Proper Outline Numbering Format

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This section is designed for use with Word 97 – Word 2021/365. Unlike many other episodes, this is not a collaboration, but an author’s peerless work.

Big Idea #1 – Applying Styles with an Outline Level Set See Styles Explained in Microsoft Word You want to use a paragraph style that has an outline level set. Here’s how to create such a new style. (You can also edit an existing style and set the outline level.) Word 1997 – 2003 > Style > New Style > Format > Paragraph > Outline Level Word 2007 – 2021 (365) Home tab > Styles panel > New Style (button) > Format > Paragraph > Outline Level You can apply this outline-level formatting directly through paragraph formatting, but why would you want to? That’s what styles are for! Big Idea #2 – Use Built-in Heading Styles Instead of Creating Your Own Heading Styles See why Microsoft Word uses built-in heading styles? Shauna Kelly Built-in title styles already have outline levels assigned to them. They also have special features that make other Word features work better. There are even built-in keyboard shortcuts for the first three levels (Ctrl+Alt+1, Ctrl+Alt+2, Ctrl+Alt+3). You can even have shortcuts for all nine levels if you want. You can change these styles to have any look you want. They can look the same as the main text if you want. Big Idea #3 – If you want outline numbering or even different list levels Don’t just press a button or choose a numbering format. This is almost always an error. Instead, set your styles by adding them to the enumeration list using the procedures outlined by Shauna Kelly:

Proper Outline Numbering Format

This is the only known method of creating multilevel numbering/outline/bullets that survives editing. Note that assigning a numbering level does not add an outline level.

An Outline Format Uses Numbers, Dashes, Bullets And/or Roman

Big Idea #4 – Use Outline View Outline view has been available since at least Word 97 and continues in ribbon versions of Word. Not only does it change the view, it provides quick access to the Outline controls. These allow for collapsing outline levels, raising and lowering paragraphs, and other useful methods. Leave the main document controls alone! You can access it from the View menu in Word 97-2003, and from the View tab in later versions. Clicking on Outline View takes you to the Outline tab. Outline view allows you to quickly collapse/expand parts of a document. In Outline view, you can select and copy/move all parts of a document. In Word 2013 and later, you can also collapse outline-level heading sections directly in the print view of the document. You can print only the outline (collapsed/expanded as needed) using the Quick Print button (Word 97-2003). For newer versions of Word, you need to add a button to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), as Suzanne Barnhill points out in this answer thread. You can rearrange your documents. Just move the collapsed headings. You can cut and paste titles or drag and drop them. The collapsed text moves with the title. The same goes for deletions! It works well with the outline view if you use what Shauna Kelly does very well to relate your enumeration between styles. Changing the levels in a paragraph does not change the style of the paragraph. If you want the outline level to be applied to a style, use the style to apply the level to a paragraph and then update the style to match the formatting. Warning: Viewing an outline in versions of Word after Word 97 gave access to Word’s “Main Document Properties”. They are dangerous and can ruin your business. Please review the main docs before tapping on these “features”. See also: How to Save Hours Using Outline View Right by Dave Rado, MVP. See also: How authors can use the outline view of Word (Ribbon version). Big Idea #5 – Using the Navigation Pane in Word 2010 and later Word 2010 introduced the Navigation Pane. Documents organized using headings and an outline-level structure can be viewed and modified. Do not confuse this with the document map found in earlier versions of Word, which should not be used for refactoring. You can increase/decrease titles by right-clicking in the navigation pane. Built-in heading styles are automatically displayed in the navigation pane. You can assign an outline level to a paragraph in another style, or make that level part of a custom style and display it in the navigation pane. However, you cannot upgrade or lower styles other than built-in header styles (and styles based on those styles). Here you can see that the raise/decrease commands are not available for custom styles, even if they are displayed in the navigation pane. See also: Navigation Pane in Word 2010 and later. See also: Headings that don’t appear in the navigation pane or table of contents (or cross-references / hyperlinks). As of July 2022, the navigation pane in Word for Mac cannot be used to rearrange documents. Use outline view instead. Big Idea #6 – Using collapsible headings (Word 2013 and later) Word 2013 introduced the ability to collapse text under headings, actually below any paragraph, with the outline level set in paragraph formatting. It works based on the outline level header. If you hover your mouse cursor over any paragraph with an outline level, you’ll see a small triangle either pointing to the right or angled down. This triangle appears in the left margin next to the paragraph. The appearance of the triangle varies in different versions of Word. The screenshot below is from Word 2019. Click the triangle to toggle between collapsed and uncollapsed When you collapse a heading, Word hides the text behind the heading paragraph until the next heading paragraph with the same or higher outline level. This means the rest of the document if there are no appropriate outline-level paragraphs to stop collapsing. A triangle will always appear on the screen showing the collapsed text. When you hover over a paragraph, the text to collapse appears. In the displayed document, with the mouse cursor over heading 1, you see the triangle showing collapsed text in heading 2, while heading 2 is uncollapsed and doesn’t show a triangle. The ability to collapse/expand depends on the title with the outline level. Printing a document with collapsed text When you print a document with collapsed text, the collapsed text is not printed. The small triangle showing collapsed text also does not print. The text is still in the document. Links and cross-references to this text will continue to work and using them will expand the text. If you convert it to PDF, it won’t print either. The navigation pane and the wrapped text in the body are independent. If you collapse text in a document at level 2 and the text in the collapsed area is set to an outline level 3 or lower, it will still appear in the navigation pane. Similarly, if certain levels are collapsed in the navigation pane, it has no effect on what appears in the document. If you click on a title displayed in the navigation pane in a collapsed text field, the field expands. Click Heading 3 or Heading 4 in the navigation pane to expand everything packaged under this heading 2 in the body of the document. You can narrow the display of titles in the navigation pane. This has no effect on what appears in the document, only on what appears in the navigation pane. Text wrap options This is a feature designed in Word itself. This is not a user option and cannot be turned on or off. There is always an option to expand this text when opening the document. This is a user, not a document setting. As of this writing (July 2022), collapsible headers do not work on Mac versions. Big Idea #7 – Don’t Destroy Your Work with Master Document “Properties” This is on this page only because the Sketch tab contains buttons and options related to “Master Document Properties”. I repeat: don’t touch them before you read my “Feature Master Documentation” page. Big Idea #8 – Numbering levels and outline levels are not the same thing. You can assign a numbering level to a paragraph style without changing the outline level, and vice versa.

Note: The idea to label chapters as “Big Ideas” was stolen straight from Bill Coan’s article on pagination. The distinction between numbering levels and summary levels was developed from comments by MVP Lisa Wilke-Thissen.

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