Customize the default page layout for guides

LibGuides offers two basic layouts for guide pages: tabbed navigation and side navigation. This not only determines where on the page the navigation menu appears, but it also determines the column layout of your pages. See the panels below for examples.

Each system has two default templates, one for tabbed navigation and one for side navigation. You can create customized templates, but please note:

  • If you do not have LibGuides CMS, you are limited to the two system default templates. You can customize each, but cannot create additional customized templates.
  • If you have LibGuides CMS, you can create as many custom templates as you'd like. These will exist in addition to the system default templates.

For guides using a tabbed navigation template, the page navigation menu appears as tabs at the top of the page. Each page of the guide can be laid out with 1 to 4 content columns, with a full-width box at both the top and bottom of the page. The example below shows a tabbed navigation guide with a full-width top box, followed by two content columns.

Example of a tabbed navigation guide

For guides using a side navigation template, pages are divided into two columns: the first contains the navigation menu (which can also contain content boxes), and the second is a larger column containing the page content. The example below illustrates the general organization and column layout, with the navigation column at the default width of 25% and the content column at the default width of 75%. You'll also notice that there is a content box just below the side-navigation menu.

Example of a side navigation guide


Choosing a default layout

By default, users are given the option to choose which template they would like to apply to their guides. Admin users have the ability to choose which layout (tabbed or side navigation) is applied by default, and can even force all guides in the system to use the same template. This can help ensure more a consistent layout and navigation between guides, which can improve the overall user experience of your LibGuides site. 

  1. Go to Admin > Look & Feel.
  2. Click on the Page Layout tab and select Guide from the dropdown.
  3. In the Layout Options for Guides panel, select the default layout for your guides.
    • The Allow guide owner to choose template option lets you set either the system default tabbed or side navigation template as the default for new guides, but allow guide owners to choose a different template if they'd like.
    • If you select a specific template from the dropdown, then this will force all new and existing guides to use that template.
    • If you have LibGuides CMS, please note that groups have their own separate Look & Feel settings. As a result, the system-level default layout will be overridden by each group's own settings.
  4. Click the Save button.

Important note about switching between tabbed and side navigation

When forcing guides to use a specific layout, whether its tabbed or side navigation, please note that boxes on guides previously using the other layout may need reordered. For example:

  • If you switch from a tabbed navigation template to a side navigation template, boxes will all be placed in a single column.
  • If you switch from a side navigation template with one column to a tabbed navigation template with multiple columns, boxes will all be placed in Column 1.

In both examples, guide owners should review their guides and reorder boxes as necessary so that the content is organized as intended.

Selecting System Settings from the Admin menu

Selecting Guide from the Page Layout dropdown

Saving the default layout for guides

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