Monthly Archives: January 2018

How do I view my Navigation pane in Word? How do I see the headings in a list?

If you have set Headings Styles in your Word document, you can view the headings in your document using the Navigation pane. This article tells you how.

Why do I need to look at the Navigation pane?

If you have a long document with lots of headings, it’s really useful to get a view, a bit like a Contents page, showing all your headings and sub-headings.

The Navigation pane also gives you a handy way to move sections of your document around without too much copy-pasting and scrolling. Watch out for instructions on that, coming soon!

Note that this only works if you have applied headings styles to your document, i.e. marked your headings as Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. (see information on how to do this here). If you haven’t applied headings styles, Word can’t know what’s a heading and what’s normal text, so won’t be able to display your headings in the Navigation pane.

How do I access the Navigation pane?

Initially, your document will look like this: just the text on a page:

There are two ways to access the Navigation pane:

1. Press the Control and F keys at the same time.

2. Go to the View tab and tick the box next to Navigation Pane Show

In both cases, if you have headings set up in your document, you will now see the Navigation pane on the left-hand side of your screen:

You can see here that you have the top-level headings and sub-headings showing in your Navigation pane.

Make sure you are in headings view by checking the tabs at the top. You should be on the left-hand one:

How do I use the Navigation pane?

You can click on any heading in the Navigation pane to move directly to that heading in the document. For example, clicking on the “All about Twitter” heading in my Navigation pane will take me to that heading:

You can also use the Navigation pane to move chunks of text around, but I’ll talk about that in another article.

How do I close the Navigation pane?

You can close the Navigation pane using the x in the top right corner of the pane, or by unticking Navigation pane show.

This article has explained what the Navigation pane is, why you might find it useful and how to use it to view your document headings.

I hope you’ve found this article useful. Do please add a comment or use the sharing buttons below if you have found it useful or interesting. Thank you!

Other useful articles on this blog

Applying Heading Styles


Posted by on January 17, 2018 in Word, Writing


Tags: , , , ,

What should I write in my first blog post?

What should I write in my first blog post?

Over the years on this blog I’ve shared all sorts of advice about how to set up your blog, the advantages of blogging, top tips for newbies at blogging, etc. But a client asked me a very good question recently: “What should I write my first blog post about?”

Now, it’s very tempting to write your first blog post about yourself, introducing yourself and your expertise. You want your readers to trust you, right?

Well, I think more than that, you want your blog posts to help you to be FOUND.

My first blog post on this blog was this one: Introduction (on 14 October 2009). How many hits has that had? Not many. In fact, I didn’t have many hits at all those first few years – because I was just talking about myself and what I did, yes, sharing loads of keywords, but not really talking about what I could do to help people.

On 6 November 2011, I had a terrible problem with a Word document. It was sent to me by someone else and all the comment balloons were teeny-tiny and unreadable. I found out what to do to sort it out and thought, “Hm, I’d better make a note of what I did”. So I created a new blog post, called it What to do if your comment boxes go tiny in Word, and at that point, I just wrote a list of the steps I’d taken. None of the fancy screen shots that festoon this and other posts nowadays.

But what happened? People had always been searching that question, and now they started to find my blog. People STILL find that article and find it helpful today! Just today, at the time of typing this, 41 of the views of my blog  have been of that post. Over 23,000 views in the last 365 days. It’s consistently in the top 10 of viewed posts. Still.

So if you want to start blogging for your business, your recipes, your book reviews, I recommend that you start your blog with an informative, useful post that will help people (buy a greenhouse / cook a nice meal / find a new book to read).

Where should all the stuff saying how trustworthy, knowledgeable and generally amazing you are go? In your About Me page. If someone finds something useful on your blog, they might well click on that, have a look and even get in touch to order services or products from you.

In this article I’ve shared my ideas and experience around what to write in your first blog post. If you’ve found this useful, please share using the buttons below, or leave me a comment!

Other useful articles on this blog

Top tips for newbie bloggers

10 reasons to start a blog

10 reasons NOT to write a blog

Top 10 blogging sins

Scheduling blog posts and keeping going

Five ways to drive and increase engagement with your blog

How to keep people engaged with your blog



Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Blogging, Business


Tags: , ,

Small business chat update – Tammy Ditmore

Small business chat update – Tammy Ditmore

Welcome back to Small Business Chat Saturday! I’ve had a bit of a hiatus over the Festive Period here in the UK, as my site visits go down and it doesn’t seem fair to give an interviewee less exposure just because they’ve come to the top of the list at a time when everyone else is busy! So we’re back today with Tammy Ditmore, who has an editing business with an inspired name – eDITMORE Editorial Services! We first met Tammy in June 2012, and had update chats in June 2013, August 2014, September 2015 and most recently, November 2016. Of course I take a special interest in other editors’ lives and work, and I was interested to see how things panned out this year, as Tammy’s resolution last time we spoke was this: I really hesitate to answer this question. I am once again reconsidering what kinds of clients I really want to work with and how to attract those clients. So let’s just say that I hope I will continue to be busy and continue to have opportunities to do work that I enjoy.” Read on to find out how she’s been getting on.

Hello again, Tammy, and a wave from over the ocean! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?

Hello! Not exactly. I have had fewer clients this year than in years past, and my calendar for the coming months is uncomfortably light at the moment [as of late November].

What has changed and what has stayed the same?

I’ve still got many of my long-time clients, but I have had fewer big projects this year. Part of that has been my own making; I scheduled more vacation breaks this year than I normally do because I had some opportunities to travel that I simply couldn’t turn down. But I also had to take off time unexpectedly to help my mother, who lives in another state. I had to turn away some potential clients for a while, and I wound up giving discounts to some other clients because I was not able to finish their work as quickly as I had expected. Now that I’m home and in a more stable place, I’ve had fewer projects for the past month or so than I typically do.

What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?

That I can’t always meet my promised turnaround times. Sometimes things come up that take precedence over work, and if I don’t leave myself some margins, I’m going to let someone down. I think I’m also learning that my “passive” marketing activities over the past few years apparently were working better than I thought. I spent less time this year updating my blog, being active in editorial discussion groups, going to conferences, teaching online courses, etc., and I’ve had fewer clients this year too. I have had few true dry spells in the past seven years, but I seem to be in one right now, and I have to believe it’s because I let those things slide too much.

Any more hints and tips for people?

Don’t forget to keep marketing your business!

And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?

If things stay slow in the new year, I will be making some concentrated efforts to contact past clients, and some new publishers, businesses, etc. I’m not panicking (yet) because I have some good ideas about which bushes to start shaking. In fact, I’m not too sad about having a little extra time to catch my breath during the holiday season–I just don’t want this slower work pace to last for too long!

I know myself how tricky unexpected events can be for the freelancer. I had an operation this last year, the worst of it being when it got postponed at fairly short notice after I’d told my regular clients when I wouldn’t be available. Right in the middle of all that, I gained two wonderful new prospective clients who I didn’t want to lose – I just had to be honest about things and give people longer deadlines than usual – and that was much easier for me because I did have some time to plan things out a little bit. That marketing that goes on in the background is important, and so is the community of editors – of course I offered to add Tammy to my list of recommended editors on my Links page on this site when I heard she was in a low patch, and hopefully that will send some enquiries her way. I love the way our community looks out for each other and I hope things will be more predictable for both of us over the coming year.



Tammy’s website is at and you can of course contact her by email. She’s based in California.

If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources. 

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 6, 2018 in Business, Small Business Chat


Tags: ,

Decor or decoration?

Well, it’s almost time to take our Christmas decorations down, for those who have them (and no, I’m not going to get into the argument about whether Twelfth Night is the 5th or 6th of January …) so I thought I’d do a seasonal post, talking about decor or decoration. And I hope you all had a good break, whatever and whenever you celebrate, and wish all my readers a Happy New Year as this blog goes into its seventh year …

A decoration is an ornament or less frequently an award or medal. Decoration is the act of decorating something (making it look nicer by adding or changing items such as wallpaper, paint, etc),

Decor is all of the decoration and furniture in a room, the whole thing. So decor is the larger category, into which decoration falls. Your Christmas tree, if you had one, as well as its decorations and any decorations hanging from the chandeliers and door frames, will all form part of the general decor of your house and rooms.

You can find more troublesome pairs here, and here’s the index to them all!

1 Comment

Posted by on January 4, 2018 in Errors, Language use