Other: Navigation buttons

Maintained by DavoDavo Smith
Add customisable navigation buttons (next/prev/etc.) to the bottom of each activity page (Moodle 1.9/2.0+)
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Current versions available: 4

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Navigation buttons (for Moodle 1.9 / 2.0+)
This block adds customisable navigation buttons (first/previous/next/etc.) to the bottom of each activity/resource page in a course.

It is based on an idea from Penny Mondani: http://pennymondani.com
Thanks also to the US company that sponsored the development, who wish to remain anonymous.


  1. Download the file and unzip it somewhere convenient.
  2. On your server, in the 'blocks' folder, create a subfolder called 'navbuttons'
  3. Upload all the files inside the 'davosmith-moodle-navbuttons-???????' folder to this new 'navbuttons' folder on your server.
  4. Log in to your Moodle site as an administrator and click on the 'Notifications' option in the Admin settings block.
  5. You need to make a small change to one Moodle core file to make this work (the change is different between Moodle 1.9 & Moodle 2.0 - see the included README.txt for details).
  6. Add the block to a course (turn editing on, select 'Navigation Buttons' from the 'Blocks - Add' menu)
  7. Customise the button appearance by clicking on 'Edit the Navigation Button settings' in the newly created block.
  8. Check the message at the bottom of the screen (under the 'Save changes' button) - it should read "Navbuttons self-test: required core modifications have been completed successfully". If not, then go back to step 5 above and check carefully.

Note: The block is only visible to users who are able to edit courses modules. Deleting the block will remove the navigation buttons (they can also be disabled through the settings).

For a quick demo, there is a screencast available here:


Screenshot #0


Davo Smith (Lead maintainer)
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Comments RSS


  • Davo
    Sun, Oct 6, 2013, 1:43 AM
    Hugo - you can change the icons or the colours via the settings page for the plugin.
  • Picture of julie mcloughlin
    Wed, Oct 9, 2013, 2:09 PM
    hi Davo - love the plug in, but I agree with Jake. the way it is, people miss parts of the course with out even knowing it. Maybe this could be an option for those like Jake and I who prefer them not to be able to continue on until conditions are met??
  • Picture of iinf que
    Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 5:42 AM
    Davo, thank you so much for this nice module. I am able to implement it. Please also add essential and other themes specific troubleshooting in README file. I shall be grateful to you.
  • MattLanning
    Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 2:31 AM
    Thanks for developing such a great plugin. We are planning to upgrade to Moodle 2.6 soon and were wondering if a new version of navbuttons will be released or if this version will work as is. Thanks.
  • Davo
    Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 6:22 PM
    Matt - the version on github is working with Moodle 2.6 - I'll be doing a big update of all my plugins on Moodle.org in the next few days.
  • Picture of David Moreno
    Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 3:26 AM
    Hi! Thanks for such a great plugin! The pulgin it's working for any activity I create, but for resources (web content), it doesn't work. Do you know why is this happening ?
  • Davo
    Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 6:46 PM
    David - please read through the instructions in the 'any problems' section of the README.txt file included in the plugin: https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-navbuttons/blob/master/README.txt#l52
  • Picture of Tom Crick
    Wed, May 21, 2014, 7:07 PM
    Hi Davo,
    I'm running Moodle 2.6+ (Build: 20131129)

    When I try and install this through the ADMIN > Plugins it fails validation and I get the following error message:

    Error Invalid add-on name: davosmith-moodle-navbuttons-b8f320e

    The help message says:

    "The name of the root directory in the ZIP package violates formal syntax requirements. Some ZIP packages, such as those generated by Github, may contain an incorrect root directory name. You need to fix the name of the root directory to match the add-on name."
  • Davo
    Wed, May 21, 2014, 7:18 PM
    Sorry - that is because Moodle.org won't let me upload it as a 'block' plugin (due to the required core modification).
    You must download the plugin manually, rename it to 'navbuttons', install it into the 'blocks/' directory on the server and make the required core code modification.

    There is no way to enable automatic installation of this plugin.
  • Picture of riddhi shah
    Sat, May 16, 2015, 9:21 PM

    I want to add navigation buttons to all the courses by default. Could you please guide me what to do?
  • Davo
    Sun, May 17, 2015, 2:01 AM
    Riddhi - adding navigation buttons to all courses by default would require some extra development work; the current plugin does not support doing that.
  • Picture of sandip patel
    Fri, Jul 31, 2015, 8:17 PM
    i have installed blocks_navbuttons plugin in my moodle application and follow the steps for the configuration and also change the code as per the README.txt file but still message is appeare

    "Navbutton self-test: The line "$output = draw_navbuttons().$this->container_end_all(true);" has not been correctly added to outputrenderers.php - see README.txt for further instructions"
  • Picture of sandip patel
    Fri, Jul 31, 2015, 9:47 PM
    when i change the clean them it is working fine
  • Picture of sandip patel
    Fri, Jul 31, 2015, 10:00 PM
    I have replaced the same code in this file and its working fine "theme/uikit/renderers/core_renderer.php
  • Picture of Inter Jos
    Wed, Aug 5, 2015, 3:08 AM
    Hi, I installed the plugin and changed the /lib/outputrenders.php file as described. The navigation buttons come up perfectly!!
    But... in the backend, when I click on 'courses' to go to a specific course, I get the following error:

    Debug info:
    Error code: codingerror
    Stack trace:

    line 5721 of /lib/accesslib.php: coding_exception thrown
    line 7338 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to context->get_course_context()
    line 48 of /blocks/navbuttons/block_navbuttons.php: call to context_block->get_course_context()
    line 288 of /blocks/moodleblock.class.php: call to block_navbuttons->get_content()
    line 230 of /blocks/moodleblock.class.php: call to block_base->formatted_contents()
    line 971 of /lib/blocklib.php: call to block_base->get_content_for_output()
    line 1023 of /lib/blocklib.php: call to block_manager->create_block_contents()
    line 473 of /lib/outputrenderers.php: call to block_manager->ensure_content_created()
    line 52 of /theme/mytheme/layout/columns3.php: call to core_renderer->standard_head_html()
    line 1015 of /lib/outputrenderers.php: call to include()
    line 945 of /lib/outputrenderers.php: call to core_renderer->render_page_layout()
    line 59 of /course/index.php: call to core_renderer->header()

    If I go back and click on ' courses' again, the error is gone. This happens every time I click on 'courses'. I use Moodle 2.9.1+
    I really love and need this navigation buttons, can someone help me on this?

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