Use headings in Microsoft Word

Overview

To help make Microsoft Word documents accessible, use heading styles (located in the style gallery) to add headings and subheadings to structure your content. The heading levels should follow the structure of your document's outline. Appropriate use of heading levels will help those using screen readers to interpret how the page is organized, allowing for quick navigation to different content areas.

Create headings

To find available heading styles, on the Home tab of the ribbon, go to the "Styles" group:

Styles

To create a heading in Microsoft Word:

  1. Select the text you want to use as a heading.
  2. If necessary, switch to the Home tab on the ribbon.
  3. In the styles gallery, choose the appropriate heading level for the selected text.
  4. If you don't see the heading level you need, click the bottom arrow in the styles gallery scrollbar to expand the gallery.

Show all styles

If you've expanded the styles gallery and still don't see the heading level you need, you may need to tell Word to show all styles. To do this:

  1. In the "Styles" group, click Styles pane button to open the "Styles" pane.
  2. At the bottom of the pane, click Options....
  3. In the "Style Pane Options" dialog box, in the "Select styles to show:" drop-down menu, click the down arrow to expand the list and then select All styles.

All heading levels will now be visible in the "Styles" panel, and will be accessible from the styles gallery once you've used them in your document.

Note:
If you want to change how the heading text is styled, see Use styles in Microsoft Word for instructions.