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How to save yourself hours by using Outline View properly

Article contributed by Dave Rado

Word's Outline View is wonderful for long documents and used properly can cut the time taken to write a typical report, proposal, thesis, or dissertation by as much as 50 ! "n order to make use of it, you should create all your headings use Word's built#in $eading %tyles &which you can redefine to look the way you want' using $eading ( for your )hapter headings, $eading * for subheadings and so on! "f not familiar with using styles, see +ohn ,c-hie's article on this site Creating a Template The Basics !art ""#, as well as the e.cellent $hauna %elly article &nderstanding $tyles! Outline View lets you /iew all your $eadings collapsed to any heading le/el you want! 0o set the collapse le/el, you can either click on the numbers on the outline toolbar &so if you want to /iew only your $eading ( paragraphs, click on the ' button, etc'1 or you can use the ( and buttons on the outline toolbar to collapse and e.pand 2ust the selected $eading&s'! %o if you click on a $eading ( paragraph, and then click on the( button, it will e.pand to show you the $eading * paragraphs under that $eading ( paragraph, but not any of the other $eading * paragraphs in the document! Outline View is an e.cellent way of getting to the section you want in a long document e.tremely 3uickly switch to Outline View, click on the ' button to show 2ust the $eading ( paragraphs1 click in the $eading ( paragraph you're interested in and e.pand it to see its subheadings, click on the subheading you're interested in and e.pand, until you're where you want to be! 0hen switch back to 4age layout or 5ormal /iew! ,uch 3uicker than it sounds, it means you can find your way around a 500 page document 2ust as easily as if it were a 5 page document! "t makes it incredibly easy to restructure your document! +ust drag and drop a heading to mo/e not only that heading, but all its associated subheadings and body te.t! Or if you don't like drag and drop, use the up and down arrow buttons on the Outline toolbar, or press )lt ( $hift ( up arrow or )lt ( $hift ( down arrow! 6ecause this doesn't in/ol/e the clipboard, it means you can mo/e *00 pages#worth of information from the end of a 500 page document to the beginning in less than a second, as opposed to probably (5 minutes if you'd had to select it all in the normal way and then use cut and paste! "f you want to mo/e a $eading ( &with all its subheadings and body te.t', click on the' button before dragging1 to mo/e a $eading *, click on the * button, and so on! 6est of all, you aren't restricted to mo/ing one heading at a time whate/er you'/e selected when you drag and drop gets mo/ed! %o you can mo/e fi/e contiguous $eading ( paragraphs with all their subheadings and body te.t, &which, in a typical

document, means well o/er (00 pages' in one go, and in less than a second! %plit the pane &Window 7 %plit' if you can't see all your headings at once, in order to drag headings from one section to another! 0o promote subheadings to main headings or demote main headings to subheadings, you can either press the left and right arrow buttons on the Outline toolbar, or you can press )lt ( $hift ( left arrow &on the keyboard' to promote, or )lt ( $hift ( rightarrow to demote! 8ou can use these shortcuts in any /iew, not 2ust in Outline View a big time sa/er! Again, when you promote or demote a heading, any subheadings and sub#sub# headings associated with it also get promoted or demoted! And again, you aren't restricted in how many headings you can promote or demote simultaneously! "f you select fi/e $eading (s and click on the demote button, they will all be con/erted to $eading *s, their subheadings will all be con/erted to $eading 9s and so on &and the $eading 5umbering scheme you defined under :ormat 6ullets and 5umbering will follow suit'! 0ake a scenario where someone else has written a report which you want to incorporate in a report you're writing! %o the title of their ;eport needs to become a $eading ( in your document, which means you ha/e to con/ert all their $eading ( paragraphs to $eading * paragraphs, all their $eading * paragraphs to $eading 9 paragraphs and so on! <sing Outline View this takes seconds! Without Outline View it could take hours, literally, if it was a long report! Or take another scenario= you are sending a letter to a client and need to include your company's >n/ironmental 4olicy! 6ut the only document you ha/e containing the >n/ironmental 4olicy has it as a subsection of the main company policy document! %o in this case, ha/ing pasted it into your letter, you need to promote all the headings by one le/el a laborious task without Outline View but a 5 second task with it! 8ou can create a skeleton report /ery 3uickly, by typing all your headings in Outline View and then switching to 5ormal or 4age ?ayout /iew to add the body te.t! Whereas, in 5ormal or 4age ?ayout /iew, if you type a heading and press ;eturn you get body te.t, in Outline /iew you get another heading &which you can then promote or demote as necessary using the )lt ( $hift ( left and right shortcuts'! A Word outline can be pasted straight into 4ower4oint1 and this is a /ery 3uick way to prepare the guts of a presentation1 $eading ( paragraphs are con/erted automatically to slide titles, $eading *'s to main bullets, $eading 9's to sub#bullets!