We have a need to take a navigation term (that has children) and pin it from the Site Collection into the Global Term Store. Then we have a separate Site Collection that will take the pinned term from the Global space and re-pin it into its own local term group. A pin of a pin if you will.

Essentially this does the following:

Site Collection A Local Term ==> Global Navigation Terms <== Site Collection B Local Term

This works fine except that the children terms are only displaying in navigation on Site Collection A and they do not appear in navigation on Site Collection B. Only the parent term seems to make it across.

I will note that Site Collection B is displaying the child nodes in the Term Store Management tool. Just not in navigation as you would expect.

Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


Radu Tut wrote the post Managed Metadata Navigation for Multiple Site Collections in SharePoint 2013, stating: "When you try to bind the same navigation term set to a new site, you will get a message that says the term set is already bound to a different site, and if you choose to proceed, the navigation settings for the other site will be broken."

I don't know if you got the error message in the first place, but there are ways to overcome this issue in two different ways, according to Mr Tut:

  • Create a new term set, and pin it to the source term set. The new term set is a copy of the source term set, and it can be used in a new site collection. ... However, if you have a lot of site collections, this can lead to a very large number of term groups and term sets in the term store.

  • Create a custom control (server-side), or a script (client-side JavaScript) that reads from a term set in the term store, and renders the navigation as you want it. You can find a sample for this here, and it also includes source code and explanation for it. if you are using this, you will have to recreate the Html and JavaScript for the navigation, that is by default rendered by the AspMenu control (this might become tricky if there are multiple dynamic levels for the navigation).

Depending on many site collections you will use, one option is better than the other. If you only have two site collections (however unlikely this may seem) I'd make a copy of the first term set. Slick, easy and fast but it will cost you later on in maintainability. Updating two (or more) different term sets for global navigation is never a good idea. Ask your customers how they want this executed, using the following slide:

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Still, using the second technique is expensive and custom made. When you have this working on twenty site collections this is great! The choice is yours! Do you want to develop a solution as in "Building global navigation in SharePoint 2013" or do you want to copy terms?

  • 2
    I'm not sure I agree with "The new term set is a copy of the source term set". Especially if the author is referring to PINING and not COPYING. If both PINING and COPYING actually copied term sets it would just be called COPYING, right? Regardless, we are already doing the suggestion from bullet one. The problem is that if you pin a term set from a pinned term set (not the source set), the children do not appear in navigation. They do appear in the Term Store Management tool but, it just isn't reflected in global navigation. Only the first pinned set appears correctly in nav. Aug 8, 2013 at 15:50

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