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I'm currently typing up notes in Microsoft Word using the outline mode, but when I try to print this document it loses the outlining format and reverts to the original document:

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6 Answers

The generel procedure to print the outline (with headers indented etc.) is to switch to outline view and then select the print function.

However, at least in Word 2010 this might be a bit confusing. When you access the print function you are switching away from outline view and you are also presented with a print preview on the right side of the window. This preview will display the document as if it was printed normally not using the outline. However, when actually printing you still get the outline.

If you want to only print the outline down to a level of your choice you simply have to customize the outline view by hiding lower level items before printing it.

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I just checked and Martin is right - this also works - and yes it IS confusing. –  yosh m Jul 5 '11 at 20:19
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Thanks, Martin! How naive of me to assume that the print preview actually previewed what was going to be printed, so I gave up that path and kept looking until your answer here revealed I should close my eyes, tap my heels together and believe my outline will emerge, so +1 from me! See my related question for another facet of outlining I am trying to figure out. –  Michael Sorens Sep 9 '11 at 0:17
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You could put in a table of contents, tied to the headings you have used, then just print the pages which have the TOC on them

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This was driving me crazy, too. Finally I found the way to do it. Instead of using the regular Print command (which switches to regular Print Layout view & shows you a print preview), you need to use the Quick Print command.

Here are a couple ways to access it:

  1. On the Quick Access Toolbar (usually it is above the Tabs in the window's title bar on the left side), press on the down-arrow to customize it. You'll see one of the commands you can choose is Quick Print. Select it to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. Use the Search Commands tab (a tool available from the Office Labs site at http://www.officelabs.com/projects/searchcommands/ ) and search for Print or Quick Print - it'll show up in the results.

Now - how do you use it? First, set your Default Printer to the printer you want to use. Second, put your document in Outline view and arrange what you want to have shown (i.e., how many levels, etc.). Then press the Quick Print button and presto - it prints out what is on the screen, without switching to the Print Layout, i.e., in the Outline view.

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Outlining format by design will not print exactly what is shown in outline mode. If you want your document to look like what's on the screen when you print it, design it in print layout view (View tab -> Document Views -> Print Layout).

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I use a template with the same outline structure but the outline levels I do not want to appear are formatted as "hidden." Then when the outline in the document to be printed changes I copy the entire document (Select All—Copy.) In my print template I replace the out dated text with the copied version using Paste Special "Formatted Text RTF" option.

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The best way to print an outline is to apply a different style outline to the document, I believe. In Word 2013: Select All, Multilevel List (Dropdown Menu, under HOME), [select any list with HEADING 1-------, HEADING 2------- following it].

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