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Changing Outline Structure

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing Outline Structure.

If you find yourself in the position of needing to revise the structure of a document, you can make the job easy by following these steps:

  1. Make sure you have used the standard headings defined in the Word styles—Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.
  2. Switch to Outline view. (Easiest way is to click the Outline view icon on the status bar.)
  3. Select the head level at which you want to work with the document. For instance, if you must reorganize at the Heading 2 level, make sure you specify that you want "level 2" displayed in the outline. The way you do this depends on the version of Word you are using. If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, click the 2 tool on the Outline toolbar. If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003, use the Outline Level drop-down list on the Outline toolbar to specify Level 2.
  4. Position the insertion point somewhere in the heading you want to move.
  5. Click your mouse on the Move Up tool to move the heading (and everything subordinate to that heading) higher in the outline. The Move Up tool looks like an up arrow.
  6. Click your mouse on the Move Down tool to move the heading (and everything subordinate to that heading) lower in the outline. The Move Down tool looks like a down arrow.
  7. When you have finished, switch back to your regular viewing mode.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1867) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing Outline Structure.

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