab and Members folder

Avatar Posted by Fabien at 2008-11-11

Hi, first of all thanks for the info. I have an issue with the navigation portlet on Plone 3. Everything works fine as long as the folder I wish to expand is located at the root of the website; at this level I can create subfolders and see the corresponding levels in the navigation tree. However when I go in the Members folder nothing happens. The navigation portlet stands still as if I was still at the root of my site. This is pretty annoying as I would like to use my site to share users' documents and use the navigation portlet to browse its contents which will mostly be located in this folder. Can anybody help me with this please, Thank you in advance. Fabien.

Re: Navigation tab and Members folder

Avatar Posted by Olha Pelishok at 2008-11-11

Hello Fabien, I'm trying to reproduce your issue: You have one folder (let's call it Example Folder) with several subfolders in the root of your site. You also have Members folder in the site root. Is it right?

As far as I understood, the problem is that you need to have Example Folder be displayed in the navigation tree when you are in the Members folder (you need to have Example Folder be displayed the navigation tree no matter where on site you are), don't you?

For that: go to Manage portlets at the site root and open Navigation portlet settings make sure values for Navigation tree depth = 0, and Start level = 0 * save changes

Now you will have navigation tree, displaying site root objects be displayed everywhere on your site.

Hope it will help you. Olha.

prescribe settings in theme package

Avatar Posted by Peter Dyson at 2009-07-02
Is it possible to set these parameters you have described above in a theme product or as part of buildout? I would like to use the navigation portlet instead of the global_sections bar.
Many thanks,

Changing the item's order

Avatar Posted by MCube78 at 2011-06-22
Hi -- thank you for the really helpful post! Is it possible (in Plone 4) to change the order in which the folders appear in the navigation tree?



Re: Changing the item's order

Avatar Posted by Olha Pelishok at 2011-06-22
Hi MCube,

yes, it is possible to change order of folders in the navigation. For this - go to folder_contents view and move folders up/down to make them in the order you need.


Powered by Plone