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Microsoft Word 2008

Using the Outline View

Viewing your document using the Outline view gives a more organized look to your document compared to the Draft or Print Layout views. The Outline view allows you to see the different heading levels of the document. Each break in the text has a symbol indicating the hierarchy of heading and subtext. Using these symbols, you can format the heading style and position.

Return to TopAbout Outline View

The Outline view shows the different levels of headings as designated by the styles applied in your document. Headings are like titles in your document that explain the section of text to follow. Each heading in the Outline view is indicated by symbols. These symbols can be used to format the heading style and position.

The Outline view can show all of the text in your document as do Draft or Print Layout views or you can choose the level of headings to display. The Outline view shows the stairway of different levels used throughout the document and, therefore, looks different. It is easier to change the headings and subtext in the Outline view because of the versatility of the symbols and buttons on the Outlining toolbar. Compare the differences between the Normal and Outline views of the same text.

Normal View Outline View
Normal view sample Outline view sample

To view your document in Outline view:

  1. From the View menu, select Outline

Text Symbols

While in Outline view, you will notice the different symbols to the left of each heading or subtext. These two symbols, the plus sign and minus sign, indicate whether the text has subtext. These symbols can be used as a tool to position your text or subtext.

Icon Symbolizes Example
Plus indicates a heading with subtext Heading with subtext Heading with subtext
Minus indicates a heading without subtext Heading with no subtext Heading without subtext
Text icon Text in outline view Example of text in outline view

Return to TopThe Outline Tools

If you want to do more than position the text in Outline view, the Outline tools can help. You can change the position of the heading and subtext similar to dragging the symbols. You can also view your document several ways using the various view buttons.The Outline tools are available on the Outlining toolbar anytime you view your document in Outline view.

The table below lists the Outline tools and their functions.

Tool(s)
Name
Function
Promote and Demote buttons
Promote/Demote Moves selected heading and subtext symbols by promoting them (moving them up a level and to the left) or demoting them (moving them down a level and to the right)
Demote to Body Text button Demote to Body Text Changes the selected paragraph to body text
Up and Down buttons Move Up/Move Down Moves selected heading and subtext up or down in sequential level
Expand/Collapse button Expand/Collapse Expands and/or collapses selected heading and subtext groups
Show Level pull-down list Show Level Shows the level selected and all those above
Show First Line Only button Show First Line Only Shows only the first line of the levels displayed
Show/Hide the Formatting button Show Text Formatting Shows and hides the formatting of all text in the Outline view 

Return to TopOrganizing Text

Using Outline view makes organizing or reorganizing your document easy.

Action
Using Outline Tools
Using Text Symbols
To promote a heading or subtext one level Click PROMOTEPromote button Drag the appropriate symbol to the left
To demote a heading or subtext one level Click DEMOTEDemote button Drag the appropriate symbol to the right
To move the heading or subtext up within the document Click MOVE UPMove Up button Drag the appropriate symbol up
To move the heading or subtext down within the document Click MOVE DOWNMove Down button Drag the appropriate symbol down

Return to TopAdding Text

Once you have created and rearranged your text, you may want to add more text.

  1. Place the insertion point after the text immediately above where you want the new text to begin

  2. Press [return]
    The new paragraph with the same level as the previous paragraph appears with an outline symbol to the left.

  3. To adjust the position of the new level, refer to Organizing Text

Return to TopDeleting Text

Once you have created and rearranged your text, you may want to delete some text.

  1. Click the symbol next to the level which you want to delete
    Text and subtext included in that level is selected.

  2. Press [delete]
    The text and subtext in that level is deleted.

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