Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > Desire2Learn > Tools > More Tools > Navigation Bar

Navigation Bar

​​The navigation bar, or navbar, is the set of links that appears across the top of the course site. When the course site is created, the default DePaul navbar will be active.  Instructors may wish to create a custom navbar to give students access to other course tools if used frequently, particularly Quizzes, Groups, or Surveys. External websites can also be added to the navbar.

Note: It is highly recommended that new navbars be created by copying the default navbar rather than creating a new navbar from scratch. In addition, the Course Home and Edit Course links should be kept whenever possible.

Create a New Navbar

  1. Select Edit Course.
  2. Select Course Administration.
  3. Select Navigation & Themes
  4. The Navbar page will open. It displays a list of the navbars that are currently available for use.

    Note: If the Course Administration page is set to show tools by category  (the default), Navigation & Themes will be under the heading "Site Setup". If  the Course Administration page is set to view by name, then Navigation & Themes will be listed alphabetically.

  5. Select the drop-down arrow next to the Default Navbar [A].
  6. Select Copy [B].
    Visual depiction of what the dropdown menu looks like when copying a navbar.
  7. A new navbar titled "Default Navbar - Copy" will now appear in the navbar list.   
  8. Select Default Navbar - Copy to edit. 
  9. Enter a new navbar name.
  10. (Optional) Enter a description for the navbar.
  11. Note: Students do not see the navbar name or description. They are only for instructor reference.

  12. (Optional) Select Change Theme to select a new layout for the course navigation. The "DePaul University – Course Default" option is selected by default.
  13. Add, remove, or reorder the links that will appear in the new navbar using the instructions below.
  14. Select Save and Close when finished.
  15. Note: The new navbar will not appear at the top of the course site until the course is active. See instructions for setting the navbar as active on the next page.


Links to system tools, such as groups, surveys, self-assessments, quizzes, etc can be added to the course navbar.

Note: Adding a link to a tool normally in the More "link group" to the navbar will not remove it from the More link group. Removing it from this "link group" will require the creation of a new "link group" that does not include the link.

  1. Select Add Links .
  2. Select the box(es) for the tool(s) to be added to the navbar.
  3. Select Add
  4. The window will close, and the tools selected will be displayed in the Links area.

Delete Links in the Navbar

Note: Do not remove the Edit Course link from the navbar. Students will not see it, and it must be in the navbar to access course settings.

  1. Hold the cursor over the link to be deleted until “X” appears.
  2. Select X
  3. The link will be removed from the navbar.

Reorder Links in the Navbar

  1. Hold the cursor over the link to be reordered until the three-line symbol appears on the left side of the link. 
  2. The cursor will turn into the crosshair symbol. Hold down the left mouse button to select the link.
  3. Drag  the link to its new location. 
  4. A gray bar will appear that indicates where the link will be placed when dropped. Release the mouse button to drop the link in its new location.

Add Custom Links to the Navbar

Custom links can be created and added to the course navbar. Custom links can link to specific items in the course or external websites.

  1. Select Add Links.
  2. Select Create Custom Link
  3. Enter a name for the link in the name field.  This name will be the label for the link in the navbar.
  4. Enter location information for the custom link.
    • To link to an external website, copy the web address and paste it into the URL field.
    • To link to a specific item within the course, select Insert Quicklink. A list of course areas will open.  Select the specific area in which the item is located, then select the item to link.

Add a Link Group to the Navbar

A link group will display as a title and drop-down arrow in the navbar. When students click on the link, a drop-down menu will open that displays all of the links that were added to the group. (The More drop-down menu that appears in the default navbar is an example of a link group.)

  1. Select Edit Course.
  2. Select Course Administration.
  3. Select Navigation & Themes
  4. The Navbars tab will open. Select the Custom Links tab.
  5. Select Create Link Group.
  6. Enter a name for the link group. This is the text that will appear with the drop-down arrow in the navbar.
  7. Add the link(s) that will appear in link group drop-down menu:
    • Select Add Existing Link to select an area in the course.
    • Select Create Link to create a custom link to an item in the course or to an external page.
  8. Repeat step 4 until all links have been added to the group.
  9. Select Save.

  10. Note: To find the custom link group quickly, Select Custom Groups at the top of the Add Links window.


Set the New Navbar as Active

When all edits have been completed, the navbar must be set as active in the main Navbars page before students will see it in the course.

  1. Select the drop-down arrow to open the Active Navbar menu. 
  2. A list of all of available navbars will be displayed. Select the navbar to be made active.
  3. Select Apply.
  4. Note: After setting the navbar as active, any changes made to the navbar will be immediately visible to students.