Google Data Studio: Edit the Layout of the Navigation Menu

Written by Nicola Bell

Nicola is the Digital Account Manager at GlowMetrics, preparing and executing PPC & SEO strategies for new and existing clients. Nicola specialises in integrated marketing campaigns, combining the best of paid social and paid search to get the finest of results for her clients
January 10, 2019


Editor’s Note –  2022 Update: Google has added new navigation options to Data Studio, with the new Tabs layout offering a clean and intuitive method of report navigation. There’s also an option to hide navigation entirely if you’ve already created some custom links to navigate your dashboards. Thankfully, the process for editing the navigation menu hasn’t changed at all, so you can still follow our handy guide below. 

Check out our newest blogs on the Different Page Options in Google Data Studio and 5 of the Best New Data Studio Features to make sure you’re making the most of the new and exciting options from Data Studio.


Original Post: 2019:

At GlowMetrics, we’re big advocates for reporting tools that save time and make data easier to understand. This is why we love Google Data Studio. What is Google Data Studio, you ask? If you haven’t read our previous post on the Top 5 Reasons You Should Use Data Studio – head over there first to learn the ins and outs of this tool – but please come back! We’re about to run through a top Data Studio tip!

Did you know that there are so many ways you can personalise how your Data Studio report looks? One tip we’d recommend that could help you find your way through reports is changing how the Navigation Menu appears.

By default, the Navigation Menu will display in a collapsible menu along the top of the report. Like this….

But did you know you can also display it in a panel on the left-hand side of your report? This is ideal if your report consists of multiple pages and you want to make every page clearly visible!

So, How Do I Change the Layout of the Navigation Menu in Data Studio?

  1. Open your Data Studio report and click on the Edit function.
  2. Click anywhere on your report (but not on a widget or visualisation) – any blank space will do.
  3. From the Layout and Theme menu on the right-hand side, select Layout and then under Navigation Position chose whether you want your navigation menu on the left-hand side or at the top.

There you have it, it’s that easy!

Just remember – this way of showing the navigation menu doesn’t show page numbers, so it might be worth renaming your pages to include this.

Bonus Tip:

When you select the Navigation Position as left, you should also select the display mode as ‘Fit to Width’. This will scale the components in the report in proportion to the width of your screen and will ensure that your entire report is visible.

If you have any problems implementing – get in touch, we’re always happy to help.


  1. Tamás Kiss

    Great stuff Nicola, thanks for sharing! I’ve spent the last 2 days searching for this solution.

  2. Alison Dierksheide

    I followed your directions, but the navigational menu titles get cut off when I switch to View. Under Theme and Layout, for View Mode, I have Header visibility as Always Show, Navigation type: Left, checked Respect Report Theme, Display mode: Fit to width. Please let me know what I need to change to see the full titles of the navigational menu. Thank you so much.

    -Ali Dierksheide

    • Conor Ross

      Hi Ali, thanks for getting in touch.

      Unfortunately I don’t believe there’s a way to prevent this cut off from happening, as you’ve described it. There aren’t currently any options to change the font, text size, or truncation from the navigation menu.

      You may have tried this already, but it might be worthwhile looking into the Tab option under the Theme and Layout section for Navigation Type. This will move the menu titles across the top of the page, but it should show them in their entirety. This might not be ideal depending on how many tabs you’ve got in your dashboard, but you can also combine this with the new Section option to group tabs together under a drop-down menu. You can read more about this here:

      Apologies we can’t offer a more clear cut solution to this for you! If there’s anything else we can help with, please just let us know.



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