Navigation Pane in Word 2010

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A new way to access common features on Word 2010.

Although the term Navigation Pane has been introduced in MS Word 2010, most of its functionalities existed in earlier versions like Word 2007. Features like Document Map in Word, Find and Replace functionalities have all been integrated together in the Navigation Pane.

For the most part, the objective of Navigation Pane is to make the task of navigating through huge documents containing many sections and headings easier. It is mostly showing existing Word features in a new way, though some of the find/search

Analyzing Navigation Pane

You can find Navigation Pane under View | Show:

Word 2010 - View ribbon - Navigation Pane option image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

Here when you tick the Navigation Pane option, the Navigation window appears as a vertical column beside your document.

Word 2010 - Navigation Pane with headings image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

There is also a shortcut to open the Navigation Pane which is familiar to long-term Word users – Ctrl + F. In previous versions of Word this shortcut was used to open the “Find and Replace” dialog – now it opens the Navigation Pane. The familiar Find dialog is still available, just not immediately obvious.

Navigation Pane Components

There are four main components in the Navigation window which are

  • Search text box
    at the top then three small tabs below it …
  • Headings view
  • Page view aka Thumbnail page view
  • Search Results View.

You can Move, Resize and Close the navigation window. To do this click the down arrow symbol you will find a menu. Even using the mouse you can drag and resize the window as you wish.

Word 2010 - Navigation Pane resize or move image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

As usual, clicking the X on the top right will close the pane.

Search Text Box

This component has two parts. Firstly you can type any term in the text field and that particular search term will be highlighted in the document.

In addition, the Navigation pane shows the results in Heading view, Thumbnail page view and Search Results View also the corresponding result is highlighted.

For example in the below screenshot for the search term “new” you can see the term highlighted in the content and also the Headings that contain this term in the document.

Word 2010 - Search terms in highlighted headings and document image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

Likewise you can see the search term highlighted in Thumbnail and Search view.

Word 2010 - Thumbnail view image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at
Word 2010 - Search excerpt view image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

This way you can easily and quickly find any particular content in a huge document containing number of pages and sections. Once you complete the search you can click the x (close) symbol next to the search term to end the search.

The second part of the Search text box component is the Find, Replace and other options.

Word 2010 - lens icon to show more Find options image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

By clicking the Lens symbol a menu displaying various Find options is displayed.

Word 2010 - Extended Find Search options image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

When you click “Options”, Find Options window is displayed. Here you can select any given options for searching terms like “find whole words”, “find all forms of word”, etc. Once you select the required Find option you can set it as default by clicking the “Set As Default” button. This will set the Find options as default for all documents that you open in Word 2010. If you do not set the find options as default then the changes will be applicable only to that particular document. All this is similar to previous versions of Word.

Word 2010 - find options image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

The Find …, Replace …. And Go To … menu options take you to the same dialog as we’ve seen in many versions of Word.

The functionality of Find, Replace and Go To is same as earlier versions of Word i.e. you can find any terms in the content and replace with the required content. For more details about Find and Replace refer Find function in Office Part 1 and Find function in Office Part 2 articles in

Apart from finding content you can even find graphics, tables, formulas, footnotes and comments given by reviewers in the document. As shown in the below screenshot if we select to find “Graphics” in the document then all the graphics in the document are highlighted and also the total number of graphics in the document is displayed.

Word 2010 - find graphics, tables, equations, footnotes or comments image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at
Word 2010 - moving around search results image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

By clicking the two arrow symbols you can navigate up and down between the searched results easily. Likewise if you wish to search for Tables, Equations, Footnotes and Comments in the document then you can select the respective option. If no result is found for the Find then the message “No matches” is displayed in the Navigation Pane.

Word 2010 - nothing to see here image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

Search Results View

In this view you can find a list of search results in context.

When you click on each search result in the navigation pane, that particular sentence or phrase containing the search term is displayed. Using the up and down arrow key you can navigate easily between the pages having the search term.

Word 2010 - Search excerpt view image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

This is useful for quickly browsing through large documents when you are searching for particular content.

Headings View

If you want to view all the headings in the document then click the left-most “Headings View” tab in the navigation window. Here all the headings in your document will be displayed in a tabular format one below the other in a hierarchy. Subheadings are indented under the respective main headings.

Word 2010 - Headings view image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

On whichever heading you click in the navigation pane corresponding page is displayed in the document. This makes it easier to navigate through huge document containing many pages. By clicking the left arrow button beside the Heading title you can collapse or expand the headings list.

You can drag and place the headers in different positions if you wish to change the structure of the document. When you do this the heading and the entire block of text between that heading and the following heading is moved to where you place it.

There are also other options to work with the headings. To display this menu right click on any of the heading in the navigation pane. As shown in the below screenshot you can promote or demote heading levels by simply clicking on the respective button. For example you can promote a heading from Heading 3 to Heading 2 or demote it to Heading 4. Note that Word is changing the Heading style which is linked to the outline level – not the outline level alone.

Also you can add new headings or subheadings. You can even delete headings.

Warning: when you select to delete any heading then all the content including all the subheadings under that particular heading is deleted.

You can choose desired section and it’s content to print as well.

Word 2010 - Navigation pane - headings options image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

Although there is option to select desired heading and content there is no shown option to copy and paste it. But you can use the default Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to copy and paste. There is also a shortcut Ctrl + drag to drag and make a copy of the required headings along with the content.

This view is an expanded version of the ‘Document Map’ view that’s been in Word for many versions (View | Document Map). In one way the new Navigation pane is a step back in design. The old Document Map could fit more headings on the screen while the Navigation pane looks nicer for demonstrations but doesn’t show as much information to users.

Page View

In the page view all the pages in the document are displayed as thumbnail images. The functionality is similar to the thumbnail pane in earlier versions of Word. If you want to filter the pages in large documents based on particular image or content then this tab is useful as you can use the search box to find objects and only those pages that match that particular object are shown.

Word 2010 - Page View image from Navigation Pane in Word 2010 at

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