Create a document outline in Outline View

Note: This article has done its job, and will be retiring soon. To prevent "Page not found" woes, we're removing links we know about. If you've created links to this page, please remove them, and together we'll keep the web connected.

When you have a complex document to organize, Outline View (View > Outline) helps you focus on its structure. You can use Outline View to create or edit headings, adjust heading levels, and rearrange the content until everything is right where you want it.

(To create an outline from scratch instead of generating one from an existing document, see Create an outline from scratch.)

Click View > Outline. This automatically generates an outline and opens the Outlining tools.

Image showing Outline command on View menu

If your document has headings (any heading levels from H1-H9), you’ll see those headings organized by level.

Image of some of Outline tools on Outlining menu with sample outline in lorem ipsum text

If your document doesn’t have headings and subheadings yet, the whole outline will appear as a bulleted list, with a separate bullet for each paragraph. The text in the bullets will show up as body text until you assign headings.

To assign or edit headings and heading levels and set up your document structure, see Use Outline View to manage headings and arrange text.

Need more help?

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.