I usually work on my documents using Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac. I have a good habit of properly marking the heading styles in my documents. As a result, when I work with long documents, I can easily jump from one section to another using the Document Map Pane. There are other benefits of properly marking heading styles, such as the ability to use auto-generated table of contents and the use of cross-reference texts.


In one occasion, I was left with no other choice but to work on my existing document using Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows. As I already have proper heading styles in the document, Microsoft Word 2007 automatically displayed my headings on its Navigation Pane. But it did not just display my headings. It automatically searched my entire document and decide on its own that there are some other lines that should be included in the Navigation Pane. As a result, my Navigation Pane became a mess because Word 2007 basically will declare any text with larger font size as “heading”, even that text was formatted with larger font for entirely different purpose.

When I bring back the document to my Word 2011 at home, all those auto-detected headings were making their ways into Document Map Pane. Very messy, and sometimes my section structure made no sense thanks to these extra headings.

Since I did significant amount of editing in Word 2007, reverting back to my previous backup was simply not an option. So I tried some experiments to remove those extra headings and decided to share it here in my blog.

First, I checked the extra text. I thought maybe Word 2007 automatically set their style as heading 1. If that was the case, I could simply set their styles back to normal and they should disappear from my Document Map Pane. Unfortunately, that was not how Word 2007 mark these extra headings. Those lines are still marked as using normal style. So there was nothing I could change.

Turns out, Word 2007 changed the Outline Level of those texts, not the styles. To change it back, go to the lines that got automatically detected as headings and right-click on each line. Choose Paragraph menu. Choose Indents and Spacing tab. Find an option called Outline Level. You will see that it is set to Level 1. Change it to Body Text and click OK. Done. That particular line should disappear from Document Map Pane. Unfortunately you will need to repeat this process for each line that got automatically detected.

Using the same trick, we can actually add any line to the Document Map Pane for easy access without messing around with font size or styling.

That’s it, I hope this helps.