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: Condensing and Expanding Headings.

Condensing and Expanding Headings

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 13, 2014)

When you are working Outline view, Word displays only the headings you want displayed. You control this by selecting a heading level on the Outline toolbar. Word will only show those heading levels equal to or higher than the level you specify. You might, however, want to selectively condense headings or body text under specific headings. You do this in the following manner:

  1. Position the insertion point somewhere in the heading whose subordinate information you wish to condense.
  2. Click your mouse on the minus sign tool on the Outline toolbar. This condenses the heading.
  3. Click your mouse on the plus sign tool on the Outline toolbar. This expands the heading.
  4. Continue to click your mouse on the minus sign tool until the information is condensed to the level desired.

Word allows you to quickly condense or expand all the information under a heading by double-clicking your mouse on the minus sign or plus sign to the left of a heading. This assumes, of course, that the information under the heading had been previously expanded.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1868) 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: Condensing and Expanding Headings.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Printing Style Sheets

Want to see what styles are defined in your document? Let Word print out a simplistic style sheet for you.

Discover More

Automatically Adjusting Height for Text Boxes

Text boxes are often used to enhance the layout of documents. You may want a text box that adjusts its height automatically ...

Discover More

Freezing a Table

Tired of Word changing the dimensions of table cells to accommodate what you place in those cells? You can instruct Word to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Changing Body Text to a Heading

When working on a document in Outline view, you may need to change regular body text to a heading in the outline. It's easy ...

Discover More

Changing Outline Heading Level

Working with a document's outline can be a great way to organize your writing. Word provides a variety of tools for working ...

Discover More

Printing an Outline

Outlining is a great way to develop the content of your document. If you need to, you can even print the outline and only the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

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 4 + 1?

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
Subscribe

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.