The Google productivity suite is an intuitive set of apps that help you better manage your work or study.
It goes without saying that they currently play second fiddle to Microsoft Office and 365. But that’s good for consistent users of the Google apps. That means Google is competing with them with new features to stay relevant.
Since Docs is one of Google’s most used apps, it is updated frequently. One such update released in February is Document Outlines. Read on to find out what it is and how it works.
Document outlines, summaries and rulers
One of the key selling points of Google Docs is its collaborative nature. The new outline feature makes it easy to get an overview of what others have written without having to delve too deep into the content.
Your collaborators can also easily jump to the sections that concern them, provided you add the appropriate headings. All you have to do is click on the heading in the outline and the document will jump to that heading. This is fantastic for long documents like white papers.
You can also verify that your heading tag order is correct before pushing your content onto a site. Document outlines are also useful for online authors using Google Docs.
Open a document outline
The outline builds up automatically. To access it, navigate to View > Show Document Outline. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + A Ctrl + Alt + H
Either method displays the document outline on the left side of your workspace:
Each type of heading has its own level of indentation, so you can track your ideas and their hierarchy under subheadings.
Closing a document outline
As handy as the document outline is, it takes up a significant chunk of your workspace. You can hide it by clicking the arrow at the top left of the outline box. You will then see this icon:
Click on it to reopen the outline box if needed.
To remove the outline completely, just follow the steps you used to open it originally (View > Show Document Outline).
Remove headings and add them to the document outline
Sometimes headings are needed to break up your text but are irrelevant to the structure. To remove headings from the outline but keep them in the document, all you have to do is hover over the heading you want to remove and click x.
To add a heading to the document outline:
- Highlight the heading in the document.
- Right-click and select Add to document outline.
Adding to the outline without heading tags
Unfortunately, there is no way to include default text in the outline, other than:
- Make it at least two font sizes larger than the body text.
- Paste on its own line.
For example, the screenshot below shows the text “Make it bigger” in a font size of 12.5, while the body text is set to 10.5.
Adding a summary to the outline
To add a summary to the document outline, all you have to do is:
- Open the outline.
- press the + icon next to it Summary.
- Enter the summary.
- Press Input or click away.
Mastering the outline function of Google Docs
Whether you’re writing a book, web article, office notes, or other tasks in Google Docs, an outline can make navigating complex documents a lot easier. Remember that you can open and close it as you please and add summaries with just a few clicks. You’ll be a pro at handling outlines in no time.
This article was previously published on Source link