Using the Built-In Navigation Gadget

posted Jun 10, 2009, 4:52 AM by Brian Johnson   [ updated Sep 4, 2010, 7:29 PM ]

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Google Sites provides a built-in navigation gadget that can be used in the sidebar of your site.  It has very basic functionality, but provides the ability to add an expandable/collapsible hierarchical navigation structure.  To make use of this feature, follow the steps below.

To access the navigation gadget, simply log into your site and select the edit sidebar link that is located at the bottom of your sidebar.  If your site is not displaying the sidebar, follow these steps:
  1. Log into your site
  2. Select Manage Site from the More Actions menu
  3. Select Site Layout tab from the left-side menu
Once on the Page Layout screen, you will see something similar to the image below.  Locate and click the edit link under the Navigation gadget.  If the Navigation gadget does not appear in the list of items under the Sidebar, click Add a sidebar item to add it.

Clicking the edit link will bring up the window for managing your site's navigation, including the expandable hierarchical structure.  This window will appear similar to the following image:


The Title section of the Configure Navigation window is designed to allow you to place a title at the top of your Navigation gadget when displayed in the sidebar.  Removing the check from the box next to Display Title will prevent a title from displaying, regardless of what is typed in the Title box above.

Auto Navigation

Placing a check in the box next to Automatically Organize my Navigation will enable Google Sites to automatically build your navigation structure.  New pages will be added to your site's navigation in alphabetical order, and will appear in the same hierarchical structure as they exist in your site. 

You have the ability to limit how many hierarchical levels of your site will be included in the auto-navigation by selecting one of the options in the Show <all> Levels of Pages section.

Removing the check from the box next to Automatically Organize my Navigation will return your site to the manual method for managing your site's navigagion.

The list of pages that are displayed under the Pages section includes only pages that are currently displayed in the Navigation section of your site's sidebar.  To add links/pages to this section, click the Add Item link at the bottom of the Configure Navigation window.  By default, new items added will appear at the bottom of the list of pages.

To organize the order of page links in your Navigation gadget, simply select the page you wish to move and click the appropriate Up or Down arrow until the page appears where you  want it.

Once you have organized your pages into the desired hierarchical order, you can use the Left and Right arrows to create an expandable/collapsible menu.

As of the July 29, 2009 release of Google Sites, you can add external links to your Navigation gadget.  This is accomplished by selecting the Add URL link near the bottom-right corner of Configure Navigation screen.  Once added, external links can be edited by double-clicking on the entry in the list of Pages on the Configure Navigation screen.

Have a question, but don't know where to start?  Check out the Google Sites FAQ!