Which code to use for breadcrumbs and best way to customize them

There seem to be at least 3 ways to get breadcrumbs into the "header" DIV of the Main Layout file:

  1. $!sitemeshPage.getProperty("page.breadcrumbs")
  2. #parse ("/pages/page-breadcrumbs.vm")
  3. #breadcrumbs()

#1 is the default. It's nice. Not thrilling, but nice. Example:

Dashboard > Core Doc > Home > Plug-ins > Plug-In Application Framework

#2 does not work well. Example:

Dashboard > com.atlassian.confluence.core.ConfluenceActionSupport.action.name

I've seen a couple mentions of this issue out there, but admit I haven't understood what the problem is. Maybe something about the context.

#3 works well, and I have figured out that if I modify the confluence/breadcrumbs.vm file, then I can play with the output. Example:

Dashboard > Core Doc > Home > Plug-ins > Plug-In Application Framework

So, my questions, though, are:

1) What's the best way to do it? Obviously, #1 or #3 seem good.

2) Why does modifying the confluence/breadcrumbs.vm file NOT affect #1?

3) Why are there 11 different VM files with the name "breadcrumb" in them in various subdirectories of the confluence directory?

4) How to change the style? I want the breadcrumb text to be blue on a white background.

5) How to change the separator? I want to use a / instead of a >.

Thanks for any insight.


5 answers

Hi @Matthew J. Horn ,

Thanks for these useful tips.

For each breadcrumb, I would like to add the current page title. I've checked the 'breadcrumbs.vm' file but I can't locate where it dynamically builds the breadcrumb path.

Any idea IT Support Atlassian ?

That's how I was able to customize it for my needs, having full html control.


main-layout (placeholder div)

<div class="custom-breadcrumbs">


page-layout (breadcrumbs)

#if ($mode == "view")
#if (!$breadcrumbsId)
#set ($breadcrumbsId = "breadcrumbs")
<content tag="custom-breadcrumbs">
#set ($breadcrumbs = $helper.breadcrumbs)
#set ($numCrumbs = $breadcrumbs.size())

#set ($ellipsisCrumbs = $helper.getEllipsisCrumbs($breadcrumbs))
#set ($ellipsisShown = false)

<ol id="$breadcrumbsId">
<li class="first">
<a href="$req.contextPath">Home</a>
<li >
<a href="$req.contextPath/display/$space.key">$space.name</a>
#foreach( $breadcrumb in $breadcrumbs )
#if ( $velocityCount > 2 )
<a href="$req.contextPath$breadcrumb.target">$breadcrumb.displayTitle</a>


And to change the breadcrumbs separator, it's just CSS...

#breadcrumbs li:before {
content: ''; /* Put whatever you want here */

I'll answer part of this myself: To change color of the breadcrumb background and the breadcrumb text, use the Admin panel > Color Scheme. Then change the value of the Top Bar and the Breadcrumbs Text colors.

In the interest of bumping this thread, and providing some small addition bits of info, I can change the separator by editing the image files in the \confluence\images\decoration directory. Specifically, the white_breadcrumbs_indicator.png file defines the little ">" in the breadcrumb trail. Haven't bothered to look into why there are a dozen or so other files in there, too, with breadcrumb in the name...

Yet another bump. Come on, Atlassian! There are almost 400 views of this thread and not one person wants to take a stab at it?!

In further interest of providing small bits of info, the #breadcrumbs() macro calls $!sitemeshPage.getProperty("page.breadcrumbs"), so that's why they do the same thing.

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