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Using the Document Map in Word

In Word, you can use the Document Map to display a list of all headings in your document down the left-hand side of your document window. In many respects, the Document Map performs a similar function to that a navigation bar on a webpage.

When you turn on the Document Map, you can quickly navigate up and down through the document, rather than having to laboriously scroll through pages to find the paragraph title you re looking for. You can see all the chapter headings at a glance and move quickly through the document.

Word Document Maps Tricks

In Word, go to View > Document Map. This displays the navigation map on the left-hand side of the screen. If your document is well-designed, and uses styles rather than hard-coded headings, the map should displays only the chapter headings.

Later we will explain why the Document Map sometimes displays items that are not actual headings and how to get rid of them!

How to use the Document Map

Once you have opened the document map, click on a heading (for example, Chapter 2, Proposal Solution) and Word will jump to the corresponding chapter heading in your Proposal, while also highlighting the chapter heading in the Document Map.

How to navigate your document

To use the Document Map effectively, all headings must be formatted as heading styles, such as Heading 1, Heading 2 and so forth, and not hard-coded.

Hard-coding means that you change the default Normal style settings to force the style to appear as a heading. Instead, use Word s default style headings or create your own styles.

On the View menu, click Document Map.

To display all headings at a specific level:

  • Right-click a heading in the Document Map, and then select a heading level on the shortcut menu. For example, click Show Heading 2 to display heading levels 1 through 2.
  • To expand the sub-headings under a main heading, click the (+) sign next to the heading.
  • To collapse the sub-headings under a main heading, click the (-) sign next to the heading.
  • To turn-off the Document Map, click Document Map on the View menu.

Tip: You can also close the Document Map by double-clicking the resize bar at the right-edge of the pane.

Formatting text in the Document Map pane

You can also change the appearance of headings displayed in the Document Map pane. These changes will not affect the text in the document:

  • On the View menu, click Document Map.
  • On the Format menu, click Styles and Formatting.
  • In the Styles and Formatting task pane, click Custom in the Show box.
  • In the Category list, click All styles.
  • In the Styles to be visible list, select the Document Map check box, and click OK.
  • In the Styles and Formatting task pane, under Pick formatting to apply, select Document Map, click the arrow, and then click Modify.
  • In the Modify Style dialog box, click Format.
  • To modify the font settings, click Font, and then make your changes in the font and size boxes.
  • To set the highlight color, click Border, click the Shading tab, and then select the Fill color you want.

Why doesn't the Document Map display any headings?

This usually occurs when Microsoft Word can t find what it recognizes as headings in the document. In other words, it can t identify any headings formatted with styles or outline-level to paragraphs in your document.

So this is what happens: Word searches the document for paragraphs that look like headings (for example, short lines with a larger font size). It this applies an Outline Level to these headings and displays them in the Document Map.

The result is that your document map will display every short paragraph heading, table title, caption, warning message, callout, it finds. In this case, switch to Outline View (View > Outline) and use it navigation map feature. Once you have corrected the document by applying style to headings, you can revert to the Document Map.

Why has the Document Map disappeared?

The Document Map is available only for the view you're currently in. If you switch to another view, for example, View > Outline, you need to select View > Document Map again to display the Document Map for that view.

Why can't I view picture bullets applied to headings?

The Document Map cannot display picture bullets applied to headings. Instead, it displays a minus sign (-) next to the heading. Rather, if you want to show bullets in the Document Map, use text bullets as a workaround.

Why does the Document Map return to its original width after I resize it?

The Document Map retains a custom width setting only for the active session. When you reopen the document, Microsoft Word automatically sets the Document Map to its default setting, which is twenty-five percent the width of the window.

What are the disadvantages of Document Map?

If the document is not well-structured, (i.e. styles have not been used for headings) the Document Map will convert everything that appears to be a heading into an document map entry this results in a very lengthy and garbled Document Map that is of little use to anyone.

To resolve this, update your document so that it uses styles for all chapter headings and remove all hard-coding entries.

Is there an alternative to Document Map?

Indeed there is! The Outline View is worth considering as an alternative to Document Map. The advantage of Outline View is that, as well as displaying expandable chapter headings, you can also move entire chapters from one section to another.

To do this, collapse the chapter headings, select the chapter, and cut! Find the target location and paste it in. You can find Outline View at View > Outline.

Your Thoughts?

What are your thoughts on this? Drop me a line at ivan at klariti dot com

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