I have a Joomla site with a fairly complex system of categories and sub-categories. My main menu uses the same structure, in such a way that each menu item lists articles within the corresponding category.


-> Home
-> Category 1
  -> Category 1.1
  -> Category 1.2
    -> Category 1.2.1
  -> Category 1.3
-> Category 2
  -> Category 2.1

Setting this up manually is quite straight forward, but it's time consuming and hard to maintain if the categories or menu items change name or location.

Is it possible to generate the menu structure based on the existing categories (or even better, some of the categories), including sub-categories? What approach could I look at to solve this?


5 Answers 5


There used to be a Joomla 1.5 era extension called Automatic Menu but I can't find it on the JED that did exactly this, so, I'm guessing it never made it off 1.5.

However, in recent times we used a similar feature in SWMenu (we have a Pro license but I believe the feature is the same in the free version). With that we have the category structure in the menu's and SWMenu populates the sub-menu items from the articles in the category. I can't remember the exact details of it's implementation as it's been a while.


Having looked around a little, I found the following plugin:


  1. Upload, install and enable
  2. Once you have your category structure complete, in the plugin settings, select all the categories you wish to use. You will also need to select all subcategories too as it doesn't detect them automatically.

I may have misunderstood your question, not sure but worth a shot.

  • This looks promising, I'll give it a try and see how it works. Thanks
    – johanpw
    Oct 16, 2014 at 15:36

The Automatic Menu Extension that I used from J1.5 was:

ArtCats for Joomla!: http://www.orware.com/products/artcats-module/all-pages

Its been updated for J3 - and if you want it in your menu then choose a menu system that allows modules inserted.

Kazaam: http://extensions.joomla.org/extensions/extension/structure-a-navigation/menu-systems/kazaam

If you use FLEXIcontent CCK - you have the universal module - which would enable you to create menus through modules. The problem I always have is it getting it to use SEF friendly names (http://www.flexicontent.org/forum/index.php?f=20&t=8401&rb_v=viewtopic).

So - because of this I typically end up using: Add to Menu: http://extensions.joomla.org/profile/extension/administration/admin-navigation/add-to-menu - but this isn't automatic - however it creates nice URLs.

To me the biggest flaw with Joomla! is the menu system.


the best solution to mass generate joomla menu links is actually JLinker Mass Menu Link Generator: http://www.jlinker.com

It works with Joomla 2.5 and Joomla 3.x, it's free and it allows you to generate links for Joomla articles and categories. There are also extensions to generate links for K2 and Virtuemart.

  • I installed the plugin but nothing happen after installation. No menu appears.
    – Gabriel
    Aug 16, 2016 at 17:00

You can't automatically generate menus. But you can find many plugins here. However, as with many other Joomla stuff, these plugins are difficult to download, install and make them work.

Here is my experience:

Add to menu - Difficult to use. Bad web site (documentation). Not automatic.

Price: Listed as freeware on extensions.joomla.org but it is not (even if the Pro version pretends to be GPL3).
Download: It won't let you download until you give them your email! Documentation: Nicely documented.
Installation: Easy.
If anyone has the Pro version (GPL3) please share it. Anyway, the non-Pro edition is not working. The Kazaam menu is there but is empty (does not autoupdate as the manual pretends to do).

JLinker (aka: jlmenugenerator)
Price: Listed as freeware on extensions.joomla.org but it is not.
Download: It won't let you download until you give them your email!
Installation: difficult.
Documentation: bad.
The tool appears under 'Components' menu. But when you click one of the links, the menus in the open page are broken.

Price: Listed as freeware on extensions.joomla.org but it is not.
Download: Web site is terrible slooooow.
Installation: Ok.
Documentation: Bad.
It is actually a menu style editor. The GUI is not so nice (too colorful and non-standard). Uninstalled.

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