Displaying the Navigation Pane

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 29, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


As you are working with large or complex documents, it is often easy to lose your place and spend a lot of time trying to find information. Word includes a tool that can help you navigate through your document quickly and easily. This tool is generally referred to as the Navigation pane, though if you are still using Word 2007 you may know it as the Document Map. (Microsoft changed the name from Document Map to Navigation pane with the introduction of Word 2010.)

Displaying the Navigation pane or the Document Map is easy. Start by displaying the View tab of the ribbon. Then, in the Show group (in Word 2007 look for the Show/Hide group) make sure the Navigation Pane or Document Map check box is selected. You follow these same steps to turn this feature on and off. You can also close the Navigation pane by clicking the X in the upper-right corner of the pane. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Navigation Pane.

You can tell when you are using either the Navigation pane or the Document Map because an outline of your document appears at the left side of the screen, with the document text at the right.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6029) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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