Can I Add Headings to a Document in Google Docs?

570325 Can I Add Headings to a Document in Google Docs?

Google Docs allows you to easily add headings to your documents to help organize the content and make it more readable. Here is a comprehensive guide on using headings in Google Docs.

Benefits of Using Headings

Using headings in your Google Docs documents has several benefits:

  • Improves structure and organization – Headings break up your document into logical sections, making it easier to navigate and digest.
  • Creates document outline – Headings are automatically added to the document outline, allowing you to quickly jump between sections.
  • Enables table of contents – A table of contents uses the headings to provide links to each section.
  • Improves accessibility – Headings make it easier for those using assistive technologies like screen readers to understand and navigate your document.
  • Boosts SEO – Search engines use headings to better understand the topic and content on the page.

How to Add a Heading

Adding headings to your document in Google Docs is simple:

  • Highlight the text you want to make a heading. You can highlight a single word, phrase, or entire paragraph.
  • On the toolbar, locate the heading options next to the font selection drop-down.
  • Select a heading level – Heading 1 is the highest level, Heading 2 is subordinate, Heading 3 is subordinate to Heading 2, etc.
  • The highlighted text will now appear as the heading style you chose.

Here is an example document with headings:

Heading 1

Heading 2

This is some body text under Heading 2.

Heading 3

This paragraph is under Heading 3.

You can see how the heading sizes and formats create a hierarchy, making it easy to visualize the structure.

Tips for Using Headings

Follow these tips when working with headings in Google Docs:

  • Use heading levels properly to establish hierarchy. Do not jump from Heading 1 to Heading 3, for example.
  • Avoid skipping heading levels when possible. If you go from Heading 1 to Heading 3, it will confuse the relationship.
  • Limit use of lower heading levels. Most documents only need Heading 1-3. Lower levels like Heading 5 or 6 look messy.
  • Be concise. Headings should be short phrases, usually only a few words.
  • Use sentence case capitalization for consistency.
  • Bold the headings to make them stand out more. Select the heading text and click the bold button.

Editing or Removing Headings

To edit or remove a heading:

  • Highlight the heading text you want to change.
  • On the toolbar, select “Normal text” from the heading options.
  • The text will revert to normal body formatting so you can edit it.
  • To turn it into a heading again, simply reselect one of the heading options.

If you need to remove it from the outline, right click the heading in the outline pane and select “Remove from outline”.

Automatic Table of Contents

One major benefit of headings in Google Docs is the ability to automatically generate a table of contents.

To add a TOC:

  • Place your cursor where you want the TOC to appear.
  • Under the Insert menu, select Table of Contents.
  • Choose an automatic style.

The table of contents will contain links to all the headings in your document. Google automatically keeps it up to date if you change the headings later.

Accessibility with Headings

Using proper heading structure improves accessibility for those using assistive technologies like screen readers.

  • Screen readers have shortcuts to jump between headings, making navigation easier.
  • Visually impaired users can get an overview of the document structure via the headings before reading.

Make sure to use the built-in heading styles. If you just manually format text as bold/large, it will not have the same accessibility benefits.


Adding headings to your documents in Google Docs only takes a few clicks but greatly enhances the readability and organization. Headings establish hierarchy, enable navigation and summaries via the outline and table of contents, and improve accessibility. Just be sure to use concise wording and follow formatting best practices.

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