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Mambo Quick Start Guide

Building a Menu


Now that we have built some structured content, we need to provide our end users with a way of accessing the information they want. To access your content, the user will need to be given a menu of options to choose from. A menu can be thought of as a collection of buttons that lead your website visitors to your content items.


In Mambo, you can have more than one menu, but for the purposes of this quick start tutorial, we will concentrate on the main menu, which is where you will most likely want to provide most of your menu items. The way in which the menu is displayed is determined by the template and/or the module related to the menu – at its simplest, this could just be a series of text links that lead to your content; a more complex arrangement could allow for multiple cascading menus and sub-menus (although this would require the template designer to use a ‘client-side’ programming language such as javascript).


The simplest (but somewhat restrictive) way to add a link to an item, is to use the final tab in the dialog box on the item editor.


Figure 15 – Item Editor: Link to Menu Tab


An alternative (and more flexible) way of adding menu options is to use the menu manager, by selecting ‘Main Menu’ from the ‘Menu’ menu (if that makes sense!) See figure 16.


Figure 16 – Accessing the Main Menu Manager


This takes you to the menu manager for the main menu, which looks and behaves very similarly to the section and category managers, as you can see in figure 17.


Figure 17 – The Menu Manager for the Main Menu


When you select to add a menu item, you are taken to the menu editor, which can be a little confusing because there are so many options. The most important ones are highlighted in figure 18.


Figure 18 – Adding a Menu Item: Step 1


When you click on ‘Next’ or on one of the links, you will be presented with another screen which allows you to specify additional information such as the name of the menu, which content item to link to, and whether to open the linked content in a new window or not. The exact options presented will depend on which type of menu you selected in the first step, but figure 19 shows what you will get if you choose to link directly to a content item.


Figure 19 – Adding a Menu Item: Step 2



The ‘Parent Item’ dropdown box lists all of your existing menu items, and allows you to specify one as the ‘parent’ of this menu item. This is only of use to you if your template includes a hierarchical menu system – this usually involves using a script, and may not be supported in some free Mambo templates. The effect is that you can have sub-menus appear when the end user hovers over or clicks on the ‘parent’ menu item.


Now, when you preview your website, you will see your new menu option which will take you to the content you specified. See figure 20.


Figure 20 – Previewing Your Website



This should give you enough information to begin working with Mambo. There are many more features and options that are beyond the scope of this quick start guide. Please see the official documentation on the Mambo help website: for more information.


If you have any feedback or constructive criticism about this tutorial, please send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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