Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 - How to Change the Tiles on the Menu

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When Microsoft released CRM 2013 with its new look and feel, one of the biggest changes was how to navigate around the product.  The left navigation pane was replaced by the menu/tile user interface.  This menu, designed to take full advantage of touchscreens and tablets, takes a bit of getting used to when using a mouse.  I’m still amazed by the learning curve difference between clients using a table or Surface Pro versus those with a full laptop or desktop.  Touch screen users seem to find the menu navigation very intuitive and easy to advance to and from forms.  Mouse users, seem to be playing catch-up.

Although this blog is not about how or why the new menu UI exists, it is about how to change it.  Before I jump into that, I do want to add a quick tip to all those legacy mouse users:

Useful Tip: Use the wheel on your mouse to ease the navigation through the tiles that span more than a screen width.  Scrolling the wheel up and down has the effect of swiping the tiles left and right.

Let’s a take a look at a vanilla CRM 2013 menu:

Most clients I have worked with will not use all of the top-level items. Every client I have worked with will not use all the 2nd tier tiles.  So how to you remove one or more?

If you have familiarity with XML, you can edit the XML code to hide and move tiles.  But editing XML code is not for everyone.  A more popular option is to use the Sitemap Editor that is part of the XRMToolBox for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011/2013 by CodePlex.  This Toolbox is a Swiss Army Knife of useful features and functions.  I will not get into its other capabilities, but I encourage you to read up on them.  If you are a CRM SysAdmin, some of them are sure to help you out down the road.

Download the ToolBox (local install) and connect it to the CRM environments you wish to work on.  Once connected, scroll down the list of components and open the SiteMap Editor.

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Load SiteMap

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Note: The sitemap I display has already been modified.  If you are doing this for the first time, you should see all 5 areas (Sales, Service, Marketing, Settings, and Help) listed.

To Remove a Tile, simply find the one listed in the tree (the naming has abbreviations, but are fairly intuitive: SFA = Sales, HLP = Help, etc.), highlight it, then click the X to remove it.

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To Move a Tile, locate the item on the tree and highlight it.  Then click the up or down arrow within the tree (which is actually moving the item left or right in the UI).

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Now that you’ve learned how to move and remove tiles from the top-level menu, the same steps hold true for the 2nd tier of menu options.  Click the + to expand each of the top level menus to see the 2nd tier.

If you ever need to revert back to the 2013 SiteMap default, click More Options, then select the Reset CRM 2013 SiteMap to default.

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Once you completed your changes to the SiteMap, you will need to upload the changes to the server using the Update SiteMap button.  At this point, the changes should appear in the CRM environment you have updated.

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Adding the updated SiteMap to a solution.

To add an updated SiteMap to a solution, you’ll need to:

Step 1: Open the Solution

Step 2: Click CLIENT EXTENSIONS

Step 3:Click ADD EXISTING

Step 4: Choose SITE MAP (you do not need the additional components, if you are prompted)

 

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This solution can be exported and imported to another environment to have consistent SiteMap (Menu) structure.

by Customer Effective

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