Navigators are objects and graphics that include programmed areas that direct users to specific parts of a database. They let users find documents or take actions without having to open views. If you are designing a navigator for the Web, consider either embedding a navigator or importing a navigator into a form, subform, page, or document.

Navigators usually include hotspots; that is, programmed areas that users click to execute an action. A hotspot can be text, graphics, or a combination of both.

If you use navigators in an application, you usually want the navigator to display automatically when the application opens.

To use a navigator in a Web application, you must select "Web browser compatible" as a navigator property. With this setting on, Domino® converts a navigator to an HTML imagemap. Navigators on the Web always display as full-screen imagemaps. To control the size and display of a navigator on the Web, you can embed a navigator in a form.

If your navigator inherits its design from a template, do not make any changes to the design of your navigator, since any changes you make will be overwritten by the template.

Designing for accessibility

Navigators provide a graphical display of folders, views and design elements to make it easier for most users to find information. However, you cannot access a navigator without a mouse, and the graphics are inaccessible to assistive technologies like screen readers. To make navigators accessible to someone using a keyboard or a screen reader, place all navigator actions on the Actions menu.

Outlines, navigation tools which provide the functional equivalent to navigators, are accessible and easier to maintain than navigators. Whenever possible, use outlines in place of navigators to provide custom navigation for your application.

For more information on designing an application for maximum accessibility, see Designing an application for maximum accessibility for people with disabilities.

Navigator objects

You create a navigator by combining navigator objects and adding actions to objects. Navigator objects include graphic backgrounds, hotspot rectangles, hotspot polygons, hotspot circles, graphic buttons, buttons, text, rectangles, rounded rectangles, ellipses, polygons, and polylines. To create navigator objects, you can import or paste objects from another application or you can use the drawing tools Domino® Designer supplies.

All navigator objects except polylines behave the same on the Web as they do in Notes®. Polyline objects display on the Web, but clicking them has no effect.

Navigator actions

You can add actions to all navigator objects except those pasted or imported as graphic backgrounds.

Designer provides the following simple actions that you can attach to navigator objects:

  • Open another navigator.
  • Open a view or folder.
  • Serve as an alias for a folder.

    Click the object to display the contents of the designated folder in the view pane.

  • Open a database, view, or document link.
  • Open a URL.

To create more complex flexible actions use @function formulas or a LotusScript® program. LotusScript® programs can perform tasks that aren't possible with @function formulas. For example, manipulating a database ACL.