How to Map Out Your Manuscript With Microsoft Word

If you do not have a writing software program such as Scrivener, you will enjoy learning about the Document Map feature in Microsoft Word. With this feature, you can navigate your manuscript or other long document with ease. 


Matthew MacNish and the Middle Grade Group at Project Mayhem  has a terrific tutorial on how to use this feature.  They have graciously agreed to let me share it with you. Thanks team!

Matt used Microsoft Word 2007  to demonstrate this feature. I have included snap shots of the MAC version of MS Word 2011 for those using MAC’s, as the layout is slightly different. 

Document Map has been a part of MS Word since 2003. Should you have a version prior to 2007, you can find  information  online at MS Office Support. 

In WORD, click on the VIEW tab, select Print Layout and check Document Map. 



 For MAC users, it will be found on the sidebar. Icons are used instead of text.



To create your first heading (Title), go back to the HOME tab and select STYLE.  Type your TITLE/HEADING and click Heading 1. You may want to change the default font.

The easiest way to edit color or font in Styles is by modifying them at the same time. On MAC, look for the Icon in the STYLE box. In the Modify box, select the heading you want to modify, select all and click New Style. A box will come up where you can adjust font, text and format.

You’ll need at least one subheading to create a directory.  Once you have created your document it is easy to navigate. Want to find something in a particular chapter or section, simply click on that chapter or section in your map and you will go right to 

Here, is Matt’s sample Document Map outline:



Here, my simple Document Map (MAC) 


If you want more information check out Project Mayhem or Iain Broome’s tutorials. 


3 thoughts on “How to Map Out Your Manuscript With Microsoft Word

  1. I love this because I am trying to write my first book but I am not using any special writing program. I am still not sure how you create the subheadings but I like how you can jump to each chapter. Would you recommend a writing/software program? I know they aren’t necessary because authors have been using typewriters since forever. But do they help?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: After years of hiding my words from the world, I have found my voice | What Inspires Your Writing?

Tell me your story.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.