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Bootstrap navbar

Bootstrap navbar is excellent and highly customizable horizontal navigation component. Learn how to use Bootstrap navbar to build responsive navigation bar or header which can be attached to top or bottom of the page quickly and easily.

Overview

Bootstrap navbars require a wrapping element .navbar with .navbar-expand{-sm|-md|-lg|-xl} for responsive collapsing and color scheme classes. Navbars and their contents are fluid and responsive by default, but you can easily modify them to change that. Responsive behavior depends on our Collapse JavaScript plugin.

Supported content

Navbars become with built-in support for:

  • .navbar-brand for your business, goods, or project name.
  • .navbar-nav for a navigation.
  • .navbar-toggler for use with our collapse plugin.
  • .form-inline for any forms.
  • .navbar-text for any text.

Here’s an example of all the sub-components.

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarSupportedContent" aria-controls="navbarSupportedContent" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>

  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarSupportedContent">
    <ul class="navbar-nav mr-auto">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Link</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item dropdown">
        <a class="nav-link dropdown-toggle" href="#" id="navbarDropdown" role="button" data-toggle="dropdown" aria-haspopup="true" aria-expanded="false">
          Dropdown
        </a>
        <div class="dropdown-menu" aria-labelledby="navbarDropdown">
          <a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Action</a>
          <a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Another action</a>
          <div class="dropdown-divider"></div>
          <a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Something else here</a>
        </div>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link disabled" href="#">Disabled</a>
      </li>
    </ul>
    <form class="form-inline my-2 my-lg-0">
      <input class="form-control mr-sm-2" type="search" placeholder="Search" aria-label="Search">
      <button class="btn btn-outline-success my-2 my-sm-0" type="submit">Search</button>
    </form>
  </div>
</nav>

This example uses color (bg-light) and spacing (my-2, my-lg-0, mr-sm-0, my-sm-0) utility classes.

Brand

The .navbar-brand can be attached to most elements, but an anchor works best as some elements might require utility classes or custom styles.

<!-- As a link -->
<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
</nav>

<!-- As a heading -->
<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <span class="navbar-brand mb-0 h1">Navbar</span>
</nav>

Adding images to the .navbar-brand will likely always require custom styles or utilities to properly size. Here are some examples to demonstrate.

<!-- Just an image -->
<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">
    <img src="https://coreui.io/docs/assets/brand/bootstrap-solid.svg" width="30" height="30" alt="">
  </a>
</nav>
<!-- Image and text -->
<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">
    <img src="https://coreui.io/docs/assets/brand/bootstrap-solid.svg" width="30" height="30" class="d-inline-block align-top" alt="">
    Bootstrap
  </a>
</nav>

Navbar navigation links build on our .nav options with their modifier class and require the use of toggler classes for proper responsive styling. Navigation in navbars will also grow to occupy as much horizontal space as possible to keep your navbar contents securely aligned.

Active states—with .active—to show the current page can be connected directly to .nav-links or their immediate parent .nav-items.

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarNav" aria-controls="navbarNav" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>
  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarNav">
    <ul class="navbar-nav">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Features</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Pricing</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link disabled" href="#">Disabled</a>
      </li>
    </ul>
  </div>
</nav>

Moreover, because we use classes for our navs, you can avoid the list-based approach entirely if you like.

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarNavAltMarkup" aria-controls="navbarNavAltMarkup" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>
  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarNavAltMarkup">
    <div class="navbar-nav">
      <a class="nav-item nav-link active" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      <a class="nav-item nav-link" href="#">Features</a>
      <a class="nav-item nav-link" href="#">Pricing</a>
      <a class="nav-item nav-link disabled" href="#">Disabled</a>
    </div>
  </div>
</nav>

You may also utilize dropdowns in your navbar nav. Dropdown menus require a wrapping element for positioning, so be sure to use separate and nested elements for .nav-item and .nav-link as shown below.

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarNavDropdown" aria-controls="navbarNavDropdown" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>
  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarNavDropdown">
    <ul class="navbar-nav">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Features</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Pricing</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item dropdown">
        <a class="nav-link dropdown-toggle" href="#" id="navbarDropdownMenuLink" data-toggle="dropdown" aria-haspopup="true" aria-expanded="false">
          Dropdown link
        </a>
        <div class="dropdown-menu" aria-labelledby="navbarDropdownMenuLink">
          <a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Action</a>
          <a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Another action</a>
          <a class="dropdown-item" href="#">Something else here</a>
        </div>
      </li>
    </ul>
  </div>
</nav>

Forms

Place various form controls and components within a navbar with .form-inline.

<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <form class="form-inline">
    <input class="form-control mr-sm-2" type="search" placeholder="Search" aria-label="Search">
    <button class="btn btn-outline-success my-2 my-sm-0" type="submit">Search</button>
  </form>
</nav>

Align the contents of your inline forms with utilities as needed.

<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light justify-content-between">
  <a class="navbar-brand">Navbar</a>
  <form class="form-inline">
    <input class="form-control mr-sm-2" type="search" placeholder="Search" aria-label="Search">
    <button class="btn btn-outline-success my-2 my-sm-0" type="submit">Search</button>
  </form>
</nav>

Input groups work, too:

<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <form class="form-inline">
    <div class="input-group">
      <div class="input-group-prepend">
        <span class="input-group-text" id="basic-addon1">@</span>
      </div>
      <input type="text" class="form-control" placeholder="Username" aria-label="Username" aria-describedby="basic-addon1">
    </div>
  </form>
</nav>

Several buttons are supported as part of those navbar forms, too. This is also a numerous reminder that vertical alignment utilities can be applied to align different sized elements.

<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <form class="form-inline">
    <button class="btn btn-outline-success" type="button">Main button</button>
    <button class="btn btn-sm btn-outline-secondary" type="button">Smaller button</button>
  </form>
</nav>

Text

Bootstrap navbars may include bits of text with the help of .navbar-text. This class sets vertical alignment and horizontal spacing for strings of text.

<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <span class="navbar-text">
    Navbar text with an inline element
  </span>
</nav>

Combine and match with different components and utilities if required.

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar w/ text</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarText" aria-controls="navbarText" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>
  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarText">
    <ul class="navbar-nav mr-auto">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Features</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Pricing</a>
      </li>
    </ul>
    <span class="navbar-text">
      Navbar text with an inline element
    </span>
  </div>
</nav>

Color schemes

Styling the bootstrap navbar has never been easier before. Thanks to the organization of styling classes and background-color utilities. Choose from .navbar-light for use with light background colors, or .navbar-dark for dark background colors. Then, customize with .bg-* utilities.

<nav class="navbar navbar-dark bg-dark">
  <!-- Navbar content -->
</nav>

<nav class="navbar navbar-dark bg-primary">
  <!-- Navbar content -->
</nav>

<nav class="navbar navbar-light" style="background-color: #e3f2fd;">
  <!-- Navbar content -->
</nav>

Containers

You can wrap a navbar in a .container to center it on a page or attach one within to simply center the contents of a fixed or static top navbar.

<div class="container">
  <nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
    <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
  </nav>
</div>

Placement

Use Bootstrap’s position utilities to put navbars in non-static positions. Select from fixed to the top, fixed to the bottom, or stickied to the top. Fixed navbars use position: fixed, meaning they’re removed from the natural flow of the DOM and may require custom CSS to block overlap with other elements.

<nav class="navbar navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Default</a>
</nav>
<nav class="navbar fixed-top navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Fixed top</a>
</nav>
<nav class="navbar fixed-bottom navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Fixed bottom</a>
</nav>
<nav class="navbar sticky-top navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Sticky top</a>
</nav>

Responsive behaviors

Navbars can utilize .navbar-toggler, .navbar-collapse, and .navbar-expand{-sm|-md|-lg|-xl} classes to change while their content collapses behind a button. In combination with additional utilities, you can simply decide when to display or hide special elements.

Toggler

Navbar togglers are left-aligned by default, but should they follow a sibling element like a .navbar-brand, they will automatically be adjusted to the far right. Changing your markup will change the position of the toggler.

With no .navbar-brand shown in lowest breakpoint:

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarTogglerDemo01" aria-controls="navbarTogglerDemo01" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>
  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarTogglerDemo01">
    <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Hidden brand</a>
    <ul class="navbar-nav mr-auto mt-2 mt-lg-0">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Link</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link disabled" href="#">Disabled</a>
      </li>
    </ul>
    <form class="form-inline my-2 my-lg-0">
      <input class="form-control mr-sm-2" type="search" placeholder="Search" aria-label="Search">
      <button class="btn btn-outline-success my-2 my-sm-0" type="submit">Search</button>
    </form>
  </div>
</nav>

With a brand name shown on the left and toggler on the right:

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarTogglerDemo02" aria-controls="navbarTogglerDemo02" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>

  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarTogglerDemo02">
    <ul class="navbar-nav mr-auto mt-2 mt-lg-0">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Link</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link disabled" href="#">Disabled</a>
      </li>
    </ul>
    <form class="form-inline my-2 my-lg-0">
      <input class="form-control mr-sm-2" type="search" placeholder="Search">
      <button class="btn btn-outline-success my-2 my-sm-0" type="submit">Search</button>
    </form>
  </div>
</nav>

With a toggler on the left and brand name on the right:

<nav class="navbar navbar-expand-lg navbar-light bg-light">
  <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarTogglerDemo03" aria-controls="navbarTogglerDemo03" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
    <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
  </button>
  <a class="navbar-brand" href="#">Navbar</a>

  <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbarTogglerDemo03">
    <ul class="navbar-nav mr-auto mt-2 mt-lg-0">
      <li class="nav-item active">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Home <span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link" href="#">Link</a>
      </li>
      <li class="nav-item">
        <a class="nav-link disabled" href="#">Disabled</a>
      </li>
    </ul>
    <form class="form-inline my-2 my-lg-0">
      <input class="form-control mr-sm-2" type="search" placeholder="Search" aria-label="Search">
      <button class="btn btn-outline-success my-2 my-sm-0" type="submit">Search</button>
    </form>
  </div>
</nav>

External content

Sometimes you may need to use the collapse plugin to trigger hidden content elsewhere on the page. Because our plugin operates on the id and data-target matching, that’s immediately done!

<div class="pos-f-t">
  <div class="collapse" id="navbarToggleExternalContent">
    <div class="bg-dark p-4">
      <h4 class="text-white">Collapsed content</h4>
      <span class="text-muted">Toggleable via the navbar brand.</span>
    </div>
  </div>
  <nav class="navbar navbar-dark bg-dark">
    <button class="navbar-toggler" type="button" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbarToggleExternalContent" aria-controls="navbarToggleExternalContent" aria-expanded="false" aria-label="Toggle navigation">
      <span class="navbar-toggler-icon"></span>
    </button>
  </nav>
</div>