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

17 Jan

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: , , , ,

5 responses to “How do I view my Navigation pane in Word? How do I see the headings in a list?

  1. Samantha Lowe

    January 17, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for all these handy hints on Word. I learn something new every time and your instructions are easy to follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liz Dexter

      January 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      That’s very kind of you, thank you! I’m glad I’m able to help!


  2. Don Massenzio

    January 18, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Check out this great post from the Libro Editing blog with instructions on viewing your navigation pane in Word.



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