Try This! Restructure Using Styles

In this exercise, you’ll practice applying Styles and using the Outline View.

Heading levels must be indicated in the manuscript in some way. Heads can’t simply be formatted as body text—even boldfacing will help the designer as much as the editor. And the reader absolutely needs them.

The truly useful method of indicating heading levels (main, sub, sub-sub, etc.) is to apply heading Styles in Word. Not only does the background coding get used by multiple layout and design workflows including ebook converters and other CMS, but you’ll be able to use these styled heads to check (and alter) the structure and flow of the piece using Word’s Outline view (or Navigation pane on a Windows computer; Document Map, on a Mac), as we learned in a previous blog post.

Try It Now

  1. Use the mock Word document above. It’s been machine translated out of English so that the words don’t distract you.
  2. Turn on Track Changes in Word.
  3. Apply Heading Styles from the Home ribbon to match what the headings say. (E.g., a line containing H2 should be styled as Heading 2, etc. Normally the lines would not have codes in them; this was added only to facilitate this exercise.)
  4. Open the Navigation pane to check that the headings display properly. The figures below in the How Did You Do? section show what the Nav pane should look like on a Mac and on a Windows computer.
  5. Now switch to Outline view in Word, which you’ll find on the left side of the View ribbon.
  6. Click and drag the plus sign at “Subhead H3 point A” and drag that content to the end of the file. Release the click to drop the content into place.
  7. Next, click the plus sign at “Subhead H2 second” and drag that content up and drop it directly beneath the main title.
  8. Finally, click the square bullet before the word Ukushintsha, and drag that up to directly beneath the title, above the “Subhead H2 second”.
  9. Save your work.
banner eiw365
For more about working with Styles, start on page 59 of the book. Check page page 67 for more on Outline View.

How Did You Do?

After completing all steps, the Outline View should look like this. Click here to see the Windows graphics which are slightly different. To use accessibility features, download the solution file.

Does your finished document look like the figure at the right? Don’t worry if the font family or size of headings is different than the sample solution; you’re only concerned with the organizational levels. It’s the + and •, indenting and order that should match the figure at right.


If your file doesn’t look identical to the solution, try accepting all changes. Drag the content around until its order matches the solution. One common error is dropping the content at the wrong indent level, effectively changing how it is nested. That would make an H3 head into an H2 head, for example.

If that doesn’t do the trick, review the video demo and try the steps again.

Note that this doesn’t function well or at all when using the web version of Word.

Take It Further

The reason the “look” of these heads doesn’t matter is that they can be changed with a click; and the designer will surely be applying the publication’s specs. Applying Styles enables the designer to make such adjustments in a click or two, without manually brute-force-changing every head (and inevitably making a mistake because they’re human). Besides, the writer and editor know the content well enough to determine head levels; the designer should not have to read the document that closely.

Try It Out!

  1. Open the document and select a heading.
  2. Then, use the Font area on the Home ribbon to change how it looks; make it 16 pt bold orange Arial, for example.
  3. Finally, right-click on the selected Style in the Home ribbon and select “Update [style] to Match Selection” (that’s a cmd + click or two-finger tap for Mac users without a right mouse button).

See how all the heads at that level automatically changed to match this new gawdy look!? That’s just one way to modify a Style.

banner eiw365
For more about working with Styles, start on page 59 of the book which contains dozens more tutorials like this as well as dozens of demo videos.

Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.

Never miss a Word-Wrangling Wednesday tip. Sign up here to get them by email.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

By practicing one tip each week, you can invest 13 hours this year into professional development. To search the blog, use the orange bar right above this.

© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Share this post

2 thoughts on “Try This! Restructure Using Styles”

Leave a Reply