How to Show the Navigation Pane in Word 2016: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lost in the sea of Word documents, trying to navigate through your extensive research or your latest novel draft? No worries, the Navigation Pane in Word 2016 is like your trusty compass. It’s a neat tool that lets you quickly jump to different parts of your document like headings, pages, or even results from a search. Let’s find out how to show it in just a few simple steps.

Step by Step Tutorial: Showing the Navigation Pane in Word 2016

Before we dive into the how-to, let’s get a glimpse of what we’re about to achieve. Enabling the Navigation Pane will give you a sidebar with a structured view of your document, making it easier to organize and move through your work.

Step 1: Open your Word document

Open the Word document where you want to display the Navigation Pane.

Step 2: Click on the ‘View’ tab

At the top of the Word window, you’ll see a series of tabs. Click on the one that says ‘View’.

The ‘View’ tab is your go-to place for adjusting how you look at your document. From here, you can change the layout, show or hide rulers, gridlines, and – you guessed it – the Navigation Pane.

Step 3: Check the ‘Navigation Pane’ box

In the ‘Show’ group of the ‘View’ tab, you’ll see a checkbox labeled ‘Navigation Pane’. Click on it to put a checkmark in the box.

Once you check this box, the Navigation Pane will appear on the left side of your Word window. It’s that easy!

Step 4: Use the Navigation Pane

Now that the Navigation Pane is open, click on the headings, pages, or results tabs to navigate through your document.

The Navigation Pane isn’t just about jumping to different parts of your document; it’s also a powerful tool for reorganizing your work. You can drag and drop headings to rearrange sections, which automatically updates the order of your text.

After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have the Navigation Pane open and ready to use. It’ll help you to efficiently navigate your document, making it much easier to find and organize your content.

Tips for Using the Navigation Pane in Word 2016

  • Use the headings feature in Word to get the most out of the Navigation Pane. It organizes your document automatically based on the headings.
  • Double-clicking on an item in the Navigation Pane will take you directly to that part of the document.
  • You can search for specific text within the Navigation Pane, and it will highlight all instances in the document.
  • The Navigation Pane is also a great tool for reviewing your document’s structure at a glance.
  • If you’re working on a particularly long document, using the Navigation Pane can save you a ton of scrolling time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I customize the Navigation Pane?

Yes, you can customize the Navigation Pane to show only headings of a certain level, making it easier to navigate large documents.

Is the Navigation Pane available in all versions of Word?

The Navigation Pane is available in Word 2010 and later versions, including Word 2016.

Can I use the Navigation Pane to reorganize my document?

Absolutely! You can drag and drop headings within the Navigation Pane to rearrange the structure of your document.

Will using the Navigation Pane change my formatting?

No, the Navigation Pane does not affect the formatting of your document. It’s simply a tool for navigation and organization.

Can I search within the Navigation Pane?

Yes, there’s a search bar at the top of the Navigation Pane where you can enter text, and it will highlight all instances in the document.


  1. Open your Word document
  2. Click on the ‘View’ tab
  3. Check the ‘Navigation Pane’ box
  4. Use the Navigation Pane to navigate through your document


The Navigation Pane in Word 2016 is a fantastic feature that offers quick and easy navigation through your document. Whether you’re working on a thesis, a report, or a novel, this tool can make your editing process a breeze. Not only does it save time, but it also provides a bird’s-eye view of your document’s structure, making it easier to organize your thoughts and ideas. Remember, a well-organized document is the backbone of clear and effective communication. So next time you open Word, don’t forget to utilize the Navigation Pane, and watch your productivity soar. Happy navigating!

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