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How to: LibGuides: Organizing Tabs

This LibGuide is designed to provide helpful information for librarians creating their own LibGuides.

Organizing Tabs

With all the resources and sub-topics covered by LibGuides, it helps to have some sort of concept directing the manner in which you use tabs to organize the content of your LibGuide. It is best to have each tab fulfill a specific function for the guide and it is commonly suggested that a LibGuide should not contain more than one row of tabs. 

  • STREAMLINING If you notice that the subject or discipline that your guide represents is rather large, for example History, it may be necessary to create LibGuides that represent a specific historical period or the history of a particular continent or country instead of a LibGuide for the study of History in general. 
  • COMBINE RELATED CONTENT  Two related pages with one or two content boxes each can sometimes be combined into a single page that segments the content in boxes but brings it together in a single entry point.  For example, instead of having one "Indexes & Articles" page with links to article databases and another "Key Journals" page with links to individual journals, bring them together on a Find Articles page.  Remember, its about the page fulfilling a specific function.  If the function that you want your patrons to fulfill is the ability to find articles, do not segment that capability since it can inhibit the ability of customers to find key resources
  • POSITION TABS ACCORDING TO IMPORTANCE  Remember, LibGuides not only inform customers about research resources but they also help customers learn how to do research.  Make sure your tabs reflect that and guide customers to through resources according to their importance for the particular discipline or subject.

Remember that when organizing tabs, it is important that each tab direct users to information promised by the tab.  Make sure that the tabs actively contribute to the research interests of customers. 


Sub-tabs allow a single tab to direct customers to several different pages.  Strategically used sub-tabs can be an efficient way to organize content.   However, too many sub-tabs can overwhelm your customers and create confusion, which may lead to their inability to receive important information.  Also, sub-tabs can be overlooked.  Remember to indicate on the specific tab's page that users should scroll through the sub-tabs in order to find content. 


One concern that you may have is what color to make your tabs.  In keeping with the Emory color palate, Emory gold, blue, and gray are all appropriate choices.  However, gold and blue may be best at attracting the attention of your users and directing them to specific content.

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