Introducing the new and improved navigation bar

We are very, very excited to announce your new and improved navigation bar. I’ll dive into the details in a second, but here are the three big reasons we think you’re going to be as excited as we are:

  1. You can sort your pages by tag into collapsible folders.
  2. You can drag and drop to rearrange pages — instead of editing the navigation bar or adding links by hand.
  3. All those pages you’ve flagged as Favorites are conveniently listed in your navigation bar.

The new navigation bar is simpler and friendlier, and it is going to give you a whole new way to keep an eye on what’s happening in your wiki, without any tricky setup. Here’s what it’s going to look like:

Which wikis get the new navigation bar?
If you’ve ever edited the navigation bar on your wiki, you won’t see any changes and you won’t lose any of your hard work. But if you’ve never edited the navigation bar, or if you’re creating a new wiki, you will see the new navigation bar by default.

How do I use it?
If you are the organizer of a wiki, you can rearrange that wiki’s navigation bar.

Your Navigation Options will let you decide which categories your navigation bar shows: just pages with a certain tag, or All pages in the wiki. Pages will be listed in the order they were created or in the order the tag was applied. But you can easily rearrange the order of pages or tags by simply dragging them to where you want them to be. You don’t have to hit edit, you don’t have to save. Just make the changes, and every visitor to your wiki will see the navigation bar the way it should be.

If you’re visiting a wiki but you’re not the organizer, you still have some options for customizing the navigation bar. All the various folders can be expanded or collapsed, depending on which pages you need to access easily. Whenever you add a navigation bar tag to a page, it will be automatically added to the navigation bar. And any of the pages you flag as Favorites will appear at the top of the navigation bar every time you visit the wiki.

I’m still not sure the default navigation bar works for me
Not to worry. The new navigation bar gives you more freedom, not less. You can still edit your navigation bar like any page in your wiki (our navigation bar help page can give you some pointers. And if you find yourself feeling nostalgic for the old alphabetized list of pages, you can do that too:

  1. On the side bar, under the list of pages, click the edit navigation link.
  2. Delete anything that you may have added to your navigation bar.
  3. Click the Widget button in the toolbar.
  4. From the Widget menu, select List of Wiki Pages.
  5. If you want the home page to appear at the top of the list, check the Move Home Page to Top box. If you want the home page to appear alphabetically in the “H” position, leave the box unchecked.
  6. By default, we will list up to ten pages. You can change this number if you would like to list more (or fewer) pages.
  7. Click Embed Page List.
  8. Hit Save.

I’ve customized my navigation bar in the past, but I want to give the new one a try
That’s also easy:

  1. On the side bar, under the list of pages, click the edit navigation link.
  2. Delete anything that you may have added to your navigation bar.
  3. Click the Widget button in the toolbar.
  4. From the Widget menu, select Insert Navigation Widget.
  5. Click Insert Navigation Widget.
  6. Hit Save.

We hope you enjoy the new navigation bar! If you have any questions or comments, shoot us an email at help@wikispaces.com.

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14 Comments

  1. Anne CRoft
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    That’s great Brilliant. Really useful.
    Wish I could format the background page colour?

  2. Glenn Cogar
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I like the new navigation bar widget :)

  3. Rune K. Jensen
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    I like that the navigation bar is getting some improvements, but in its current state, it is quite unusable, since some of the options are obscured. Even in your screenshots, you have a boxes going over the edges and arrows being cut in half. This kind of glitches ruins the look and the overall experience of your site, and I will have to turn it off from our site.

    I hope you continue working on this widget and will make it work with your standard layouts/themes without graphical glitches. I am sorry to say, but as it is now, it seems very much half finished.

    That’s my 2 cents :) Thanks for a great wiki-site, though ;)

    -Rune

  4. Posted April 6, 2011 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    @Rune Thanks for the feedback. The arrow is a known problem that we’re fixing (luckily only seen by wiki organizers). I’m not sure what you mean by boxes going over the edge? The screenshot demonstrating dragging has this, but it’s because the box is being dragged. If you can point us to your wiki we’d be happy to take a look. Or email us an example at help@wikispaces.com. Thanks!

  5. Posted April 13, 2011 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! It was so hard editing the menu before and teachers were so frustrated with the static alphabetized listing. Great change.

  6. Posted April 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Very nice, James. This will make for a lot of happy wiki-ers. (Look THAT one up in yer ol’ Funk and Wagnall) :)

  7. heather bell
    Posted April 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    At last! Trying to explain how to make the nav panel look like it’s organised has been a nightmare in the past. I’m always being called in to fix the mess :)
    Now, I want to be able to put headings in the right places, and group pages under these. I get how to move the pages, but not how to put headings that are not pages where i want them.
    Great progress.
    Heather

  8. diane foose
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to try it. I just created a new wiki and needed to be able to show 30 pages in the navigation. I thought I would need 3 separate wikis. Glad to hear the maximum of 10 will no longer restrict us. Thank you.

  9. Steve Weatherell
    Posted April 28, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Today I checked out the Navigation widget, added it and then removed it. A couple of hours later a member of the wiki who is not an organiser succeeded in editing my customised navigation. How can this be?

    Steve

  10. Posted April 29, 2011 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Hey Steve,

    Shoot us an email at help@wikispaces.com and we’ll try to figure out what’s going on there.

    Thanks!

  11. Posted April 29, 2011 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Heather, you can get some pointers on our navigation help page at http://help.wikispaces.com/Navigation+Bar. If you still have questions (or suggestions on what could be better), send us an email at help@wikispaces.com and we’ll see what we can do.

    Thanks!

  12. Posted May 4, 2011 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    I like the navigation bar. the only suggestion that i have is that the tag names should be a bigger than the name of the pages and maybe in another color, that way, it is visually easy to see the contents of the page. i think the tag names in the navigation bar should keep the capital letters that ones writes (it seems to me that even if I write the tag names with capital letters, all the tags are shown in lower case).

    the other thing that i would like to add is that when the tag name or the page name are long they go outside the navigation bar. it should be a way to see the long names in two lines rather than one long line that goes outside the bar.

    thank you.

  13. Posted May 4, 2011 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    @Paula – Glad you like the new navigation bar! Both points make sense to me. I’ll record them for future development.

  14. Posted May 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    For some reason I’m unable to drag and drop with my navigation bar. I can move things around but cannot stick pages into the correct folder. I want to have Teachers as the drop down collapsable header and things like English etc underneath it … hmmm … any assistance would be greatly appreciated :)

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