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Navigation, Managed Metadata Enhancements in SharePoint 2013

In SharePoint 2013, site navigation can be driven by Managed Metadata (Term Sets). This is a fantastic improvement over how navigation was controlled in the previous versions of SharePoint. Here are a few features of Term Set based navigation:
1. SEO optimizations.
2. User Friendly URL’s.
3. Custom Properties for each term & Term-Driven pages.
4. CSOM Enabled.
To setup the navigation using Term set, follow the steps outlined below:
1. When you create a site collection, a Term Set called “Site Navigation” will be created for you. This Term Set will be used to drive the navigation if you choose to.
2. Go to the Site Settings-> Navigation

1. Select the option Managed Navigation in the Global Navigation section.

2. Select the term set that you want to use for the Global Navigation

3. Click on Ok.

Setting up the individual terms
Each term in the navigation Term Set needs to be configured. Let’s start with the Term Set node, in this case its “Site Navigation”
Different options to configure:
General: Provides the same options as SharePoint 2010.

    • Name
    • Description
    • Owner
    • Contact
    • Stakeholders
    • Submission Policy

Intended Use: This option defines the way this Term Set will be used. The options are pretty straightforward.
Select the 2nd option to allow the Term Set to be selected for navigation.
Custom Sort: Lets the user define the sort mechanism. Either the user can define it or it will sort automatically.
Translation: The Term Sets can now be translated in two ways:

  1. Create Translation Package: Creating a translation package and sending to professional translators.
    • Set the target language
    • Click on continue
      • This creates a XLIFF (XML localization Interchange File Format) file. This file format is standard format used by professionals. More information on the format:

    Here is how it looks:


    • To add a translated value, add a new tag “target” under the “source” tag and add the translation for the term defined in the source.
    • Once all the terms are translated, go to the term in Term Store Management Tool,
      • Click on the Term Set
      • Click on Translation
      • Click on Browse and select the file.
      • Click on Import.
      • Once the page refreshes, select the new language and you will see the translated term set.

2. Machine Translation: Now in SharePoint 2013, you can use a feature called SharePoint Translation Service which will send the term set out to Bing, translate the terms and import the translations. One of my future posts will cover the steps needed to set up the Translation Service.
Custom Properties: This is very interesting addition. SharePoint 2013 will now allow you to add custom properties to each Term. Properties are key/value pairs of information
When you select a Term Set node, you can only add properties which are shared across all the terms in the term set.
When you select a Term, you can add shared as well as local properties for the Term. The local properties as the name suggests are available only to the term and are not shared.
Term Set Option:
Term Options:
Note: There are Topic Related Web Parts which allow the user to easily render these values on a Term Driven Page.
Other enhancements:
1. SEO Optimizations: SharePoint 2013 allows you to modify the Title, Meta-Keywords and Meta-Descriptions for each link. This enables you to control how the search engines will view your pages.
2. User Friendly Url’s: No more /Pages/MyPage.aspx. In Wave 15 you can assign friendly URL’s to the pages. For example, if in SharePoint 2010, a page is named Department.aspx then to go to that page, the user would have to type In SharePoint 2013, you can associate the navigation term for that page with a user-friendly name. E.g.
3. Custom Properties for each Term: In SharePoint 2013 you can associate custom properties to each term in your Term Set. This way you could store any metadata with each of the terms which could then be used at runtime to drive additional logic.
4. Defining Term Driven pages. – Auto Creation of layouts based on the data published by Catalogs (covered in a later post).

Thoughts on “Navigation, Managed Metadata Enhancements in SharePoint 2013”

  1. Pingback: Machine Translations (for Term Sets) in SharePoint 2013 | Microsoft Enterprise Technologies

  2. Pingback: SharePoint Life » Blog Archive » Machine Translations (for Term Sets) in SharePoint 2013

  3. Hi !
    Thanks for this article.
    I have a question. Can you please clarify the use of custom properties of the terms? I mean where and how will we use these properties.

  4. Amol Ajgaonkar

    Add custom properties on the navigation terms that could:
    1. Act as javascript parameters for analytics tools that are spit out on the page by a custom control.
    2. Act as parameters to change the rendering of a menu driven by managed navigation stored as custom properties. Mega Menu?
    Does that help ?

  5. Thanks Amol. That helps. However, would like to see an example somewhere. Everyone talks about the properties – but no one has an example or demo for its application.
    However, based on your ideas I can give myself a try. Thanks again.

  6. Pingback: Managed metadata navigation settings in SharePoint 2013 using Powershell | Radu Tut

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Amol Ajgaonkar

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