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: Navigating Your Document Using Outline View.

Navigating Your Document Using Outline View

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 25, 2015)

If you use defined styles, and you have organized your document so you use the headings defined by Word, you can use the Outline view to navigate through your document. For instance, let's assume you have a large document, and you want to quickly jump to a location that you figure is about three-fourths of the way through the document. You know the heading for the text you want to find, but you can't quite remember the exact wording (therefore, you can't use the Find command). Here's how you could use Outline view to find the area:

  1. Choose Outline from the View menu, or click the Outline view icon in the left side of the Status Bar. The screen changes and the outline toolbar is displayed.
  2. Depending on your version of Word, either click on first-level heads on the toolbar (the tool with the number one on it) or use the Show Level drop-down list to choose Level 1 Heads. All text except first-level heads disappears.
  3. Read through the heads to find the section you want.
  4. Make sure the insertion point is positioned within the header text.
  5. Choose Normal, Page Layout, or Print Layout from the View menu. Your cursor is now in the section where you wanted to be.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (28) 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: Navigating Your Document Using Outline View.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Applying the All Caps Format

Want your text to always appear in upper-case, regardless of how you type it? Word allows you to add formatting to your ...

Discover More

Counting Characters in Text Boxes

When you do a word count, the value that is returned does not include any text contained in text boxes. This may not be a ...

Discover More

Large Toolbar Buttons

Do you wish that the buttons on your Excel toolbars were easier to see and use? The answer could be to turn on the large ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Jumping to a Specific Page

Want to jump to a particular page in your document? Word makes it easy; just pull up the Go To tab of the Find and ...

Discover More

Jumping Back in a Long Document

Navigating quickly and easily around a document becomes critical as the document becomes larger and larger. This tip ...

Discover More

Jumping to a Relative Line Number

As you navigate through a document, you may have a need to move forward or backward a specific number of lines. This is ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.