Side Headings seem to be fairly popular now, unfortunately I can't find any definitive guides on how to achieve them within Microsoft Word.

Here is an example, and assuming they are called "side headings", how can I create these?

A method that could be used are a table for each section with top alignment, but this seems messy.

Side Headings

  • I don't think there would be easier way, then using table. What do you mean by messy? You can set the exact look as in your screenshot. – Máté Juhász Mar 19 '17 at 17:49
  • You can put the side headings in the page margins – DavidPostill Mar 19 '17 at 17:51
  • Thanks @DavidPostill thats similar to the answer given by cnread below. – copyandpaster Mar 21 '17 at 18:57

Yes, don't use tables. For one thing, the headings won't show in the navigation pane (if that's important to you). The page that DavidPostill linked to gives the basic info, but if you're using a recent version of Word, some of the information about frames on that page is a bit dated. You don't need to use the Developer tab to insert a frame. That page also doesn't explain how to add the vertical line down the left side of the body text.

  1. On the Layout tab, set a wide margin for the document.
  2. Click in the header (or footer) area to open it for editing.
  3. On the Insert tab, insert a Word shape. Select Line as the shape, and draw it in. Don't worry about getting the length and position right. You'll adjust those next.
  4. On the Format tab for the shape, on the Size tab, set the height to Relative, 100% relative to Margin. On the Position tab, set the horizontal position as desired, so that the line will appear to the left of the body text. Set the vertical position to Alignment, Top, relative to Margin. Select the Lock anchor check box.
  5. On the Home tab, in the list of styles, right-click whichever heading you want to be a side heading, and then click Modify. In the Format drop-down, select Frame. Make sure that the text wrapping is set to Around. Decide how wide you want the side heading to be, and enter that as an Exact width value. (For example, if my left page margin is 150 pt, perhaps I want the side headings to 90 pt wide, so that there's space between the heading and text – with the vertical line that I added in between – and also space between the heading and the left edge of the page.) Set a horizontal position. You'll likely set it as some absolute value relative to Page. Depending on the heading's font and paragraph settings, you might have to tinker with the vertical position to get everything to line up correctly.
  6. Type your document text as normal: Heading paragraphs followed by text paragraphs.
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  • Not messed about with it too much, but that is pretty close: imgur.com/a/qosgZ – copyandpaster Mar 21 '17 at 18:55
  • I know an answer has already been selected, but I recommend setting a wider left/interior margin and specifying a negative indent for the heading(s). I can post an example I use if needed. – user704708 Mar 22 '17 at 6:53
  • @Imagenotavailable, Although that approach will put the heading in the margin, the paragraph that follows will start below the heading; however, the screen capture in the original question shows the heading and the first line of the next paragraph aligned. – cnread Mar 22 '17 at 8:43
  • The heading and the body text will appear on the same line if you use linked styles and a style separator. This method allows for headings to show in the navigation pane and generate properly in a TOC. Edit: Assuming single-line headings. – user704708 Mar 22 '17 at 20:52

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