Create a Navigation File

On this page, you’ll learn:

  • How to structure a navigation file.

  • How to add cross references to a navigation list.

  • How to add regular text and links to other websites to a navigation list.

Each module contains a navigation file named nav.adoc. In Antora, this navigation file is called linked navigation.

File format

A navigation file is an AsciiDoc file (.adoc) that contains one or more unordered lists.

List structure

In an AsciiDoc unordered list, each top-level navigation item is marked by a single (*). Each top-level item can have as many nested items as you need up to level five (*****). Also, a list can have an optional title, denoted by a period (.).

Single navigation list anatomy
.List title (optional)
* First level (top) item
** Second level item
*** Third level item
**** Fourth level item
***** Fifth level item
* First level item
* First level item

Multiple lists in a single file

A navigation file can contain multiple lists when each of those lists have a title. Each list must be separate by at least one blank line.

Multi-list anatomy
.List title
* First level item
** Second level item
* First level item
** Second level item

.List title
* First level item
* First level item

The most common items in a navigation file are cross references to pages in the module where the navigation file will be stored.

xrefs to in-module pages
.xref:index.adoc[Product Intro]
* xref:get-started.adoc[Getting Started with Product]
** xref:install/prerequisites.adoc[Install the Prerequisites]
* xref:page-a.adoc[Another Important Topic]

However, using the appropriate xref pattern, you can include references to any document in the site, whether it’s stored in the same module or not.

xrefs to pages in other modules and components
.xref:index.adoc[In-module page]
* xref:other-module:page.adoc[Page in same component, but a different module]
** xref:topic/page.adoc[In-module page in a topic folder]
* xref:component:module:page-a.adoc[Page in another component]

Add unlinked text

A navigation list can contain normal (i.e. unlinked) text.

Unlinked list items
.The Special Project (1)
* xref:index.adoc[Project Intro]
** xref:get-started.adoc[Getting Started with Project]
* Orientation (2)
* xref:page-a.adoc[Project Concepts]
1 An unlinked list block title
2 An unlinked list item

A navigation list can contain links to external websites. External links are links to webpages that aren’t built as part of your documentation by your site’s Antora pipeline.

To create a list item that links to an external URL, just use AsciiDoc’s URL syntax.

External link list items
.xref:index.adoc[The Special Project]
* xref:get-started.adoc[Getting Started with Project]
**xref:page-a.adoc[Project Concepts]
* More Resources
**[Support Plans]