SharePoint 2007 – How to enable left navigation, quick launch, for all web-part pages in a farm?

Collaboration features on SharePoint 2007 are undisputedly excellent, but there is occasional quirk which impede serious usability. One of them is absence of left navigation, or “quick launch”, on custom created web-part pages in any SharePoint site. Though you can choose from various web-part page layout style during creation, there is no option to make the left navigation visible other than playing page-by-page with SharePoint Designer! In large utilizations, its impossible to go to each web-part page and hope to fix it in SharePoint Designer. Not everyone has it, nor they know how to play with mark-up of page/master page.

Web Part Page without Left Navigation

So I set out to figure how I can fix this for all existing web-part pages and those created in future in any site, site-collection, or web-app in my farm, so that same site left-navigation is available on all web-part pages. It’s another thing that system pages (_layouts/*.aspx) will continue to come without left-navigation of a site.

How to enable left navigation – quick launch – for all web-part pages?

In SharePoint’s “12 hive” folder, at following path, there is template of all web-part page layouts used for creation from Create > Web Part Page.

Web-Part Page Layouts: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\1033\STS\DOCTEMP\SMARTPGSimage
Note: This screen capture is from a Windows 7 x64 dev machine (build 7100); I am running SharePoint on it instead of Windows Server. Details here.

If you open any of the 8 aspx pages in the folder, you’ll notice following 3 Content controls:


Now these 3 are responsible for hiding out Page image on top-left, quick-launch, and appropriate width required for quick-launch. All we have to do is comment these, so that what’s already defined in master page in these placeholders remains populated for the web-part pages using these layouts/templates.


Now there is one issue I additionally want to fix/enhance. The PlaceHolderPageImage responsible for top-left image icon on each page will come empty and wouldn’t look nice, so I’m going to place a image for generic use already present in /Images folder. This will result in following:


So here is the final result, once above changes are implemented on each web server in a farm…


I’m sure your SharePoint site designers and their user’s will love this trick.



PS: In my next post, I’ll talk about better way’s of dealing with deployment/management of changes/replacements done to system files in “12 hive” folder of SharePoint server. Remember, Microsoft doesn’t want you to do system-file changes and have a support clause against them, but reality is that many necessary changes can’t be achieved without touching them…


  • I would definately NOT recommend anyone to follow this trick. Don't ever change the default site definitions and page layouts. Create your own.


  • Hi Wes,
    Please elaborate your reasons for NOT recommending this case. If its supportability, upgradability - I am going to talk about how to "gracefully" implement hive changes via a Feature and deal with management/rollback issues in next post.
    BTW - Is it really a site definition change? It's not in Templates/Site Templates/ folder! Secondly - to verify - I created a wiki site, a doc-lib within and then created a web-part page and it showed up above changes. All site-definitions pick up changes from same location above, irrespective of site-definition or site-configuration.

  • Hi Sharad,

    You saved my day...This is what I was exactly looking for.

    Vinay Kumar S

  • Hi Sharad,
    I want to enable leftnavigation toplevel to all subsites is it possible


  • Please see my attached URL for best practices in editing master pages or anything in the 12-hive.

    This is a great method as long as you are thoroughly backing up your 12-hive and master pages (offline backups) before doing so, and also updating your system-recovery documentation ;)

    Thanks again Sharad,


  • @Alex, unless you use tricks like following:

    Thanks for comments.


  • How would I go about disabling the placeholder image? I want to pull the quick launch bar up in place of the placeholder image

  • Thanks man, this worked well for me! Big up!

  • this is for 14 local site ..but i want online sharepoint site

  • JAQJFY Very informative article post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

  • rjEHsv Muchos Gracias for your blog post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  • It worked. WAHOO! Thanks

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