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Chapter 15. Outlining: The Best Way to O... > Understanding Outline View

Understanding Outline View

Soon, you'll learn techniques for polishing your outline to make sure your document is actually structured the way you want. First, however, you notice three things about Outline view:

  • Each paragraph has a symbol to its left. These symbols tell you what you need to know about the paragraph's relationship to surrounding text:

    • A plus sign (+) tells you the paragraph has subordinate text. This text may consist of lower-level headings, paragraphs formatted in styles that Word does not recognize as a heading or outline level, or both.

    • A minus sign (–) tells you the paragraph has no subordinate text. In other words, the paragraph has a heading style or outline level, but no subheads or body text are beneath it.

    • A small square tells you the paragraph is body text.

  • Paragraph formatting, such as indents and line spacing, disappears. In fact, Word grays out the Format, Paragraph menu command, so you can't use it to add new paragraph formatting. In its place, Word displays its own outline indenting to make it obvious which paragraphs are most important (for example, which appear at the highest level of your outline) and which are subordinate.

  • The Outlining toolbar appears. This toolbar contains all the tools you need to edit and manage your outline.


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