- Updated the navigation code to detect in active -> Contribution by Olly in comments below.
Many of my most recent branding projects have all been responsive. Clients are building sites that they want to work on desktops, tablets, & phones. If you’ve ever tried to deal with this request and SharePoint is your platform then you know what a handful this can be. For all my responsive branding projects I always go to Bootstrap. If you don’t know what that is then this article is not for you. We will not going into the details of implementing Bootstrap or the issues / fixes to do that. If you’re looking for cookie cutter bootstrap in SharePoint then I recommend that you check out Responsive SharePoint.
This article we will simply focus on the navigation. We will be replicating the standard out of the box (OOTB) SharePoint navigation and formatting it in a way that works with Bootstrap 3.0. I’ll provide you with the code snippet and an explanation of how to implement, and what is happening. It should leave you with the functionality of the Bootstrap’s collapsible navigation.
Our main problems with the SharePoint navigation are:
- SharePoint out of the box navigation is NOT responsive
- SharePoint out of the box navigation doesn’t work well with touch enabled devices
- It has hover actions on the navigation, and hover doesn’t work on touch devices
The following need to be reference in your site.
- Bootstrap 3.0
- On-Prem SharePoint environment w/ access to the Masterpage
- You can see the references these in my master page
SORRY SharePoint Onliner’s and O365’s – this won’t work b/c you can’t use code blocks in the MasterPage
The Navigation Code
You can view the html markup that Bootstrap requires in order to work properly – http://getbootstrap.com/components/#navbar . The OOTB SharePoint navigation does its own thing so it would never work with Bootstrap. In this approach we’ll use the SharePoint top navigation provider but we’ll create our own navigation markup using asp repeaters. The following code will only work for 2 levels deep, it could be modified to work on X number of levels. You would just have to keep nesting repeaters. I am using ASP repeaters in the master page with no code behind in this approach. If you wanted to you could write a user control and simplify what goes into the master page but for me no C# code means less things that could break. There is one minor issue with this approach – see the Known Issues section.
Download Snippet Here
Take a look at how this renders, much better.
And when the screen hits the break point. It collapses and you have the mobile friendly menu. The break point is set in the bootstrap CSS (I believe it is 768px). The menu below is also
And the drop down
The Code Explained
You can skip this part if you don’t care what the code snippet actually does. I’ll break it down into parts to help you understand so you can make changes to it.
1) It’s up to you to determine where you are going to put the navigation inside your masterpage
In my particular case below I’ve created my own custom header where I put the navbar. I then turn the visibility off on the PlaceHolderTopNavBar (line 543)
2) Looking at just the very high level bootstrap nav html
3) The Root Level Repeater
The first level I consider the root level. It contains the root navigation node typically “Home”. Below is the best representation of how the data comes back from the topSiteMap navigation provider. Each color is a level. The children of “Home” are the main level. This is similar to the OOTB, you might have seen the first node that isn’t in the navigation provider but just shows up anyway.
Now for the root level. In this screen shot you can see I render the root node then have a second repeater for its children nodes. The html is fairly simple for the first node and gets more involved for the next level.
4) The First Level Repeater
This level gets a bit more interesting because now we have two different classifications of nav nodes, with children and without children. We have to handle each a slight bit different and I’ll explain. If you have children we need to specify a different class to have a drop down. Next it needs a nested repeater to handle the next level (2nd level). If there are no children we can simply just render the navigation node just as we did with the root level. I use the ChildNodes.Count to determine which to hide or show. You might notice that the
- li’s line 487 & 507, have some other attributes like data-node-count and data-node-index and are REALLY long. I’ll explain that in the next section.
4a) First Level
Let’s examine the first <li> the one with children. They are both the same except for the visible attr. We are going to focus on the following attributes, data-node-count, data-node-index, & class.
data-node-count – is not needed, but this will tell you how many sibling nodes are detected. I used this to help generate the if statements for class.
data-node-index – is not needed, but this will tell you the index of the node in amongst it’s current siblings. I used this to help generate the if statements for class.
class – this is basically a fancy edition I added which provides a first-node and last-node class. Again you’ll notice this one has “dropdown” in the class, the other
- won’t because it doesn’t have children and doesn’t need a drop down.
- The first node of a set will have the class=“dropdown first-node nav-node”
- The middle nodes would have the class=”dropdown nav-node”
- The last node would have the class=”dropdown last-node nav-node”
class='<%# Container.ItemIndex == ((SiteMapNode)((RepeaterItem)Container.Parent.Parent).DataItem).ChildNodes.Count–1 ? "dropdown last-node nav-node" : (Container.ItemIndex == 0 ? "dropdown first-node nav-node" : "dropdown nav-node") %>'>
5) The Second Level Repeater
The second level repeater code gets a little simpler. This is our last level and we don’t consider if the node has children or not. We just render the value of the node and leave it at that. If you wanted to go 3, 4 or 5 levels essentially it’s just copy what we’ve already done but I wouldn’t go more than 2 levels. Bootstrap 3.0 removed support for multilevel dropdowns, citing usability issues as the cause. You would be on your own if you decided to go for more levels. There are 3rd party plugins available to assist Bootstrap 3.0 with multi levels.
Thanks for sharing! It seems that your solution is not appicable for SharePoint 2016, right? I get the same message as O365 users will get: “Code block are not allowed”. Or did I miss something?!
code blocks are not allowed is really only when adding asp.net code into a masterpage. for on prem you are able to do that. do you have sharepoint publishing feature enabled?
Could you do something like this in SharePoint Online/365, but within a Content Editor web part instead of modding the .master file?
And then maybe just change the web part layout to include a header row with this in a CE web part at the very top.
Yes and No 🙂 . Do not use this method as described above as it involved restructuring the menu in the master page. I actually don’t recommend doing this anymore because if you deploy this via a wsp and decide later that you want to edit the master page with SharePoint Designer then you will get errors ‘Code Blocks not allowed in the Master Page’ .
You can directly attach CSS or JS to your web or site via the F-12 tool bar.
Many apologies for trolling an old post, but I was wondering if you still have the snippet available somewhere? I get a 404 from dropbox when I click on your link.
thanks for pointing that out. dropbox pulled public folders. I fixed the link in the article
Shared! Shared! This is AWESOME stuff man! Thank you!
Hi, this is an interesting solution. A few questions for you:
1. Is this a secure practice for a public facing site?
2. You mention a “known issues” section. What is the minor issue?
3. I tried this on our onprem farm and receive a message: “Code blocks are not allowed in this file”. Is there an easy fix?
1. what do you mean by secure? I wouldn’t think it’s not secure. It’s a standard asp.net control that is used to write data to the screen.
I tried placing this code directly into the HTML master page, but as you probably already know, it didn’t work. I received the message that something is requiring the page to be saved as an ASPX page. Should I be placing the code somewhere other than the HTML master page?
this was performed on in the .master file and not the .html->.master. If you are going to modify the .html that gets auto generated into the .master you need to follow there particular format. Actually just looking at the method here .. it’s not a good idea to use it for the .html->.master. Why, because there are many ASP.net tags throughout the article and those need to be set in a particular format the the .html->.master to work properly.
You would add the script something alongs the lines of this format
I tried this out but designer keeps saying “sharepoint:splinkbutton not permitted”
I tried both with the nav url property of site and sitecollection.
Not 100% you might be missing a reference that it needs. I typically replace the default snippet for the site logo with the SPLinkButton. You can delete those lines and replace it with the default code snippet which I included below.
Effectively you compare Request.RawUrl with the current link’s URL. If the two match, set class=active.
[code]class="<%# (Request.RawUrl.ToString().ToLower() == Eval("Url").ToString().ToLower()) ? "active" : "" %>"[/code]
For the top navigation, where you might want to highlight whether you’re in the current section, I did this, which compares the part of the URL between the first two ‘/’ characters:
[code]class="<%# (Request.RawUrl.ToString().ToLower().Split(‘/’) == Eval("Url").ToString().ToLower().Split(‘/’)) ? "active" : "" %>"[/code]
very cool – thanks for replying! i will include an update in the article.