Some developmental edits require heavy lifting. If you’ve got to move sections of text, whole chapters even, you’ll love the convenience of the Navigation pane. Just click on a heading and you can move that whole section anywhere. Trick is, the document has to use Styles to set headings first.
Watch the demo below for Windows users. Sorry Mac users, you’ll have to stick to using the Outline view. It packs in a lot more functionality anyway.
Not only does Outline view in Word let you assess the structure of a document, it lets you move chunks of content with a click. On the View ribbon, click Outline in the Views group on the far left. Or at the far right of the document frame, click the icon on the bottom that looks like a bullet list (Figure 1). This displays the document as chunks of content, each marked by a square, minus or plus sign as shown in Figure 2. A plus sign means that there is content “within” that level. In the example, the Shortcut heading has no content “within” it but the List heading does.
Moving Content Chunks
Each block of content can be selected by clicking on the
square/plus/minus sign. Then you can drag it to a new order. Dragging the
content slightly left or right will also nest it under a headline. When a plus
sign is clicked, all content “within” that heading level is selected as well as
the heading. Clicking a square selects that chunk alone.
First Line View
Parading the topic sentences is a great way to check a
document for flow. Rather than scrolling for hours, use Outline view to show
you only the first line of each paragraph. To do this, enable Outline view to
open the Outlining ribbon shown in Figure 3. Then click the box in the Outline
Tools area that says “Show First Line Only.”
In “first line view” you can still select whole blocks of
text and move them around. You can even select whole sections or chapters,
moving them without scrolling for days. Just remember that when you select a
heading chunk, all content “within” that heading is selected too.
The flow of headings is as important as the flow of paragraphs.
To view just the headings in the document, change the “level” of content that
is visible. In the Outline Tools (Figure 3), select how many levels of content
you would like to see from the “Show Level:” box. The “level” of content is set
by applying Styles in Word. If you’re using custom styles, levels need to be
set for them for this view to work.
Viewing headings only, you can move whole swaths of content (even whole chapters) easily just by clicking a blue selector, then dragging the chunk.
Exit Outline View
To view all content again, either set “Show Level:” to “All Levels” or go to a Draft or Print view.