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Opening the Document Map by Default

One of the features that Word provides for working with a document is referred to as the Document Map. How you use this feature has been discussed in other issues of WordTips. Exactly when the Document Map pops up, however, may seem a bit confusing—until you understand how Word uses this tool.

The first thing to understand is that there is no Document Map "setting" that is saved with a document. Instead, the Document Map is either on or off within the current environment, on a document-by-document basis. Thus, you can have two documents open at the same time, and be using the Document Map in only one of them. If you are viewing the document that has the Document Map turned on, and you open or create another document, then Word assumes you want the Document Map turned on for the new document, as well. If you are viewing the document that is not using the Document Map and you open or create another document, then Word assumes you don't want to use the Document Map for the new document.

If you want to make sure that the Document Map is always open for specific documents, then the only way to accomplish this is through the use of a macro that is saved with those specific documents. The following macro will do the trick, if you save it as part of the ThisDocument object for the document in question:

Private Sub Document_Open()
    ThisDocument.ActiveWindow.DocumentMap = True
    ThisDocument.ActiveWindow.DocumentMapPercentWidth = 20
End Sub

This little macro makes sure that the Document Map is open, and that it is set to 20% of the width of the program window. (You can change the percentage, if desired.) The caveat to remember with this macro is that while it turns the Document Map on, the Document Map will also be on for any other documents that you open while viewing this particular document. (Remember—that's the way Word treats the Document Map feature, as described earlier.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1628) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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