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How to copy outline (headings) only in Word?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2024-07-11

Normally, you can easily view a Word document’s outline content by switching to the Outline view, or opening the Navigation Pane. However, it seems not possible to directly copy only the outline (headings).

Whether you need to share an overview with colleagues or reorganize your document, knowing how to copy just the headings can be efficient. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to easily copy the outline (headings) only in Word.

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arrow blue right bubbleCopy outline (headings) only by Send to Microsoft PowerPoint feature

If you want to copy the whole outline (all levels of headings) from a Word document, you can apply the Send to Microsoft PowerPoint feature to achieve it.

1. Open the Word document you will copy outline from, and click the Customize Quick Access Toolbar button  > More Commands from the Ribbon. See screenshot:

2. In the opening Word Options dialog box, please (1) select Commands Not in the Ribbon from the Choose commands from drop down list; (2) find out and select the Send to Microsoft PowerPoint item from the left command box; (3) click the Add button, and finally click the OK button. See screenshot:

3. Now the Send to Microsoft PowerPoint button  is added to the Quick Access Toolbar. Please click this button.

4. Now Microsoft PowerPoint is opening with the specified Word document pasted. Please click View > Outline View. See screenshot:

Note: If your document is opening in PowerPoint 2010, please click View > Normal firstly, and then click the Outline tab at the top of Navigation Pane.

5. Now the Outline is displaying on the Navigation Pane. Place cursor at the Navigation Pane, press Ctrl + A keys to select all outline content, and then press Ctrl + C keys to copy them.

6. Shift to Word window. Create a new Word document, and press Ctrl + V keys to paste the Outline content. See screenshot:

Note: This method will copy the outline content as plain text in the new Word document. For copying the outline content with heading styles, please go ahead to next method.

arrow blue right bubble Copy outline (headings) only by Kutools for Word

If you want to not only copy the whole outline content (all headings) but also copy heading styles, I recommend you apply the Select Heading Paragraphs feature of Kutools for Word.

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1. Open the source document that you will copy outline content from, and click Kutools > Paragraphs > Select Heading Paragraphs. See screenshot:

2. Now all headings are selected in the document. Please press Ctrl + C keys to copy them.

3. Create a new Word document, and press Ctrl + V keys to paste the outline content.

And now you will see all outline content with original heading styles are copied and pasted completely as below screenshot shown.

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Comments (4)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
How can I copy outlines only, not full text?
The best way I found is to use first “printing” function to print (save) to PDF when I view the document in outline view.
1. View the document in “outline” view.
2. “File” > “Print …” > find lower left “pdf” with a question mark > Save as a PDF > Give a name for the pdf file > save.
3. Then I can open the PDF and copy and paste to a Word document.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
i think the best method is to do a table of contents.. Reference -> Table of Contents. generate it.. and copy the H1, H2, H3 from the table of contents.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Good idea! However, there are two things you need to pay attentions:
(1) The default form will only contain two heading levels: the heading 1 and heading 2. To contain all levels of headings, you need to customize the table of contents: References > Custom Table of Contents, and then specify the “Show levels” as 4 or 5 or other numbers as you need.
(2) This method will remove headings styles and paste plain text only.
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