Displaying the Outlining Toolbar by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 26, 2018)

The Outlining toolbar in Word contains a number of tools that are very helpful, and not just when you are working in Outline view. Most notably it contains two tools that are helpful for tables of contents. One tool, Update TOC, is great for updating the TOC while you are developing the document. The other tool, Go To TOC, allows you to jump back to the TOC from any place in the document.

Because these tools are so helpful, some people like to display the Outlining toolbar all the time. It displays automatically when you switch to Outline view, but at other times you must choose View | Toolbars | Outlining to display it. Getting the Outlining toolbar to display at all times is a bit trickier. The only way to do this is by using a macro that runs automatically when you start Word. You can do this by adding the following macro to the Normal.dot template:

Sub AutoOpen()
    CommandBars("Outlining").Visible = True
End Sub

If you prefer not to use a macro, you should consider simply giving up on the Outlining toolbar and creating your own custom toolbar. If all you are interested in is the TOC-related tools, this is a very easy thing to do:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Make sure that the Commands tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Commands tab of the Customize dialog box.

  4. In the Categories list, choose All Commands.
  5. Scroll through the list of commands and select GotoTableOfContents.
  6. Drag the GotoTableOfContents tool out of the list and drop it at the toolbar location where you want it to appear.
  7. Scroll through the list of commands and select UpdateTableOfContents.
  8. Drag the UpdateTableOfContents tool out of the list and drop it at the toolbar location where you want it to appear.
  9. Close the Customize dialog box.

With the two tools appearing on a different toolbar, you no longer need to display the Outlining toolbar all the time.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (205) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...

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