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Viewing documents in different ways, Class-3 of Computer Training Center

In word processing, you want to focus sometimes on the writing, sometimes on the layout, and sometimes on the organization of your work. To help you stay in focus, Word offers different ways of viewing a document. These pages explain how to change views, the five different views, and why to select one over the other.

Changing views

Use these techniques to change views:

» Click one of the three View buttons on the right side of the status bar.

» On the View tab, click one of the five buttons in the Views group.

Read mode

Switch to Read mode to focus on the text itself and proofread your documents. You can’t enter or edit text in Read mode. Everything is stripped away — the Ribbon, scroll bars, status bar, and all. All you see are the text and artwork in your documents. Read mode is designed for reading documents on tablet computers.

Print Layout view

Switch to Print Layout view to see the big picture. In this view, you can see what your document will look like when you print it. You can see graphics, headers, footers, and even page borders in Print Layout view. You can also see clearly where page breaks occur (where one page ends and the next begins). In Print Layout view, you can click the One Page, Multiple Pages, or Page Width button on the View tab to display more or fewer pages on your screen.

Web Layout view

Switch to Web Layout view to see what your document would look like as a web page. Background colors appear (if you chose a theme or background color for your document). Text is wrapped to the window rather than around the artwork in the document.


While you’re in Read mode, you can double-click a table, image, or chart to enlarge it onscreen and get a better look at it. Moreover, after the item gets enlarged, you can click the Zoom button (the magnifying glass) to enlarge it several times more. To shrink an item back to size, press Esc or click onscreen (don’t click the item itself).

Outline view

Switch to Outline view to see how your work is organized. In this view, you can see only the headings in a document. You can get a sense of how your document unfolds and easily move sections of text backward and forward in a document. In other words, you can reorganize a document in Outline view. Chapter 8 of this minibook explains outlines in torturous detail.

Draft view

Switch to Draft view when you’re writing a document and you want to focus on the words. Pictures, shapes, and other distractions don’t appear in this view, nor do page breaks. Draft view is best for writing first drafts.

Splitting the screen

Besides opening a second window on a document, you can be two places at one time in a Word document by splitting the screen. One reason you might do this: You’re writing a long report and want the introduction to support the conclusion, plus you want the conclusion to fulfill all promises made by the introduction. Achieving both goals can be difficult to do sometimes, but you can make it easier by splitting the screen so that you can be two places at one time as you write your introduction and conclusion.

Splitting a window means to divide it into north and south halves. In a split screen, two sets of scroll bars appear so that you can travel in one half of the screen without disturbing the other half. 

Follow these steps to split the screen:

1. On the View tab, click the Split button. A gray line appears onscreen.

2. Drag the gray line until the gray line is where you want the split to be. You get two screens split down the middle. You can also split the screen by pressing Ctrl+Alt+S.

When you tire of this split-screen arrangement, click the Remove Split button on the View tab or drag the line to the top or bottom of the screen. You can also double-click the line that splits the screen in two.

In a split screen, you can choose a different view for the different halves. For example, click in the top half of the screen and choose Outline view to see your document in outline form, and click in the bottom half and choose Draft view to see the other half in Draft view. This way, for example, you can see the headings in a document while you write the introduction.