Modified 07 March 2017 by Ian Weatherhogg


The Outline tool in Google Docs helps you quickly navigate lengthy, complex documents.

Implemented in March 2016 the Outline tool is available to users on Computer, Android and iOS devices.

The outline view features headers for each section of the document, making it easy and quick to navigate from section to section. The tool utilises manually created headers if present or will intelligently detect the logical divisions within the text. Users can optionally edit or remove these headers as necessary.

Here's how to use the Outline tool, on a Computer and within the Google Docs editor

Open a document outline

  • To open the outline, click Tools > Document outline.
  • The outline will open on the left.

Close a document outline

  • On the left side of the document next to "Document outline," click Close .
  • The outline will stay closed until you open it again.

Add headings to an outline

  • Select the text you want to make a heading.
  • On the toolbar styles menu, click Normal text.
  • Click a heading style. The heading will be added to the outline.

Remove headings from an outline

  • On the document outline, point to the heading you want to remove.
  • Click Remove from outline .
  • Note: You can add a heading back to the outline. Select the text, right-click, and click "Add to document outline."

Use an outline to move around in a document

  • Click the heading you want to go to in the document.
  • You will move to that place in the document.

Instructions for use on mobile devices available here: