Thursday, October 31, 2013

Working in the Outline View in Microsoft Word

It is sad that Microsoft has sought to de-emphasise Outline View in Microsoft Word 2013 – it may be that they are optimising the user interface of these programs for Windows 8 touch tablets (Surface, Surface Pro and so on).

For putting structured thoughts to paper (think academic Thesis, comprehensive proposals and arguments), outlining is a very powerful tool and closely related to Buzan Mind Maps.

Since you are thinking out, you don’t want paper layout, fonts, or how it appears (presentation with diagrams and so on) to get in the way, you just want to write and re-organise.

Switching Views

Microsoft Knowledgebase 290938 has the following recommendations:

  • Alt+Ctrl+P for Print Layout View
  • Alt+Ctrl+O for Outline View
  • Alt+Ctrl+N for Draft View

ShortcutWorld has a visually pleasant list of keystrokes.

Whilst in Outline View

  • Ctrl+Tab to insert a Tab Character when in Outline View (since the Tab and Shift+Tab combination is busy)
  • Numeric keypad Slash (/) to toggle display of character formatting has a short and sweet list of Keyboard Shortcuts by Dan Gookin.
Tip: Ctrl+Shift+N to force the current paragraph to Normal Style

Don’t forget to visit Word MVP FAQ for some experienced insight tips.

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