Why won’t my site Quick Launch navigation accept relative URLs?

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

OK, so you’re trying to customize your site and then you try to add a relative URL to the Quick Launch menu. You start by going to Site Action/Site Settings and then under the Look and Feel section, you clicked the “Navigation” link.

Editing the navigation as in this screen shot, you clicked “Add Link”.

Now you try to add the relative URL as in this screen shot, but you get the error depicted. What gives?

Well, it’s quite simple really. The answer is that you’re editing a sub web of a Collaboration Portal. Collaboration Portal sub webs have different navigation functionality in the Quick Launch than normal Site Collection sub webs do. If we repeat the process, but this time on a Site Collection sub web instead, it would look like this…

We’d start off with Site Actions/Site Settings again, but this time in the Look and Feel section the link won’t be called “Navigation”, but rather “Quick Launch”.

Editing the menu you’ll see a much different interface:

And adding a relative URL is fully supported as can be seen here:

Of course, that leaves you begging the question, so how do I change one site for the other?

Actually, that’s easier than you may think, provided you have a top level site collection to house the sub web. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Save the sub web as a template.
  2. Download the .stp file from the Site Template Collection library.
  3. Navigate to the target site collection root site.
  4. Through SA/SS access the Site Template Collection library.
  5. Upload the .stp file to the library.
  6. Create a new sub web using the newly uploaded template.

That’s it. SharePoint will provide the new interface to the Quick Launch automatically which should allow you to create your relative links.



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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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