Navigation: Menus, Crumbtrails, and Sitemap

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2021
documentation for the dotCMS Content Management System

dotCMS includes several helpful features and tools for building an automated menu navigation system:

Show on Menu propertyEnables you to simply and automatically choose which files and folders to display in navigation menus.
Menu LinksEnables you to add menu links to pages and content in a different location (either on your own dotCMS instance or another site).
NavToolA Velocity viewtool which allows you to use Velocity code to create your own custom navigation, including menus and crumbtrails with your own styling and choice of which folders, files, and menu links to display.
XML SitemapCreates an XML Sitemap that can be build and submitted to search engines on a schedule.

Show on Menu Property

All files and folders in dotCMS include a Show on Menu property. When this option is selected for any page, file, or folder, that item will automatically be displayed in your navigation (both menus and crumbtrails) built using the NavTool.

By default, new pages, files and folders do not have the Show on Menu property set, and will not be displayed in your navigation. To display any new item in your navigation, you must explicitly set the property.


  • The Show on Menu property is displayed when viewing Page properties, not when viewing the Page editor.
  • The Show on Menu property is displayed on the Advanced tab for Page Assets, and on the Metadata tab for File Assets, when editing the item properties.
    • If you do not see the property when editing the properties of an item, check the additional tabs for the item.

Customizing Navigation

Templates and pages in the dotCMS starter site use the NavTool to display menus based on the Show on Menu property and Menu Links features. If you wish to customize the look and feel of your own navigation menus, you can use the starter site templates and examples in the NavTool documentation to build your own custom navigation.

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