How to Change Heading Styles in MS Word

By Foye Robinson

A style can help you format one or more lines of text or content. Microsoft Word comes with nine levels for heading styles, available through the styles and formatting task pane. The heading styles start from the largest to smallest. Headings can be used for an outline with titles and sub-headings, or in a document that contains several pages of text, graphics and charts. You can use the default style for your Word headings or customize it for your project, and save time in the process.

Step 1

Open a new or existing document in MS Word and check that the “Formatting” toolbar is open. To open it, click on “View” and “Toolbar.”

Step 2

Click on the “Styles” drop-down arrow in the Formatting toolbar and choose “More…” The “Styles and Formatting” pane will open on your right.

Step 3

Select “Heading 1,” “Heading 2,” or the heading style you want to update. Then click on the arrow that appears by the style’s name and choose “Modify.”

Step 4

Check the current style for the heading, to see what you want to change. Update “Style based on” and “Style for following paragraph” to customize the style.

Step 5

Pick a font, size and formatting of your choice. You can change the alignment, spacing and increase/decrease the indentation as well. To change your font colors, click on “Font Color.” Your styles will be visible in the preview area of the “Modify Style” dialog box.

Step 6

Place a checkmark by “Add to template” and “Automatically update” to accept these options.

Step 7

Click on the “Format” button for advanced customization. To add a border to your heading, click on “Border” and select your border option. Then click “OK.”

Step 8

Add a shortcut key to the updated style by clicking on “Shortcut Key” in the “Format” button. Use your keyboard to add the shortcut keys you want Word to use for that style. Then click on “Close.”

Step 9

Press “OK” to accept the style changes for your heading.

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