5 tricks to make outlines in Word

You can create outlines in Word if you want to have organized content. Word is a tool that we all know how to handle but it has so many functions and possibilities that we don’t always know how to make the most of it. Therefore, today we explain different ways to create an outline in Word depending on the final result you are looking for or the time you want.

You can create the schematic from any version of Word and we will explain step by step how to do it from the specific tool but also by inserting shapes and keys or downloading specific templates if you don’t have time for all of the above.

How to create an outline step by step

The steps will depend on the version of Word you have, if it is more or less modern, the menu that appears on the screen or the place where we can find the scheme to add it to the text or to the Word document may vary. We will generally find it in the “View” tab, at the top.

  • Open Word
  • Go to the top menu and open the “View” section
  • In the first option, we will find the “Views” section
  • Tap on “Scheme”
  • The schema will be created automatically

Keep in mind that it is advisable that you do the steps before writing text in the document since later you can write it following the levels you want.

Create levels

Next, we write the first title or point of our document and Word will automatically assign it as  the Heading 1 style and the outline level 1 . From there, we can write the rest of the points in our document and assign the same level to them ourselves using the level buttons that we find within the outline tools. Now, we just have to repeat this with the rest of the points that we want to add in our scheme and assign the level we want.

We will only have to add the texts according to the different levels. That is to say … Choose level 2 and you will see that the scheme is automatically transferred to the corresponding category, automatically forming the scheme and choosing the styles. To do this, we can use the title styles that Word itself offers, Title 1, Title 2, Title 3, etc. , since each one has its own level assigned to the scheme or  define ourselves the styles  that we want and later assign them the appropriate level according to the structure we give to the document. It would look as you can see in the example screenshot.

View by levels

In the section “Scheme tools” you can choose how you want to see it:

  • Show level (all levels, level 1, level 2, level 3…)
  • Show text format: Yes or no
  • Show sun the first line: Yes or no

Here you can also choose the levels , go up or down …

From the outline mode in Word, following the previous steps, we have at our disposal the tools that allow us to  increase or decrease the level of any point or  title in our document, although we can also select it directly from the drop-down. From there we can also  raise or lower titles by the structure of the outline in Word ,  expand or contract the levels  below a title, etc.

Concept map or schematic with shapes

Following the previous steps you will create a simple diagram with a series of information but not the classic conceptual map that allows you to draw arrows between one box or another and that you have surely seen at some time. If you want to create an outline like this in Word, the steps are different. Of course, it will take us a little longer, although the result will be much more striking and attractive.

  • Open Word
  • Go to the “Insert” section
  • Choose the option “Forms” and a drop-down will open
  • Choose a shape that you like … be it square, rectangle, oval
  • Long press , create the shape and choose the size you want
  • Customize background color, shape outline or shape fill
  • Right click with the mouse on the shape
  • Choose “Add text” from the drop-down menu
  • Choose the text format you want, the size, the font

Once we have created the first box, we simply have to do the same over and over again until we create the rectangles you need. You can press Control + C and Control + V to copy the same rectangle and use it elsewhere. It is enough to change the text inside to have another identical box, with the same font, and we will go faster. You can change the color of each box as you need, the format, the letter, the text …

You just have to do the same until you create all the elements, until you have all the rectangles or box of the scheme in Word and have all the information.

When we have finished, we follow the corresponding steps to add the keys that give the final appearance to the schema as we imagine it:

  • Open Word
  • Tap on “Insert”
  • Choose the Forms section
  • Choose the key you want to join the squares
  • Insert it
  • Resize to fit levels

The schema with the data you want would be ready . A “tip” you can follow is to always save the design and you will only have to modify the colors or the text when you need to create an outline in Word of another subject or other content. This way you won’t have to repeat the structure every time.

Use templates

One of the most convenient ways to make outlines in Word is to use a template that does it for you. You will only have to look for a template website and search for “scheme2 or find a category that has this type of design. The advantage of templates is that the diagrams are much more elaborate than if you made the diagram following the previous steps. You will have a much more perfectionist design and it will take half the time to get what you want. In addition, the templates are usually a pack in which we find several designs with the same use of colors, the same font and a uniformity to create a dossier of what we need. You can download many free templates.

One of the best websites to download templates is Smile Template and it allows you to search by keyword so you just have to write “scheme” or “sketch drawing” or “diagram” to find designs that fit what you need. Once you have chosen one, you just have to choose “Download” and open the file on your computer from Word to start editing what you need.



by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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