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Create a document outline

Outline with headings and body text

Body text in an outline.

As mentioned in the previous section, you can type paragraphs in your outline. In outline view, this text takes the very lowest indentation level in the outline level scheme and is known as body text. Visually, body text is distinguishable from headings by the small square Body text symbol at its left and its smaller, regularly styled text.

Being able to type paragraph text in outline view adds to outline view's strength as a writing environment; you can use this outline level for simple notes, or you can actually get into detailed writing. And because body text is automatically subordinate to the heading it falls under, it's easy to reorganize. (We'll get into reorganizing in the next lesson.)

You designate text as body text by using the Demote to body text button Button image on the Outlining toolbar, or by clicking the text and then clicking Body text in the Outline Level list Outline level list box on the Outlining toolbar.


  • You can change body text back to a heading by using the Promote button or by selecting the level you want in the Outline Level list.
  • If you don't want to view the entirety of your body text, click Show First Line Only Button image on the Outlining toolbar. An ellipsis (...) after the first line indicates that additional lines of text are collapsed.
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