Q&A: How can I tell what section of a document I’m in?

QI’m working in a document with dozens of headings and subheadings. I want to check which section I’m working in without having to scroll back up to find the heading. Is that possible?

a map "locator pin" styled as the MS Word logo
Learn more about working with the Navigation pane in sections 10 and 38 of the book.

ALook on the Navigation pane. Shading in that list indicates which section the cursor is in, in the document.

In this sample Navigation pane (Mac view), the shading on 3.5 Snags with footnotes indicates that in the document, the cursor is in that section.

Open the Navigation pane from the Show group on the ribbon’s View tab.

Note: The term section is used here in the editorial sense. This is not the same as the Sections that Word identifies by section breaks, including those for changing page orientation.

Pro Tip: To get more screen real estate for your document, click on the border between the Nav pane and the document, then drag to resize the Nav pane.

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