How to create headings in Word for navigation

Microsoft Word has predefined header styles that can be used to quickly and easily generate headings in your designs. When you style anything, you can change the typeface, size, color, and additional formatting elements for the entire document with just a few clicks. If you use the navigation pane to go to the headings you have defined, you can create a content list. The goal of this piece is to provide information on how to create headings in Word for navigation.

Heading styles are essential as they provide order to your writing and can be understood by assistive technologies used by people with visual impairments, such as screen readers. Using them will reduce the amount of effort spent editing and rearranging content.

The primary function of heading styles is to provide structure, although they are also used to:

  • Produce a list of chapters.
  • Change the format of a file by applying a new set of styles.
  • The Navigation Pane feature is accessed through the View tab of the ribbon.
  • Use outline view to make certain changes to a file’s structure.
  • Use PDF header tags to produce a well-organized document.

Applying predefined heading styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.) to steps will allow you to create or specify headings. Microsoft Word allows up to 9 different levels of headings.

While heading styles can be applied to individual characters, they’re more effective to use across entire paragraphs. Paragraphs in Microsoft Word are hard-feeded after any text you type (you pressed the Return or Enter key).

Theme options can affect header styles (full design, color scheme, and typeface). The Design section in the ribbon is where you’ll make any necessary changes to your theme.

Headers can be created using different header styles.

To assign a paragraph as a heading or to change its formatting to reflect its heading status, click inside the paragraph.

From the ribbon, choose the Home button.

Choose the desired header style (e.g. Heading 1) from the Style Gallery. If the desired design is not presented immediately, the additional arrow located in the lower right area of ​​the gallery can be used to reveal other designs.

The Style Gallery doesn’t show all possible header formats right away. The Gallery should automatically update with a new header level whenever a header level (such as Heading 4) (such as Heading 3) is applied.

On the Home tab of the ribbon, you’ll find the Style Gallery, which normally shows your document’s header layers:


In the Styles Gallery, there is a small arrow at the bottom right which, when clicked, opens up a much larger gallery:

Style gallery

Process of creating custom header styles in Word

Changing a header style will affect every occurrence of that header style in your content. This will serve both to speed up the process and to ensure consistency. Word header styles can be changed in a variety of ways. The Styles task pane will be used to make some changes to the header styles in this section.

After applying styles to a document, the Styles window will open. Selecting Options in the lower right corner of the Action Pane allows you to change this view:

Header styles

To change the appearance of a header:

  • Go to the Home button from the ribbon.
  • To open a new window, choose the Styles group dialog (diagonal arrow), located at the bottom right. To use this shortcut, press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S. You will see a change in the active window when you press the Styles option. To return the activity window to its previous position, double-click the title row.
  • A click anywhere within the text will allow you to change the typeface and size of that passage.
  • To make changes to a header, open the Styles panel and select the button to the right of the header in question. From the resulting menu, choose Edit. To change the header style, right-click in the sidebar and choose Edit. There is now a dialog box.
  • Typeface, height, color, orientation, and line spacing are just some of the choices available in the Edit Style dialog box. The elements of this dialog box are quite similar to those of the ribbon.
  • To access other formatting choices (such as paragraph types), click Format at the end of the dialog box and make your selections there.
  • If you select Only in this document, style changes will affect only the active document.
  • If you don’t want your document styles to be updated every time you change the header format, deselect Update Automatically. In most cases, you should uncheck this box.
  • To continue, press OK or Enter. Until a header is explicitly prepared, the whole page will be rewritten (which doesn’t match the design). If this happens, redeploy the style.

In the Edit Styles dialog, you can see the style title, style category, and available editing controls:

Edit Styles dialog

Embedding new or changed formatting in a document will be applied when saving the file.


There is no writing project that cannot be done with Microsoft Word and its many tools and functions. Using headers, for example, you can separate your information into distinct parts that can be accessed quickly via clickable headers. This post should enlighten you on how to create headers in Word for navigation.

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