How to Change the Onscreen View in Word 2013 - dummies

How to Change the Onscreen View in Word 2013

By Lois Lowe

Word 2013 has multiple viewing modes you can switch among to make it easier to do different kinds of writing and editing. For example, Word’s Outline view is optimal for creating outlines, and Full Screen Reading view works well for reading long documents on a computer monitor.

In addition, Word has Zoom commands that can make the text and graphics appear larger or smaller onscreen while you work.

    Zooming has no relationship to the size of the text or graphics when they print; it affects only the onscreen view.

The default view in Word is Print Layout; it displays a document very similarly to the way it will print, including all graphics, multicolumn layouts, and page breaks.

The alternatives to Print Layout view are

  • Read Mode: A view designed to optimize readability onscreen.

  • Web Layout: A view designed to mimic web content; use this view to see how your document might look if saved in web format.

  • Outline: A hierarchical view in which each heading level is a level in an outline, and body text can optionally be hidden.

  • Draft: A simple text-only view that hides most graphics and ignores multi-column layouts and page headers and footers.

  1. In Word 2013, click the View tab.

    Buttons for each of the available views appear on the Ribbon.


  2. Choose View→Read Mode.

    The display changes to show the document in an easy-to-read layout.


  3. Click the View command on the menu bar at the top of the screen and click Edit Document on the menu that appears to return to normal viewing.

  4. Choose View→web Layout.

    The display changes to show the document in a margin-less layout that resembles a web page.

  5. Choose View→Draft.

    The display changes to show the document in Draft view.

    Draft view shows the text in a very basic format, without multiple columns, headers/footers, or other layout elements.

  6. Scroll through the document in Draft view.

    Page breaks are indicated by dotted lines.


  1. Choose View→Outline.

    The display changes to show the document in Outline view. An Outlining tab appears on the Ribbon. This document doesn’t outline very well because no headings have been set up in this document yet.

  2. Choose Outlining→Close Outline View.

    The display returns to Print Layout view.

  3. Hover the mouse over the web Layout button on the status bar.

    The status bar is the blue bar at the bottom of the Word window. A ScreenTip appears indicating it is the web Layout button.


    Several of the views have an equivalent button on the status bar for quick view changes, so you don’t have to open the View tab each time you want to change the view.

  4. Hover the mouse over each of the other view buttons on the status bar to see their names.