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No Shortcuts? No Problem: Customize the Navigation Pane in NAV 2013 and Beyond

When I first met NAV years ago, it was the 2009 Classic client version. It had a way of simultaneously overwhelming and impressing me with all its functionality.

While being trained on how to use it my saving grace was the ability to create “bookmarks” within the system. It gave me a one-stop shop for the functions I would need to use the most. There, I could add items, create folders (“Groups”), and rename the shortcuts to my heart’s content:

NAV 2009 Classic Client Shortcuts

It saved me from having to remember where things “lived” in the MenuSuite of NAV and from clicking through and expanding every single group within each module.  It was a great system – that is until a coworker asked “Where can I find that on my system?”

Shortcuts in NAV Classic vs. RTC

Many clients that upgrade from the NAV Classic client to the Role-Tailored world will immediately wonder where the shortcuts are in the new versions. The bad news is that shortcuts, in the traditional sense, are no more. However, lucky for us – there are more effective alternatives available.

There may be five stages of grief, but thankfully it’s possible to get over “NAV Shortcut withdrawal” pretty easily. The first step is to customize the navigation pane for your lists.

Below, I’ll walk through how to add and remove lists, add custom lists, and finally, how to save filtered views in your navigation pane.

customize navigation pane in Dynamics NAV

Set up the Home Navigation Pane

While they do look a lot alike, the new-and-improved navigation pane of RTC (pictured in red below) is not the same as the classic MenuSuite (pictured in blue below).

Navigation comparision NAV Classic and RTC

As part of NAV’s evolution the RTC navigation pane has become a browser of lists – a term which has a very specific meaning in the NAV world. List pages in NAV are these things:

List pages in Dynamics NAV RTC

Quite literally, they are the lists of records in a table that can be sorted, filtered, exported, etc. If you picture a filing cabinet, this would be the equivalent of what your drawer with all the folders in it would be.

A Note About Changes to Role Centers

The sky’s the limit with what you’d like to do with this, however just bear in mind that when you tweak the Role Center page, you make these functions available for all users that are connected to that Role Center.

Customize the Navigation Pane in NAV

On the Home tab of the Navigation Pane, you can right-click and go to “Customize Navigation Pane…”

Customize Navigation Pane in Dynamics NAV

Which allows you to “Add” or “Remove” list pages to your Navigation Pane. Which then, in turn, opens up the list page on the right pane.

What if the List/Page isn’t in the Add List pick-list?

Well, quite simply, you need to add it to the MenuSuite Object in the Development Environment.

To do that, open the Development Environment, then modify (or create a new) Company MenuSuite and click “Design:”

Modify or Create a New Company MenuSuite in NAV

On the left-hand side of the screen you should see what is essentially the Classic client MenuSuite:

MenuSuite in Dynamics NAV

Right-click the Design pane and Create Menu – I called mine “Custom Stuff”, but you can give it a more appropriate name.

In the top-left pane, where it says [Empty Menu], you can begin populating the lists you’d like to access. To do so, right click the [Empty Menu] area and select Create Item.

Choose the Object Type (Page), then use the Object ID lookup to find that Object in the database. After that, give it a meaningful Caption and add it to the Lists department. When you’re done, click OK.

Add Object to List in Dynamics NAV

After you’re done adding your “Custom Stuff” lists, you can press escape and click “Yes” when you get this friendly popup:

Save changes to MenuSuite in Navision

Close and re-open NAV and now you should be able to select your Custom List when customizing your Navigation Pane.

Custom List in Dynamics NAV Navigation Pane

Filtered Views in the NAV Navigation Pane

On top of all that, you can save filtered views of your lists! Say, for example, you needed to regularly access an Employee list, filtered for any name containing “Tim” and “Ann.” All you do is put your filters in:

Filtered list view in Dynamics NAV

And then Save the View:

Save or add view to Navigation pane

Then you’ll have it in your navigation pane to the left, nested under the originating list:

Saved View in Navision Navigation Pane

If you’re looking for additional ways to customize the navigation pane in NAV, you could try a multitude of filtered-list purposes: Purchase Invoices by geography/priority, “P+L” view of the Chart of Accounts, different streams of Sales Orders, etc.

Customize the Navigation Pane in NAV: Additional Reading

Taking the above steps to customize the navigation pane in NAV is sure to save you a ton of time and make your NAV experience much more friendly. When your’e done, have a read of another Catapult blog post: Customizing the Ribbon in Dynamics NAV!

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you have any trouble with the above steps or have any additional tips & tricks. We’d love to hear from you.

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