Track Back with Breadcrumbs in SharePoint 2010 - dummies

Track Back with Breadcrumbs in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 uses breadcrumb navigation to let users keep track of where they are. For those who remember the story of Hansel and Gretel, a breadcrumb is what you’d use to mark a trail back out of the deep, dark forest.

In website terms, breadcrumbs are site paths created to mark your progress as you navigate through the site — and they also show how to navigate back to where you started from. (Site-path breadcrumbs also have the advantage of not attracting forest animals that tend to gobble up real breadcrumb trails. Just ask Hansel and Gretel.)

Breadcrumbs in SharePoint look like this by default:

Team Site > Project Site > Shared Documents

In this example, you’re sitting in the Shared Documents document library. You can backtrack to the project site or team site simply by clicking the link to follow the breadcrumb.

The headings displayed in the breadcrumb come from the site’s title. You can change the heading by changing the site’s title using the Site Settings page.

SharePoint has two kinds of breadcrumbs:

  • Hierarchical Folder breadcrumb: Breadcrumb that appears at the very top of the page and looks like a folder. This breadcrumb allows you to navigate to higher levels of site collections and portals.

  • Site breadcrumb: Breadcrumb that appears in the site’s Ribbon that shows where you are in the present site.


You can expand a site collection’s global navigation by connecting the site collection to a higher-level site collection or portal site. This is useful if you need to attach a divisional site to a company portal. You must be a site collection administrator to perform this task.

To connect to a higher-level site, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the site collection’s top-level site by clicking the farthest left link (usually Home) in the global navigation breadcrumb.

  2. Choose Site Actions→Site Settings→Modify All Site Settings.

    In a Web Part page, choose Site Actions→Site Settings.

    The Site Settings page appears.

  3. Click the Portal Site Connection link in the Site Collection Administration section.

    The Portal Site Connection page appears.

  4. Select the Connect to Portal Site radio button.

  5. Type or paste the URL for the portal or site collection in the Portal Web Address field.

    For example, if the URL for the server you wish to connect to is http://intranet, type that value.

  6. Type the name you want to appear in the global navigation breadcrumb in the Portal Name field.

    The name you type doesn’t have to match the name of the portal or site collection. For example, you could type Corporate Home instead of the actual name given to the top-level portal. The portal appears in the hierarchical folder.


  7. Click OK.

You can use the Portal Site Connection feature to create a hierarchy of site collections and portals. This feature isn’t limited to SharePoint Server 2010, so you could connect SharePoint Foundation 2010 sites.