How to Use the Google Docs Outline Tool

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Google Docs’ new outline tool makes it easy to navigate through a large document with just one click. This feature was recently announced to make it easier for users to manage and move through long Google Docs documents.

The navigation tool allows you to select the section you want to access or return to, rather than scrolling through the document and guessing where you might end up.

The sketch tool works like a table of contents, but it’s slightly smarter. Instead of inserting a table of contents manually, you simply bold or underline the text. The outline tool also stays in the left field when you scroll through the document.

Find the Google Docs Outline tool

If you work with Google Docs on the web, you must assume that you have an open document. It can be a new document or an existing document. To open the preview tool, follow these steps:

  • Click the View menu.
  • Select View Document Map.
  • You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Alt+A or Ctrl+Alt+H.
  • Once you activate the preview tool, your document outline is displayed in the left pane of the document.

If you are using an Android or iOS device, to activate the document map, touch More (the three-point menu in the upper right corner) and select Document Map. The outline is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Removing Headings from the Outline

Just because headings appear in the schema when you insert them in your document does not mean that they should appear in the outline. Of course, when you delete a title from the text, it disappears in the outline, but remains in the text itself. But you can also simply remove it from the outline.

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To do this, navigate to the outline and move the mouse pointer over the title in question. An X button appears to the right of the title. Click this button. Note that the title has been removed from the schematic, although it is still in the document.

Adding New Headings to the Outline

If you have deleted a field from a plan and want to reinstate it, you no longer need to select and reformat it. You can reformat by selecting the title, switching to normal text, and then returning to the desired title.

To properly add the title to the document map, select it, right-click on it and select Add to Document Map from the drop-down menu at the bottom. This will bring the title back to the outline.


You have successfully implemented the Google Docs presentation tool. The structuring of your document is a valuable tool for writing and, by using this tool, you are on the way to working more efficiently.

This is how you can add structure to a Google Docs layout. You can then navigate through the document faster by clicking on the outline titles in the sidebar instead of scrolling through the document with the scroll bar.

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