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Getting around with multilevel menus

From: Drupal 6 Essential Training

Video: Getting around with multilevel menus

They say that well organized person can be comfortable anywhere, even in hell. Along those lines a well-planned menu system makes a world of difference to the comfort of your site's visitors. Drupal comes with three built-in menus and allows you to create new ones. We will show you how. To change your menus, go up to Administer and Menus. As I mentioned Drupal comes with three menus built-in, Navigation that is the menu along this left hand side, Primary links which is the menu up here and Secondary links, which is another level that goes right near the Primary menus.

Getting around with multilevel menus

They say that well organized person can be comfortable anywhere, even in hell. Along those lines a well-planned menu system makes a world of difference to the comfort of your site's visitors. Drupal comes with three built-in menus and allows you to create new ones. We will show you how. To change your menus, go up to Administer and Menus. As I mentioned Drupal comes with three menus built-in, Navigation that is the menu along this left hand side, Primary links which is the menu up here and Secondary links, which is another level that goes right near the Primary menus.

Menu links only appear if you have permissions to use the links. For example here is the Administrative user; we see this link called Administer. However the ordinary user fishyjoe does not. We can take a look at that by switching to Firefox where we have fishyjoe logged in. To change the programs we hold down the Command key and hit Tab on the Mac and you see there is no Administrative menu here. We will switch back to your Administrator now. Let us take a look at how these Menus are constructed by clicking on the Navigation link here. As you can see it is a hierarchical menu. So for example we have a link for Blogs and then inside it My blog. Now that particular link is disabled. We will be enabling it later, so you can see how that affects the Menus.

You can move these items around, so for example right now we have Feed aggregator underneath Create content, but let us see want to put it top. We will go down and find Feed aggregator, there it is and grab the little arrow icon and drag it above Create content like so. That little asterisk tells you that it would not take effect until you hit Save. We do that by going to the bottom of the page and clicking Save Configuration. There, now you see exactly as we expected Feed aggregator is above Create content, but what about the Blogs item here. We click on enabled if you we want to turn it on and scroll down to the bottom and save one more time. And now we see Blogs up here. You will notice that Blogs is different from My Account because has this little turned down triangle next to it. What that means as when you click on Blogs you can see an item underneath it.

But what if you always want to see that item underneath it? Let us go back to Administer and Menus and Navigation to affect that menu. This item here Expanded means it will always appear open so you can see its child items. We will click on Expanded, scroll to the bottom again and click Save Configuration. There now no matter where we are in the Menu we see My Blog underneath Blogs. Let us go and edit that menu item by clicking on edit under Operations. As it happens Blogs is one of the menu items that is built-in and in fact all of the items under Navigation are built-in since we have not added any of our own custom menu items. You can also tell a built-in item because you cannot change the path. It is hard coded in to Drupal.

However you can change other item such as its weight that is to say, where it appears in the hierarchy whether the top or bottom. Its description, which is text that appears when you hover over the link, and some other things, again Enabled and Expanded. You can also change its Parent item. If for example we wanted to put Blogs underneath My account, we would click on this drop-down menu, go down to My account and click on Save. We do not actually want to do that. So we are going to change that back to Navigation and click Save. While we have this hierarchical structure in the navigation menu we do not actually have the same thing in our Primary links.

Let us take a look at that. We will do that by going back to Administer Menus or just this little shortcut here Menus, then click on Primary links. Here we see the two items that we added earlier. Let us say that we wanted Contact us to be underneath About Us. What we would do as with other screens in Drupal where you can drag and move things about is grab that arrow icon move it inward a little bit, so it creates a hierarchy. Click on Save configuration and because we do not have a hierarchy in the Primary links, it simply disappears. You cannot reach it. We are going to move it back out again, so you can see it. The changes that you make here will affect all users.

So let us switch again to fishyjoe and take a look at what his menus look like. To do so we reload the page by going back to the Home Page and you could see now he has Blogs and My blog and of course clicking on those take you to the places that you expect. Let us switch back to the Administrative interface again. There is another place that you can enter items to put into Menus and that is when you create content. I will show you how to do that. Click on Create content and then let us say, a Blog entry. You have the Title and Blog post categories. Let us just create a very simple thing here. My thought about the recent election and we will have that under Lifestyle. And we would enter in the body whatever it is that we are going to enter there. But first let us take a look at Menu settings. We want this to be in a menu that is up at the top. That is why I think it is very important that is goes up here, but instead of being at the same level as Primary Menus we want it in the Secondary links.

So we will change this Parent item to secondary links and let us say election thoughts. We will leave the Weight alone for now. Go down to the bottom and click Save. Now we have our Election thoughts link right up here and clicking on it goes to the page as we expected to. I am going to go back and edit that up. We can edit any menu item by going back to Administer and Menus. That one since it is in the Secondary links will be under here and then of course it is easy to edit or delete by clicking there.

As with everything else on Drupal it asks us to confirm before we delete. We say, yes and as you notice it is gone. There is one another thing to cover. In Administer and Menus and that is this little tag up here, Settings. As you can see it is a very short page and the second two items Primary links and Secondary links here are usually not changed because of course you want Primary links to go to Primary links and not Secondary links or Navigation unless you are doing some custom theming. However this first one is the place that the Menu will automatically go unless you change it when you create new content and decide that you want to put it into a Menu. I will show you that by going Secondary links and Save configuration and then Create content again, Blog and Menu settings. See now the default is Secondary links. Menus are especially helpful when you are building authoritative content driven sites when you want specific content very accessible to members in a Menu.

Menus are great for helping things on your site stand out, but as with all neat toys in Drupal be careful not go overboard. If you put too many menu choices on your site they all blend into a gray mass and nothing stands out, but with restraint a few judiciously placed menus make important information and your site much more accessible.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6 Essential Training
Drupal 6 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 31588 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 4m 38s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the example files
      3m 48s
  2. 28m 55s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 32s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 35s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 39s
  3. 11m 28s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 20s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 8s
  4. 34m 35s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 2s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 37s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 52s
  5. 25m 37s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 52s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 19s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 7s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 37s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 21s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 26s
  7. 35m 8s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 58s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 49s
  8. 19m 19s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 13s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 35s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 52s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 50s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 49s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 50s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 45s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 41s
    4. Managing comments
      9m 37s
  12. 38m 5s
    1. Configuring your theme
      11m 27s
    2. Changing your theme's graphics
      4m 59s
    3. Finding and installing a new theme
      8m 56s
    4. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 56s
    5. Deciphering CSS files
      6m 47s
  13. 22m 41s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 53s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 30s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 50s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 12s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 11s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 54s
    3. Stopping spam using a CAPTCHA
      10m 43s
    4. Using a WYSIWYG text editor
      5m 24s
  15. 22m 18s
    1. Getting around with multilevel menus
      7m 26s
    2. Building custom menus
      5m 42s
    3. Creating easy-to-navigate books
      9m 10s
  16. 20m 19s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 44s
  17. 10m 15s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 52s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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