If you have a menu bar on your site that was built prior to June of 2013, you can switch to the Navigation Editor to create menus. This change is optional and should be held until after the school year ends — but it will really make updating your menu bar much easier. This topic will step you through the best practices for replacing your current menu bar with a new menu bar created using the Navigation Editor.
Before Changing to Navigation Editor
Before you begin, you need to understand an important distinction about existing menus:
- If your existing menu bar has been designed as simply folders with links to content on your site, you’re ready to use the Navigation Editor.
- If your district or school created any documents or groups inside the menu bar configuration instead of linking to the content on other areas of your site, you will first need to move the content to another folder in the Contents section of your website. For example, if you have a Forms option in your menu bar, and instead of links to PDF files, the actual files are saved inside the menu folder, you will need to move the associated files so that they are available in a folder within the Contents section. To learn more, see How to Move Content.
After all documents, groups, and any other content have been copied out of your existing menu bar configuration, you are ready to use the Navigation Editor.
Watch a Tutorial
Global Menu or Local Menu
As the school or district super user, you can create global main (top) and global side navigation, which means the navigation will be available throughout your website.
Teachers and other group super users will be able to create their own side navigation that is local to the specific pages they manage. These users will not require any extra design permissions to use this feature.
This topic focuses on the global menus for your entire website.
How to Copy the Active Design
First, copy your district or school’s active homepage design to ensure you save the original menu design properties saved.
- From the Tools menu on the homepage, select Manage Design.
- On the Default Designs tab, select the design that contains your current menu bar. In most cases, it will be the All Pages design.
What if I designed the menu bar in another page design?
The example in this procedure covers the All Pages design since most navigation menus are created in this design. If you do have a navigation menu in additional designs, such as an athletic group page with its own navigation or a library resource page with a different header, you will need to repeat these steps in those designs as well.
- Click the Copy/Move button.
- Type a name for the new design and then click OK.
- Select the design from the Default Design Library area, and then click Make Active.
- Select all the pages where you want to apply the design, and click OK.
- Select Include During Edit/Preview for the copied design, and clear that option for the original design.
- Click Apply Checks Above.
How to Update the Copied Design to Include the Navigation Editor Menu
After you create a menu using the Navigation Editor, it will not be design specific, and it will be live automatically. So you can change either the copy of your design or your original design to include the Navigation Editor menu.
- Select the copied design from the Active Default Designs list, and click Edit. The design will open in Site Designer.
- Click the Navigation icon from the toolbar.
- Use the Navigation Editor to create your new menu bar. The left pane contains a list of the content that resides on your website, which you can drag-and-drop to the right pane to create your site’s navigation for either a top or a side menu.
- If you want to create a “fly-out” item underneath a main category on your website, simply drag that item in the editor so that it is positioned underneath the main category.
- If the content from the Pages section contains additional sub-content (marked with a plus + sign), you can have the content set as sub-menus. Setting sub-menus is only available for folders and groups for the first two levels (not for third-level sub-menus). Click the Edit icon available on the specific item. Check the Dynamically add new content as sub-items? option. All the existing content from the Pages section for that folder or group will be listed underneath as sub-menus. Plus, any future content you create in that folder or group will be automatically added to that menu.
- In addition, you can edit the name of a links, or delete a link to remove it from the menu bar.
- You can also use spacers for better organization of menu items, or create a custom link to a different website or to another page within your district.
- When you are finished, click Save.
- Use Site Designer to update the colors and fonts of the navigation bar.
- Select either Global Main (Top) Navigation or Global Side Navigation when updating the properties.
- Review the design properties from the original menu bar for easier design entry.
How the Navigation Editor Appears in Manage Design/Site Designer
If your district or school does use the Navigation Editor to redesign either the top or side menu bars, the Site Designer feature will be updated to include the main navigation menu for the entire website (called Global Main (Top) Navigation or Global Side Navigation), and for the side menu on teachers’ class pages and other group pages (called Local Side Navigation). You will be able to update the colors, fonts, and other design elements of the navigation menus. Several changes have been included in the Sections and Boxes area of the Site Designer:
Wrapper — This section was previously called Header.
Header — Has been added as new section to hold the top navigation.
Left Column — Has been redesigned to include the Side Navigation and separate it from Other Left Content that appears in the column. No other design changes have been made; however, if you do have design assets, such as a header image, that you want ABOVE the new navigation, you will need to move that content in the Site Designer Properties dialog.
- Any design assets that you want above the Global Main (Top) Navigation (such as a header document or image), select that asset and click the Up Arrow () icon to move the asset above the navigation in the Header section.
If you do move an asset to another section and that asset relied on design properties from the previous section, you may need to update the design properties. For example, if you do move a header image from the Top section to the Header section, and the design properties were set in the Top section, that image or the Header section will now need to contain those design properties to retain the original display.
- Click Save on the Site Designer Properties dialog.
- On the webpage, hover over the area that contains the original menu bar, and click the Delete This Box icon to remove it.
- Save the changes and click Done when you are finished.
You can then test your new navigation bar on your website. If you encounter any issues, Blackboard suggests contacting the support team to review the issue. You can also reopen the Navigation Editor and click Clear All to remove the new navigation. Then, reset your original menu bar as the design.
After you have built your navigation menu using the new Navigation editor, you won’t have to reopen Manage Design whenever you need to make changes to your navigation. From the homepage, select Edit Navigation from the Tools menu.