Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Eleven Reasons to Outline Your Next Complex Project
take you to the goal of your document. Your headings reflect the major categories
of information that your audience wants to know. As you create the outline, you can
make sure you’re covering all of the topics necessary to reach your goal.
• You can create an organized, thoughtful document. Your outline lists not only
the major categories but also smaller subtopics within each category. The multilevel
capabilities offered by Word outlines (up to nine levels) enable you to organize your
thoughts to the smallest detail.
• The headings remind you where you’re going. Once you’ve produced an outline
that you’re happy with, you’re free to write the document as your muse strikes. If you
tend to write as inspiration leads, you can simply go with the low and let the words
fly—in the appropriate sections, of course. (If you change your mind, you can always
move the sections later if you choose.) If you’re more of a left brain, analytical writer,
you can craft your sentences within the structured topics, making sure you’ve got the
requisite topic sentence, supporting sentences, and closing or transition sentence.
• You can easily reorganize your document at any time. Word gives you the
means to move parts of your document easily, even after your long document is filled
with text. You can collapse topics to their headings and move them around as you
like. And of course, Undo usually reverses your most recent action if you decide it
was a bad move.
• You can expand and collapse topics. The expand and collapse outline features
of Word 2010 enable you to change what you’re viewing in the document. A fully
expanded outline shows everything entered thus far—therefore, all of the text you’ve
written, subheadings you’ve added, and notes you’ve inserted are visible in a fully
expanded outline view. If you want to limit the display to only headings and
subheadings, you can collapse the outline to show only those items. This enables you to
check that your organization is logical, you’ve covered everything you want to cover,
and your topics are in the right order.
• You can divide long documents into subdocuments or merge subdocuments
into one long document. Using the Word 2010 Master Document feature, you
can divide long documents into smaller chunks so that you can work with them more
easily. When you pull the document back together, all of the pieces can be merged
into one coherent whole. Using the outlining feature enables you to see at a glance
the most logical places for divisions.
For more information about creating and working with Master Documents, see
Chapter 24, “Special Features for Long Documents.”