How to make an outline in Word

word outline

Microsoft Word is one of the most used programs around the world on a daily basis. Millions of people use it, both for their work and for their studies. It is a program where we have a multitude of functions, which make it a very versatile tool. Among the functions available in Word we have the possibility of making an outline.

This is something that may be necessary on many occasions, although many users don't know how to make an outline in Microsoft Word. If you have doubts about the way in which you can do this, then we will tell you how it is possible to do one. Since this is something that you may need at some point, when you have to deliver a project or work.

As we said, Word is a very versatile program, where we have many functions available. Among them we find this possibility of creating all kinds of schemes, something that can undoubtedly be very helpful in some work or project that we have to deliver, it can contribute to a better visualization of the data or the levels that are in it. . We also tell you how we can create a concept map in a document, something that may also interest many users in Word.

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Aspects to consider

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An outline is something that will allow us to have a structured summary of the content of a document that we are creating in the office suite. As with the index, the document will have to be organized in levels, which can be divided into a few main points. This scheme in Word is something that we can use whenever we want, although it is something that may be of special interest or use in documents that are very extensive.

Something that generates doubts among many users is when to use this scheme. If it is better to do it before writing the entire document or if it is just better to do it later. In the case of doing it before writing, this outline is something that can be used as a kind of guide to write the document in question in Word. So it can be helpful to see the points we want to develop, if we have already thought or prepared them. It is also possible to do this at the end, when we have finished writing that document, because we already have the contents and points of the document in front of us. So for some it may be more comfortable.

Therefore, when to introduce this scheme is something every user should consider. Both options are going to be equally valid, so it is more a matter of preferences for each one when writing, if you want to have the outline as a guide or if you want to add it at the end. The steps that we are going to do in any case are the same.

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Create outline in Word

Create outline in Word

In many cases, this scheme is entered in Word at the end, once the document has been written. The advantage here is that we can see now the levels that we have created in this document, so it may be more comfortable for many users. Although it does not matter when it is done, since the steps to follow will be the same. The steps we have to follow in this case are the following:

  1. Open the document in Word where you want to enter that outline.
  2. Place yourself at the point in the document where you are going to put this outline.
  3. Go to the View menu at the top.
  4. Look for the Scheme option.
  5. Click on it.
  6. The text is already displayed in the outline format. Now we have to write the titles that we are going to use in the document, and then assign the level that corresponds to each of them.
  7. If you had already created the text, then assign the levels. Word normally assigns that level based on the type of heading you've used, so we applied the level manually in this case.

With these steps we have created this scheme in Word, as you will have already seen in the document itself. Each user will be able to choose the type of scheme to use, in addition to assigning the levels to their liking, so this will depend on the type of document that you have created. Although in all cases this scheme is intended to be a way of summarizing information, which helps to better understand or read this document in the office suite.

Create a concept map

Concept map in Word

In reality we have different types of schemes, such as the conceptual map. Many people may want to have one of these in their Word document. The good news is that this is possible, so if a concept map is something you find more interesting or think works better visually in a Word document, then you can create that too. The document editor gives us this possibility.

The Concept Map allows us to draw arrows between one box and another. The process of creating this type of scheme is somewhat longer, because it is a somewhat more complex design, although we obtain good results, with a design that is visually very interesting. These are the steps we have to follow to do it:

  1. Open the Word document in question.
  2. Place yourself at the point where you want to enter this outline.
  3. Go to the Insert section at the top of the screen.
  4. Choose the Shapes option.
  5. Choose the shape you would like to use on your map.
  6. Hold down on the shape and choose its size.
  7. Select the color of the background, shape outline, or shape fill.
  8. Right click on this shape with the mouse.
  9. In the drop-down menu choose the Add text option.
  10. Choose the format of the text.

When we have created the first box of this concept map, we just have to repeat this process, until we have all the ones we need in this concept map. The best thing is to copy the rectangle in question and place it elsewhere, so that little by little we create this map that we are going to use in the Word document. We will only have to change the text, or change the color of this box, as a way to show the various levels within it, for example.

The process itself is not complicated, but it is somewhat longer, as you can see. While a concept map is a good alternative to a traditional outline in Word. In addition, for many users it is something that works better visually, so it is worth carrying out this process. Once this is done, we can add the braces that end this concept map. This is the way it is done:

  1. Go to the Insert in the document section.
  2. Go to Shapes.
  3. Choose the key you want to use.
  4. Insert the key into the concept map.
  5. Adjust the size at each level.
  6. Paste the key in all cases where it should be.

If you have created a concept map that you like, the best you can do is to save this design in a document, so that you will use it in the future in others. Thus, you will only have to change the name in each box or the colors, but the longest part has already been completed in this way. It will allow you to save time in this sense, every time you are going to use one in a document.


word templates

Of course, we don't always have to create an outline or concept map ourselves in Word. We also have at our disposal a large number of templates, which we will be able to use in these cases. Using a template is not a bad thing, since it saves us time in the creation process and we also know that we already have a suitable design, which is a scheme or map that we can already use in this Word document, because ready.

We met with web pages where we have templates available for all kinds of elements in Word. So we also find schematic templates or conceptual maps that we can use in our case. In addition, we have many designs available in this regard, so it will only be a matter of choosing the design that we consider best fits the document that we are writing in this case.

When using a template, the only thing we are going to have to do is introduce the titles or texts that we want to use in this scheme. That is, the names of the levels that we have in the document. So the process is simpler, as it is simply a title or level that we are going to have to enter in it. So if you think that creating an outline in Word is something complex, or you just don't want to get down to it, you can resort to templates. A good website in this sense is Smile Template, where we have many available designs that will help us in this regard, we can find a scheme that we are going to use in the document.

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