Opening the Document Map by Default

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 10, 2015)

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.

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. ...


Last Document Saves Not Saved

Click the Save button and you expect your document to be saved, right? What if you later discover it wasn't really saved? ...

Discover More

Setting the Print Area

Many people, when they print a worksheet, print the entire thing. You don't have to, however. You can specify that Excel ...

Discover More

Deleting Shortcuts

Windows allows you to easily create any number of shortcuts you desire. If you want to get rid of those shortcuts at some ...

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!


Navigating In the Document Map

Using the Document Map to navigate through your document is easy and intuitive. The value of using it for navigation is only ...

Discover More

Understanding the Document Map

The Document Map is a handy way to view the overall organization of your document as you are working with it. It is like ...

Discover More

Controlling the Outline in the Document Map

When you display the Document Map, you are essentially looking at an outline of the document at the same time as you continue ...

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.

Comments for this tip:

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.


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.

Links and Sharing