Bootstrap Navigation for Office 365 & SharePoint 2013 using jQuery and REST


In my last post I talked about making the SharePoint navigation render in a Bootstrap friendly way. I suggested that you could do this by changing the markup of the navigation using an ASP:Repeater to display the nodes. This works great if you’re on an on-prem environment but on Office 365 you cannot use this method because the masterpage cannot contain code blocks. If you haven’t read that it might be worth taking a look at – Bootstrap Responsive Navigation in SharePoint .

This post will demonstrate an Office 365 safe version that use JavaScript, jQuery, and REST to retrieve the navigation from SharePoint’s navigation provider. Once we have that we’ll render that out to the screen client side. With this approach we can use the out of the box Managed Meta Data navigation provider for the navigation, and we can control the exact rendering so that it fits Bootstrap’s model for a navigation bar.

The code can be downloaded directly from my git-hub account –

Getting Started

It’s very simple to get started you only need to do a few things.

  1. Add the link to the topNavigation.js in your SharePoint masterpage

  1. In the Master Page, add the container below where the navigation will be pushed into. You will need to determine where you want the navigation to go, I’ll have a full example at the very end.

  1. Switch the SharePoint Navigation to use the Managed Meta Data Navigation
    1. In Site Settings
    2. Look and Feel -> Navigation

Once you complete those steps you’ll have your navigation displayed in that container.

Other Details

Changing Rendering

The rendering of the menu is defined in the renderNavigationNodes function. This is currently the format the Bootstrap likes. If you visit the Bootstrap website and take a look at the first example

The red box is exactly what the code is injecting. So you would wrap all that however you want it to appear. Follow the examples there are plenty out there.

2 Level Flyouts

Currently this supports only 2 levels, a top level and 1 flyout. This is just what Bootstrap v3.3.5 supports and that’s what I’m sticking with currently. If you want more levels then it’s up to you to figure that part out. It can be done and there are other 3rd parties implementing 3rd or 4th level flyouts after the fact. The code is recursive and will support as many levels as you have, you just need to handle the front end portion.

The REST Call

The query that I am using can be seen below. The /web/navigation/topbar endpoint – flat out sucks. It won’t show if a node is hidden and it didn’t behave. This is the only one I could get to work reliably.

Changing Target Container

If you want to change where the navigation goes, instead of “#my-top-navigation” then you can edit the topNavigation.js file and at the bottom change the selector to another ID preferably.

Sample Files

I have a few more sample files that might be of use to look at.

Base.css – Sample CSS file (helps with some Bootstrap/SharePoint resets)

Bootstrap.Master – Sample masterpage used in this example. In this sample I create my own header and not s4-titlerow. Using this html structure you’ll get the collapsible navigation that is popular on most web sites.


The whole goal of this script was to have a way for an Office 365 site to use the Bootstrap navigation. Although there are still limitations it’s doable. And you don’t even necessarily need to touch the master page. You could attach the scripts and css via other methods which I won’t go in to. So if you’re an Office 365 purist who doesn’t want to customize the master page you would want to take an approach to this. I hope this helps someone out there. If there are problems with the script you can report the issues through the github page.


Bootstrap Responsive Navigation in SharePoint


Many of my most recent branding projects have all been responsive. Clients are building sites that they want to work on desktops, tablets, & phones. If you’ve ever tried to deal with this request and SharePoint is your platform then you know what a handful this can be. For all my responsive branding projects I always go to Bootstrap. If you don’t know what that is then this article is not for you. We will not going into the details of implementing Bootstrap or the issues / fixes to do that.  If you’re looking for cookie cutter bootstrap in SharePoint then I recommend that you check out Responsive SharePoint.

This article we will simply focus on the navigation. We will be replicating the standard out of the box (OOTB) SharePoint navigation and formatting it in a way that works with Bootstrap 3.0. I’ll provide you with the code snippet and an explanation of how to implement, and what is happening. It should leave you with the functionality of the Bootstrap’s collapsible navigation.

Our main problems with the SharePoint navigation are:

    • SharePoint out of the box navigation is NOT responsive
    • SharePoint out of the box navigation doesn’t work well with touch enabled devices
      • It has hover actions on the navigation, and hover doesn’t work on touch devices



The following need to be reference in your site.

  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap 3.0
  • On-Prem SharePoint environment w/ access to the Masterpage
    • You can see the references these in my master page

SORRY SharePoint Onliner’s and O365’s – this won’t work b/c you can’t use code blocks in the MasterPage


The Navigation Code

You can view the html markup that Bootstrap requires in order to work properly – . The OOTB SharePoint navigation does its own thing so it would never work with Bootstrap. In this approach we’ll use the SharePoint top navigation provider but we’ll create our own navigation markup using asp repeaters. The following code will only work for 2 levels deep, it could be modified to work on X number of levels. You would just have to keep nesting repeaters. I am using ASP repeaters in the master page with no code behind in this approach. If you wanted to you could write a user control and simplify what goes into the master page but for me no C# code means less things that could break. There is one minor issue with this approach – see the Known Issues section.

Download Snippet Here

1 <nav class=”navbar navbar-default s4-notdlg noindex s4-noindex”> 2 <div class=”container”> 3 <!– Brand and toggle get grouped for better mobile display –> 4 <div class=”navbar-header”> 5 <button type=”button” class=”navbar-toggle collapsed” data-toggle=”collapse” data-target=”#bs-example-navbar-collapse-1″ aria-expanded=”false”> 6 <span class=”sr-only”>Toggle navigation</span> 7 <span class=”icon-bar”></span> 8 <span class=”icon-bar”></span> 9 <span class=”icon-bar”></span> 10 </button> 11 <SharePoint:SPLinkButton runat=”server” NavigateUrl=”~sitecollection/” ID=”onetidProjectPropertyTitleGraphic” CssClass=”navbar-brand”> 12 <SharePoint:SiteLogoImage name=”onetidHeadbnnr0″ ID=”onetidHeadbnnr2″ LogoImageUrl=”images/logo.png” runat=”server”></SharePoint:SiteLogoImage> 13 </SharePoint:SPLinkButton> 14 </div> 15 16 <div class=”collapse navbar-collapse” id=”bs-example-navbar-collapse-1″> 17 18 <asp:Repeater runat=”server” ID=”TopNavMenu” DataSourceID=”topSiteMap”> 19 <HeaderTemplate> 20 <ul class=”nav navbar-nav navbar-right”> 21 </HeaderTemplate> 22 <ItemTemplate> 23 <li runat=”server” class=”root-node”> 24 <a href=”<%# Eval(“Url”) %>“> 25 <%# Eval(Title) %> 26 </a> 27 </li> 28 <asp:Repeater runat=”server” ID=”FirstLevelNodes” DataSource=”<%# ((SiteMapNode)Container.DataItem).ChildNodes %>”> 29 <ItemTemplate> 30 <!– if has children –> 31 <li runat=”server” visible=”<%# ((SiteMapNode) Container.DataItem).ChildNodes.Count > 0 %>” data-node-count=”<%# ((SiteMapNode)((RepeaterItem)Container.Parent.Parent).DataItem).ChildNodes.Count %>” data-node-index=”<%# Container.ItemIndex %>” class='<%# Container.ItemIndex == ((SiteMapNode)((RepeaterItem)Container.Parent.Parent).DataItem).ChildNodes.Count-1 ? “dropdown last-node nav-node” : (Container.ItemIndex == 0 ? “dropdown first-node nav-node” : “dropdown nav-node”) %>‘> 32 <a href=”<%# Eval(“Url”) %>” class=”dropdown-toggle” data-toggle=”dropdown” role=”button” aria-expanded=”false”> 33 <%# Eval(Title) %> 34 <span class=”caret”></span> 35 </a> 36 <asp:Repeater runat=”server” ID=”ChildMenuRepeater” DataSource=”<%# ((SiteMapNode)Container.DataItem).ChildNodes %>”> 37 <HeaderTemplate> 38 <ul class=”dropdown-menu” role=”menu”> 39 </HeaderTemplate> 40 <ItemTemplate> 41 <li data-node-index=”<%# Container.ItemIndex %>” class=’nav-node’> 42 <a href=”<%# Eval(“Url”) %>“> 43 <%# Eval(Title) %> 44 </a> 45 </li> 46 </ItemTemplate> 47 <FooterTemplate></ul></FooterTemplate> 48 </asp:Repeater> 49 </li> 50 <!– if has zero children –> 51 <li runat=”server” visible=”<%# ((SiteMapNode) Container.DataItem).ChildNodes.Count <= 0 %>” data-node-count=”<%# ((SiteMapNode)((RepeaterItem)Container.Parent.Parent).DataItem).ChildNodes.Count %>” data-node-index=”<%# Container.ItemIndex %>” class='<%# Container.ItemIndex == ((SiteMapNode)((RepeaterItem)Container.Parent.Parent).DataItem).ChildNodes.Count-1 ? “last-node nav-node” : (Container.ItemIndex == 0 ? “first-node nav-node” : “nav-node”) %>‘ > 52 <a href=”<%# Eval(“Url”) %>“> 53 <%# Eval(Title) %> 54 </a> 55 </li> 56 </ItemTemplate> 57 </asp:Repeater> 58 </ItemTemplate> 59 <FooterTemplate> 60 </ul> 61 </FooterTemplate> 62 </asp:Repeater> 63 64 </div> 65 <!– /.navbar-collapse –> 66 67 </div> 68 <!– end container –> 69 </nav> 70 <!– end nav-bar –>

Take a look at how this renders, much better.


And when the screen hits the break point. It collapses and you have the mobile friendly menu. The break point is set in the bootstrap CSS (I believe it is 768px). The menu below is also


And the drop down


The Code Explained

You can skip this part if you don’t care what the code snippet actually does. I’ll break it down into parts to help you understand so you can make changes to it.

1) It’s up to you to determine where you are going to put the navigation inside your masterpage

In my particular case below I’ve created my own custom header where I put the navbar. I then turn the visibility off on the PlaceHolderTopNavBar (line 543)


2) Looking at just the very high level bootstrap nav html


3) The Root Level Repeater

The first level I consider the root level. It contains the root navigation node typically “Home”. Below is the best representation of how the data comes back from the topSiteMap navigation provider. Each color is a level. The children of “Home” are the main level. This is similar to the OOTB, you might have seen the first node that isn’t in the navigation provider but just shows up anyway.

nav123 nav1234

Now for the root level. In this screen shot you can see I render the root node then have a second repeater for its children nodes. The html is fairly simple for the first node and gets more involved for the next level.


4) The First Level Repeater

This level gets a bit more interesting because now we have two different classifications of nav nodes, with children and without children. We have to handle each a slight bit different and I’ll explain. If you have children we need to specify a different class to have a drop down. Next it needs a nested repeater to handle the next level (2nd level). If there are no children we can simply just render the navigation node just as we did with the root level. I use the ChildNodes.Count to determine which to hide or show. You might notice that the

  • ’s, line 487 & 507, have some other attributes like data-node-count and data-node-index and are REALLY long.  I’ll explain that in the next section.


4a) First Level

  • ’s

Let’s examine the first

  • the one with children. They are both the same except for the visible attr. We are going to focus on the following attributes, data-node-count, data-node-index, & class.

data-node-count – is not needed, but this will tell you how many sibling nodes are detected. I used this to help generate the if statements for class.

data-node-index – is not needed, but this will tell you the index of the node in amongst it’s current siblings. I used this to help generate the if statements for class.


class – this is basically a fancy edition I added which provides a first-node and last-node class. Again you’ll notice this one has “dropdown” in the class, the other

  • won’t because it doesn’t have children and doesn’t need a drop down.
    • The first node of a set will have the class=“dropdown first-node nav-node”
    • The middle nodes would have the class=”dropdown nav-node”
    • The last node would have the class=”dropdown last-node nav-node”
1 class=’<%# Container.ItemIndex == ((SiteMapNode)((RepeaterItem)Container.Parent.Parent).DataItem).ChildNodes.Count1 ? dropdown last-node nav-node : (Container.ItemIndex == 0 ? dropdown first-node nav-node : dropdown nav-node) %>‘>

5) The Second Level Repeater

The second level repeater code gets a little simpler. This is our last level and we don’t consider if the node has children or not. We just render the value of the node and leave it at that. If you wanted to go 3, 4 or 5 levels essentially it’s just copy what we’ve already done but I wouldn’t go more than 2 levels. Bootstrap 3.0 removed  support for multilevel dropdowns, citing usability issues as the cause.  You would be on your own if you decided to go for more levels. There are 3rd party plugins available to assist Bootstrap 3.0 with multi levels.


Known Issues

You expected everything to work beautifully, I know! But there is always a gotcha! when it comes to SharePoint.

The only issue with this method is that you loose the selected state of the navigation. This is easily over come with supplemental jQuery. You’re only other alternative is to convert this all to a user control (like I mentioned way earlier) and then in code what page you are on and add a class. I don’t have the reference to this method – but I’m looking. To be posted later.

Here is my jQuery work around – for highlighting the navigation for a selected node.

Download Script Here

1 $(document).ready(function() { 2 var nav = $(.nav); 3 if (nav == null || typeof (nav) == undefined) return; 4 5 /* Match navigation on current page */ 6 var url = window.location.href.toLowerCase(); 7 var decUrl = decodeURI(url); 8 nav.find(li > a).each(function () { 9 10 var href = $(this).attr(href).toLowerCase(); 11 var decHref = decodeURI(href); 12 13 if (decUrl.indexOf(decHref) != 1) { 14 $(this).addClass(active); 15 return false; 16 } 17 }); 18 });


That explains how I was able to utilize the SharePoint out of the box top navigation provider and build a new menu with ASP repeaters to behave responsively and work with Bootstrap 3.0. This is a simple enhancement that I’ve been re-using on many on of my On-Prem responsive projects. Unfortunately this doesn’t not work for SharePoint Online or O365 as the Masterpage does not allow code blocks. I’m curious if that’s with only editing pages by SharePoint designer, but what about deployed through wsp. . I hope to uncover an answer either way. Thanks for reading!

OOTB Navigation fix to support IPad & I-Devices

I was recently asked to get the navigation to work on a tablet. Well part of the problem is the there is really no such thing as a Hover on those devices. Once you touch the screen it’s considered a click.

After browsing around the internet I found this article which contains somewhat of a fix for navigation menus. It basically explained to me that I can attach to a ‘touchstart’ and ‘touchend’ event. Expanding on that idea, I created a small jQuery snippet which works for the SharePoint OOTB navigation which will allow the user to use the navigation on their IPad, IPhone, or IPod. I will be working on support for other touchscreen devices in the near future.
Heres the code.. make sure you have the base jQuery library on your page.


if((navigator.userAgent.match(/iPhone/i)) || (navigator.userAgent.match(/iPod/i)) || (navigator.userAgent.match(/iPad/i))) {

 $(".s4-tn .menu-horizontal ul.root li.dynamic-children a.dynamic-children").bind('touchstart',function(e){

  var position = $(this).next().position();

  if(eval(position.left < -1))
   var location = $(this).attr("href");
   window.location = location;



This will allow you to touch once to open a menu item that has children. Touching that menu item again would navigate to that node.

This has worked pretty well for me. If you decide to try it out let me know if you encounter any issues.

SharePoint Access on your DROID – or other android phone

So you want to try to get your on your DROID? Well there is now some good news. Previously you might have been unable to authenticate to your SharePoint portal. This is because the browsers provided did not support the NTLM authentication schema.

FireFox 4 Beta which is now available for the Android platform supports NTLM authentication. So now you can access your SharePoint site!

Get the beta: