Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Navigating Your Document Using Outline View.

Navigating Your Document Using Outline View

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 11, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


If you use defined styles, and you have organized your document so you use the headings defined by Word, you can use the Outline view to navigate through your document. For instance, let's assume you have a large document and you want to quickly jump to a location that you figure is about three-fourths of the way through the document. You know the heading for the text you want to find, but you can't quite remember the exact wording (therefore, you can't use the Find command). Here's how you could use Outline view to find the area:

  1. Switch to Outline view. (Click the View tab of the ribbon and click the Outline tool or simply click the Outline icon on the Status Bar.) The screen changes and Word displays the Outlining tab on the ribbon.
  2. Use the Show Level drop-down list (on the Outlining tab of the ribbon) to choose Level 1. All text except first-level heads disappears.
  3. Read through the heads to find the section you want.
  4. Make sure the insertion point is positioned within the header text.
  5. Click the Print Layout tool on the View tab of the ribbon, or use the corresponding icon on the Status Bar. Your insertion point is now in the section where you wanted to be.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10395) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Navigating Your Document Using Outline View.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Conditionally Deleting Rows

Want to delete a bunch of rows in a worksheet based on the value in a certain cell of each row? There are a couple of ...

Discover More

Changing Excel's Starting Date

When keeping track of dates, internally, Excel uses special date serial numbers that are based upon a specific day in the ...

Discover More

Filling Cells with Decreasing Cell References

AutoFill is a great feature. It can detect patterns and adjust cell contents as you drag a selection on-screen. It ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Changing Outline Structure

When working with the outline of a document, you can easily move whole sections of your document. It is as easy as ...

Discover More

Condensing and Expanding Headings

When working in Outline view, you'll undoubtedly have the need to expand or condense information under your headings. It ...

Discover More

Changing Body Text to a Heading

When working on a document in Outline view, you may need to change regular body text to a heading in the outline. It's ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.