How to Move Chapters in Word (Without Damaging the Format)

Here’s the right way to move chapters in MS Word without losing any of the material when moving text around.

Instead of copy and pasting, and potentially losing both text and formatting, you can use the Outline view to move the chapters around. This ensures no content is lost and all of the formatting remains in place.

Use Outline Mode to Move Chapters in Word

Once in Outline mode, manually drag the headings or use the arrow keys

If your page begins with a heading — formatted with a page break before instead of a manual page break between pages — you can move the content as follows:

  1. In Word, click the View tab, then select Outline.
  2. Collapse the view to the heading level used at the page chapter headings (for example, Heading 1)
  3. Move (i.e. drag) the headings in to the order you want. The content inside the heading moves with it.

Here’s how it works.

Note that you can use the arrow keys next to Body Text to Demote or Promote text, which changes a H1 to H2 and the other way around. 

Deleting in Outline view

If you choose to delete material when in Outline view, make sure to include the heading’s paragraph mark so that subheads and text are included in the delete action.