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Getting Started with Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs have been covered by just about everyone so there are lots of examples that all seem to do things a Little differently. With that in mind I’m going to keep this short with my example and two other examples I’ve found that might also meet your needs and cover the basics for just about every xslt breadcrumb example you’ll find.

The general idea: you’re at item c, in your tree the path is something like:  /sitecore/content/a/b/c and you want to display a pretty html list for a » b » c anywhere on your site.  You’ll always be dealing with the ancestors of your current item so you’ll be making use of $sc_currentitem/ancestor-or-self::… somewhere.

You’ll need to go through each ancestor item and display it, probably checking to see if you’re at the last item so you don’t display a ‘»’ after the final item. You also need to make sure to not display unwanted ancestors in your breadcrumb, being /sitecore and /content in our case.

So onto the examples!

First is the Sitecore breadcrumb xslt example: http://sdn.sitecore.net/Articles/XSL/Breadcrumb%20Example.aspx
  You will need a login to sdn to view this, but the magic is that it does a for-each across ancestor-or-self::item and then has an if statement to make sure that position()> 2 (this avoids the sitecore/content portion) and avoiding folders and there is the requisite check for position()!=last() so that we do not have the extra » after c.

Next up is Brian Pedreson’s breadcrumb example http://briancaos.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/breadcrumb-in-sitecore/
Similar to the above, however in this case he only selected items which had the appropriate template and a check to make sure the items should be in the navigation at all:
select="$sc_currentitem/ancestor-or-self::item[sc:IsItemOfType('mypages',.) and sc:fld('ShowInMenu',.)='1']"

I am certain there are many many more breadcrumb examples, but these were the first I was able to find easily to share.

Finally, my contribution to the breadcrumb party:

  <xsl:template match="*" mode="main">
<
div>
<
ul class="breadcrumb">
<
xsl:variable name="ancestors" select="$sc_currentitem/ancestor-or-self::item[ancestor-or-self::item/@template='home page']" />
<
xsl:for-each select="$ancestors">
<
li>
<
xsl:choose>
<
xsl:when test="position()=last()">
<
sc:text field="Breadcrumb Title" />
</
xsl:when>
<
xsl:otherwise>
<
sc:link>
<
sc:text field="Breadcrumb Title" />
</
sc:link> »
</xsl:otherwise>
</
xsl:choose>
</
li>
</
xsl:for-each>
</
ul>
</
div>
</
xsl:template>

To satisfy the condition of not showing /sitecore or /content, I am only grabbing ancestors (or self) who have the ancestor (or is the item) that has the special template for the Home item. This excludes anything above the home item, but includes the home item too so that it can be listed. And we end up with a » b » c.


Hope this can be helpful if you are getting started with breadcrumbs!

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