Managed Metadata Navigation In SharePoint Using Terms And Termsets

The managed navigation feature in SharePoint enables one to create navigation in a publishing site based on the managed metadata. In Share Point 2010, navigation could be created only based on site structure, however Share Point 2013 facilitates creation of navigation based around the important business logics created as terms in a term store. Another useful feature is the association of friendly URLs while creating navigation terms. In 2010, all publishing site URLs pointed to the pages library say: http/siteURL/pages/Contact.aspx. However, with managed metadata (term sets), search engine optimized, site visitor friendly URLs can be created.  (http/siteURL/Contact.aspx).

Let’s see how to create managed navigation using term store (managed metadata).

  • Go to site settings,

    Site Settings  

  • Click look and feel section and click navigation; however, I can’t see the navigation option there.


This is because the publishing feature is not enabled for the site. In order for navigation to appear, we have to enable the SharePoint Server publishing feature from Site Settings -> Site Collection Administration -> Site Collection Features ->SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure.

Site Settings

Now, the navigation option will come up in the look and feel section.

Look and Feel Section

  • Click navigation.


  • Here, you can configure

    • Global Navigation - top of the page navigation
    • Current Navigation - side of the page navigation

    For each navigation, we can chose to go with managed navigation (using terms from the term store) or structural navigation (using site structure)

    Let’s select managed navigation.

  • On scrolling down, we can find an option to create the term set.


  • Before creating the term set, let’s see if the managed metadata service proxy association is correct. Click create term set button.

    set button

In order to resolve this issue, go to Central Admin ->Manage Service Applications and highlight the Managed Metadata Service Proxy. Click properties in the ribbon.

Managed Metadata Service

Managed Metadata Service

Check the second check box and go back to the page where we were creating the term sets. This should resolve the term set creation error. Now, let’s go ahead and create term sets.

  • Click create term sets.


This will create a term set under our current site collection.

  • Click on Open Term Store Management Tool to edit the term set and add the new terms.

    add new terms

  • Right click the newly created term set to create new terms.

    create new terms

  • Click on create term to create new terms.

    Create Term

For each term created, click on it to manage the navigation, term driven pages and the custom properties.

One useful feature is the friendly URL setting in the navigation tab. You can chose from either of the two options.

  • Simple link or header
  • Term-driven page with friendly URL

On selecting the term driven friendly URL option, a text box will come where we can set the friendly URL, that appears in the term-driven pages tab.

Term-Driven Pages tab

  • Click save to save the changes made in the navigation tab and go to term driven tab.

    Term Driven Tab

  • Now go to term-driven pages and configure the friendly URL, as shown below:

    Term-Driven Pages

We can also set the target page that should appear on clicking the term.

target page

Use the browse functionality to select the landing page.


  • Click save in the term store management tool page.

  • Click OK in the navigations settings page to save the changes.

    Navigations Settings

The term store is now configured with new terms. Finally, let’s see how the navigation comes up in the page.

Make sure you set the target page for the term set, else it will not come up in the navigation. Since the terms were selected to appear in the global navigation as well as current navigation, it has come up in both the places, as shown below:

Thus, we saw an important benefit of Managed Metadata Service, which is a managed navigation. Using term sets, we saw, how we can create a managed navigation, instead of the structural navigation, which is a great bonus, considering the fact that it can be configured out of the box. 

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