The menu is one of the biggest visual differences in PeopleTools 8.5x. What I didn’t realize at first was that it was optional.
Here’s the navigation to the setting: PeopleTools > Portal > General Settings
This is what the old style looks like:
To flip the option, I just saved the Settings page, and all I had to do was log out and back in.
Now, to make it look nice, you need to switch to the Swan Stylesheet. You can do that on PeopleTools > Utilities > Administration > PeopleTools Options. Notice the heading looks better with the menu this way:
Surprisingly enough, I didn’t have to restart the web server or app server. I just had to log out and log back in and it looked like this.
Another thing to note is that the menu at the top works differently between PeopleTools 8.50 and PeopleTools 8.51. In 8.50, you click once to open the menu, and you just hover over to the menu folders to make them open and show their contents. In 8.51, you have to click on each folder.
Also, as I understand it, when you upgrade an older tools release, the left hand menu stays active. So, you have to intentionally choose the new drop down navigation for an upgrade. When you do a new install from scratch in Tools 8.5x the Drop Down navigation is default.