MS Word Outline, Print Layout and Draft Views


If your document contains several sections, you can use Outline view to examine and change its structure. You observe your book’s basic structure already in the Table of Contents or by opening the Navigation Pane, but Outline view provides a unique functionality.

In Outline Word lets you select how many levels are visible, this way helping you to make temporarily invisible not only your body text but even higher levels, concentrating only to titles you want, locating sections you may need to move or edit, etc. When you drag a title to a different location in Outline view the text follows with it, although it still remains invisible. Just don’t make the mistake to move entries of your Table of Contents, if you have one and is visible, instead of the actual headings of your chapters! To avoid mistakes do not ever select more levels than what you really need to work with. Start configuring Outline view by selecting only top headings, for instance the first 2 levels; keep adding more until you see all the headings of chapters and sections you’d like to edit or just inspect.

Use Draft view when you prefer to write without caring about placement of objects on the page. Draft view can be risky when you have graphics in your document, since some of them are invisible in this mode and you might delete them if you are careless. Draft view likes text-only versions; you can use this mode to edit easily your footnotes or even your text without viewing footnotes, to move faster in your document, etc. In Draft view the lines of a document usually flow outside your visible area! To fix this, go to Word Options > Advanced > Show document content, and activate the option, Show text wrapped within the document window.

Print Layout is what you would like and should use most of the time, since in this view Word lets you monitor on screen what you’ll get in print. A serious problem in Print Layout, especially if your vision is not perfect, is that your text may appear small compared with what you see in Draft mode. You can solve this without sacrificing the benefits of Print Layout, by using Word’s Zoom feature. This way everything may appear larger, yet with proportions remaining the same. Right now I am in Print Layout using a zoom scale of 142%. Some graphics seem a little blurry, but this is not a real problem. I can monitor not only proportions but the actual size of everything when I want it, by just resorting temporarily to Print Preview mode. A keyboard shortcut activates this mode easily.

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