Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Sharing Headings with Others.

Sharing Headings with Others

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 31, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, and 2013


There may be times when you have developed a document, and you want to share an outline—your headings—with other people. Fortunately, Word allows you to do this rather easily. The easiest way, of course, is to simply print the outline. You do this by following these steps:

  1. Switch to Outline view of your document.
  2. Use the Show Level tool on the Outlining tab of the ribbon to specify the heading levels that should be shown.
  3. Press Ctrl+P to print the outline.

You should note that when you are viewing an outline, how you print is very critical. If you choose Print Preview, Word does not display only the headings in your document, meaning that you don't see what will really print. Further, if you choose Print from Print Preview, more than just your headings will print. This may lead some readers to believe that you can't print just your outline. This is simply misleading; if you follow the instructions above, you can print your outline just fine. This outline can then be shared with others, as desired.

But what if you want to share a document (not a printout) that consists of just the outline? Things get a bit more sticky here. The idea is that you must find a way to remove everything except the headings. The obvious way to do this is through the use of either a table of contents, or the use of RD fields. (Both of these techniques have been covered in other issues of WordTips.)

If you need to share just the headings quite a bit, a simpler solution may be to write a macro that strips everything out of the document except the headers. The following VBA macro will do the trick quite nicely:

Sub ReduceToHeadings()
    Dim docActive As Document
    Dim objPara As Paragraph
    Dim objShape As Shape

    ' set fixed ref to the working document
    Set docActive = ActiveDocument

    ' loop and remove any non-"Heading" paragraphs
    For Each objPara In docActive.Content.Paragraphs
        If LCase(Left(objPara.Style, 7)) <> "heading" Then
        End If
    Next objPara
End Sub

What this macro does is simply loop to remove paragraphs in the main body of the document if the paragraph does not use a heading style. It assumes, of course, that the heading styles have not been renamed. When it is done running, only the headings remain. You should make sure you use the Save As command right away to end up with a document that you can share with others. Do not use the Save command, otherwise you will overwrite your original document (definitely a bad thing).


If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9774) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Sharing Headings with Others.

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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What is two minus 1?

2019-10-31 23:29:30

Allen G.

Just a little suggestion with respect to the macro for sharing headings with others: Do the "Save as..." before you run the macro.

2015-04-22 00:01:59


Can you please suggest and help an issue?

I have a document where someone had already done it. I came in at the end to help and fix it IN A HURRY at the last therefore, I could not "dismantle" the entire document and redo it MY WAY using my correct styles and template.

I had to take the document as "IT WAS" created/done by someone else or by many others (and some had created or applied various styles which some of those styles worked and some didn't) it was sort of a bit of a MESS.

The page footer needed just a text or an alphabet 'I" to show on EACH or EVERY PAGE.

So for a quick band-aid approach I did this (I wrote this formula using field codes) which is as shown below:
(in case it doesn't show, here was what was written:

{ IF { PAGE } = {NUMPAGES } ""I"}-{ PAGE * MERGEFORMAT }Inline image

So that worked well for the footer. However, I am now at a quandary as to how to show this alphabet 'I" (upper case alphabet "I" with a hyphen or dash RIGHT IN FRONT of the TOC automated PAGE NUMBERING. Meaning I want to be able to use or add just "something" either a FIELD CODE onto the FIELD CODES already inside the TOC...but I forgot how to do it.

meaning I want my TOC, after it gets updated/generated to show the "I" with a hyphen (like so "I-1" or "I-ii") in FRONT OF A PAGE NUMBER which the TOC automatically puts in.

I am sure there are at least two methods to doing this. But how and which way. Again, we do NOT HAVE TIME to REDO ALL STYLES and/or REBUILD THE entire TOC. Right now the below shows how the TOC is field coded. (in case it doesn't show, here was what was written:

{ TOC o "1-3" h z u }

Inline image

We just want to apply a bandaid approach that's quick, easy or simple and to target the TOC only.

Meaning with my above "formula" which works for the FOOTER but it doesn't work or link to the TOC!

CAN YOU PLEASE HELP and suggest something ASAP?


2015-04-18 04:35:23

Dr. Bartolo

Or instead of the macro print the outline to PDF.

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