I am writing a lengthy article in Word 2010 and want to share an outline of what I have completed thusfar with a colleague. Because I have carefully applied heading 1, 2, etc. styles I can switch to outline view and see exactly what I want to share. I first looked for just how to print the darn thing. Thanks to Martin Liversage's answer to the SU question print in outline format microsoft word I found that, though the print preview indicates otherwise, the standard print command does in fact print the outline view. So I could print that to a PDF and have it at least as a file rather than hard copy. I would really prefer, however, to be able to simply copy the outline (with formatting!) so that I could paste it into an email or into another Word doc, etc. But a standard copy operation on the outline actually copies the whole document.

Is there any way to copy just the outline?

  • Have you considered adding a "Table of Contents" to your paper? – user76275 Oct 18 '11 at 3:08
  • Yes, that is the other workaround (besides the PDF notion), but I am hoping for better. (The table of contents approach takes additional work to remove leaders and page numbers, formats are different, etc.) – Michael Sorens Oct 22 '11 at 18:10

Make sure you've expanded all the outline sections you intend to copy, then follow the steps below. If you select an outline section that is collapsed, it will copy the sub-level text along with it.

  1. Create a character style, let's call it Outline, based on Default Paragraph Font.
  2. Right-click Heading 1 style and select all occurences.
  3. Click Outline style to apply it.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 for Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.
  5. Now right-click Outline style and select all occurences.
  6. You have selected your outline. Now you can copy-and-paste it anywhere.
  • 1
    Neat! I was about to start typing "Hey, wait a minute! That strips all the differentiation between headings..." until I re-read your answer and saw you specified character style, which retains the underlying paragraph styles. So this does, indeed, meet the requirements I posed. – Michael Sorens Oct 31 '11 at 21:43
  • This did not work for me - until I expanded my outline. When the outline is collapsed, it copies all the sub-level text as well. I've suggested an edit to your answer to include this bit of information :) – CBRF23 Sep 11 '15 at 2:22
  • Easier method: Just right-click on "Heading x", "Select All", then "Ctrl + C" to copy all to clipboard. (This might be a new feature -- I use Word 2019.) – user293098 Nov 5 '19 at 10:10

You can print your document as xps document while in the outline view.

  • 3
    It'd be great if you could provide a few more details, e.g. what to do with the XPS file, etc. – slhck Apr 13 '13 at 21:38

Try this:

  1. Open the style pane
  2. Click the arrow button next to Heading 1 and select "Select all ** instances --> all Headings 1 in the document are selected
  3. Press the Ctrl key
  4. Repeat the step 2. for Heading 2 and so on
  5. When done Ctrl+c to copy
  6. Paste wherever keeping the source formats

Hope it helps

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.