Navigation Tabs in the Dashboard

Jason -

If you want to add navigation tabs to a dashboard, you will need to create multiple dashboards with graphical components that align in order to give the impression that you are switching tabs instead of switching entire dashboard pages. Luckily, with a few simple steps, this is quite easy to do. Follow these basic steps to quickly create your navigation tabs for your dashboard. I use MS PowerPoint to generate the tabs but you could use any graphical editor.

1. Create your first dashboard and establish the dimensions. Make sure these dimensions fit on the lowest possible resolution used by your audience. For overhead projectors, the recommended Width x Height is 800 x 600. Make copies of your dashboards - one for each tab. In my case, I will add 4 dashboards.

2. Navigate inside this dashboard then draw an rectangle with transparent background and red dashed outline to the extents of the drawing space (in my case it is 600x400). Notice the extent of your rectangle is displayed in the bottom left corner of the window when you drag it with the mouse. Cut the new rectangle to the clipboard.

3. Start Microsoft PowerPoint and paste the rectangle into a new slide. This is the region in which your dashboard pages will fit.

4. Add a "SmartArt" component that provides a number of rectangles in a row. These SmartArt objects automatically align and re-size if you add more so it makes it very easy to create tabs with them. 

5. Re-size and adjust the positions so that you end up with a page with tabs. Fit the object within the red rectangle that represents the bounds of your dashboard.

6. Change the color of all the tabs except the first one and label them. Then add a marker from the top left corner of the red rectangle to the first tab. This will act as a datum for positioning in the dashboard. Add a logo or anything else that is common to all pages. Copy the slide for as many tabs that you have and color each successive tab in each slide.

7. Now you are ready to add these pages to your dashboards. Select everything on your first slide EXCEPT the red rectangle.

8. Right-click and choose "Save as Picture".

9. Save the selected objects as EMF.


10. Import the EMF file into your dashboard and re-position it so that the red

Add a new Container to your model and call it "Dashboard_Templates".

4. Navigate into the container and turn grid points on then paste the rectangle to the clipboard. Stretch the rectangle inward to the nearest grid points on all sides so that the vertices are sitting on top of grid points

5. Draw the main page and tabs inside the red rectangle with the left tab being highlighted as the same color as the main page. This was all drawn using the basic GoldSim graphical commands from the drawing toolbar.

6. Replace the red rectangle with a marker at the upper left corner of the red box. This is used to ensure that placement in the dashboards is consistent for all dashboards.

7. Copy and paste these pages for the number of tabs you created (in my example, it is 4 copies). Use the red marker to ensure they are aligned and that vertices are on grid points.

8. Move the highlighted tab to each successive position for the 4 pages.

9. Add embellishments that are common to all dashboards, being careful to place them in the exact same location on all pages.

10. Now you are ready to build your dashboards! Paste each page into a separate dashboard and name the dashboards according to the tab name. Use the red marker to align the page to the top left corner.

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