Last week I was brainstorming performance support ideas with a colleague. She shared how her team needed to be able to easily find information quickly when speaking on the phone with a variety of audiences. This wasn’t just for some information, her team needed to be able to quickly access bits and pieces of information from an enormous catalog of ways to address concerns of the people with whom they interacted.
Was there a way to get our learning management system to do this? Or perhaps there was a way to do this through a complex series of variables created in Storyline?
I thought for a moment.
“Why not do it in a Word document?” I asked.
There was a pause. “That seems like kind of a bland solution,” she responded.
Sometimes the best solution doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles. After I suggested that she could create a clickable Table of Contents with hyperlinks to the necessary information, my colleague mulled it over for a bit, smiled, and said: “Yeah, I guess that would work!”
For training professionals, even though we carry words like “training” or “learning and development” in our titles, sometimes the solution isn’t training at all. It’s a job aid, a checklist, a Google search, a handout, a reference guide with clickable hyperlinks.
How to Turn a Word Document into a Job Aid
If you’re curious about how to turn a Word document into a dynamic job aid with hyperlinks to the information you’re needing, it’s a fairly easy process. You don’t need a Microsoft Word job aid template. You just need to follow these steps:
1. Open a new Word document.
2. Insert a table of contents from the References tab.
I’d suggest choosing an “Automatic” table.
3. Identifying text for your table of contents
Use the “Headings” font style from the Home tab in order to identify text that should be pulled into your table of contents.
Use Heading 1 for main topics and Heading 2 for sub-topics.
4. Update your table of contents
Return to your table of contents, click on the word “Contents” and you’ll get a menu that says “Update Table…”. Click on that and the text you entered through the Headings style will be pulled into your table of contents.
5. Insert Bookmarks
Now return to your main text and highlight the headings that you’ll want people to jump to. Go to the Insert tab and click on Bookmark. A window will pop up in which you can enter the name of your Bookmark. Give it a logical, easy to remember name (especially if you will have a lot of content). Then click the Add button.
6. Link your table of contents to your content in your document
Return to your table of contents and highlight the first topic area. Select Hyperlink from the Insert tab, choose Place in this Document from the left side of the pop-up window, then choose the appropriate bookmark. Click Ok.
7. Jump right to the exact information you’re looking for!
Hover your mouse over the topic you’re looking for in your table of contents, then hold the Control key while clicking on the topic, and get ready to jump right to the content you’re looking for.
Think of all the job aids you can create with this technique! Have you used this technique or others to create job aids?