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I want to remove the default blog navigation which is categories and archives and just create custom links with the SP navigation feature in All Site Settings. The problem is that in blog sites, the left quick launch only shows up on list pages, not on blog pages. So is there an easy way to add the quick launch, perhaps with SP designer? Thanks!

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To offer an alternative, just use a Links list and put the Links web part on your page. You can remove the Category and Archive web parts if you want, and just have your custom links showing in the left-hand column.

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What you could probably do is open the blog page in sp designer and then remove the whole div element named something like PlaceHolderLeft. (I don't have access to Sharepoint right now)

When this element is on the page, the page will use the LeftNavBar and thereby quicklaunch from the masterpage. Otherwise the element on your page will overwrite the on in the master (even if the element is empty)

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