I am working with SharePoint 2010. I am looking for creating a custom menu that could be placed on Master page of my site collection. Could you please give me a start on this. I don't want to use existing menus on default master page. I would rather like to have my own master page with my custom menu links with sub menus.

A basic idea would be that I will have a XML file with menu items defined I want to give liberty to the user to make changes to XML file somehow that add/edit or remove the links. Also I want the menu to be user role based (Items could be disabled for unauthorized users).

3 Answers 3


There's lots of different solutions to this.

I suggest you take a look at Sahil Malik's codeplex project: SharePoint Cross Site Collection Security Trimmed Navigation which does a lot of what you're looking for. You will need to do some modifications to accomplish your goals though.

  • that's indeed a good tool. But afaik this does not replace the top navigation/quicklaunch? Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 11:30
  • Not "OOTB", no.
    – tarjeieo
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 11:42
  • but you can hide default navigation layout in master Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 12:07
  • ofcourse you can... But i think its a bad thing to do. Make sure SharePoint still stays SharePoint. Customizing SharePoint is no problem, just make sure you're not removing the great features it has, else you can create asp mvc sites. Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 12:36

I have answered this question over here: Global Navigation stored anywhere?

What we do for this, is creating a new Navigation Datasource for this. In our example we have a MSSQL database representing our navigation (with ofcourse a caching mechanism). But you could use your own data storage with this custom navigation datasource...

Its to much info to just explain this here. But you can use these links for information:


http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms432695(v=office.12).aspx (=for quicklaunch, but it can be addapted for top nav)



if you use SharePoint 2010 server you can activate publishing feature. In this case you will see "navigation" link in look and feel section of site settings. If you clicks to this link you are redirected to the page that has powerfull UI to doing things that you describet above.

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  • He wants to avoid the default navigation (atleast that's what he is saying). To do so, Publishing features is not going to change anything... Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 10:30
  • the user to make changes to XML file somehow that add/edit or remove the links. Also I want the menu to be user role based (Items could be disabled for unauthorized users). as I understand it is main point of the question. Publishing feature provides these funtionality in simple way,
    – Alexander
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 10:34
  • Also I want the menu to be user role based (Items could be disabled for unauthorized users). Goodluck with that... If you include cross-sitecollection navigation items, sharepoint does not automaticly check trim for security. Ofcourse you can edit the navigation using the UI. And if this is enough for the TS, i'm happy for him. But considering his requirements, I'd go for custom dev since he wants users to edit the menu items, use security trimming and replace the original navigation... Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 10:38
  • @FrederikP. you can configure audience for each links separated, see the screenshot. it does not matter what links you are specifying.
    – Alexander
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 10:45
  • Thats not what I mean. Security trimming in Sharepoing: If user A has no permissions to view site 1, he will not see it in the navigation. What you say is correct. Using audiences you can tell: "Group x should be able to see this navigation item". But that has nothing to do with whether Group x realy has permissions to view this site. What I am talking about is real security trimming, where the navigation menu is "user" dependend for each navigation item. I've implemented that at several customers, and they all like it :D Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 10:47

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