Accessibility Tip of the Week: Changing Default Heading Styles in Word or Google Docs

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about how to modify the default appearance of true headings in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Please call Robert with any accessibility questions at Ext. 6105. He is more than happy to talk by phone or schedule a time to meet with you.

A staff member recently asked if it is possible to change the default styling of the true headings within Word and Google Docs. The answer is yes! Not only can the styling be altered within each document (as described in the MS Word and Google Docs quick-start guides), but the default styling can also be changed for future documents.

Google Docs

  1. Highlight the text you would like to make a heading.
  2. From the style drop-down in the top menu, select the desired heading level. In this example, it will be a Heading 1.Google Docs top menu. The Style menu drop-down is highlighted.
  3. Change the formatting of the heading text as you would like it to appear in this and future documents.
  4. Go back to the Style drop-down in the top menu and highlight the appropriate heading style. In the menu that appears, select ‘Update ‘Heading X’ to match’. This will update all text set to the same heading style within this document.Google Docs screenshot. The Style menu is activated, Heading 1 is activated, and Update Heading 1 to match is selected.
  5. Repeat the previous steps as desired for other heading styles.
  6. To save this styling as the default for future documents, return to the Style menu and highlight ‘Options’. Select ‘Save as my default styles.’Google Docs screenshot. The Style menu is activated, Options is activated, and Save as my default styles is highlighted.

Microsoft Word

  1. Right-click the appropriate heading style from the Home ribbon and select ‘Modify.’MS Word screenshot of the Home ribbon / Styles menu. Heading 1 has been right-clicked and Modify is highlighted.
  2. Within the Formatting section of the Modify Style menu, select the text properties you would like for this heading style.MS Word screenshot. The Modify Style menu is activated and the Formatting section is highlighted.
  3. Once the desired formatting has been achieved, check the ‘Add to template’ box. This ensures the heading style will be altered for future documents using the standard template.MS Word Screenshot. The Modify Style menu is activated and the checkbox Add to template has been checked and is highglighted.
  4. Click Ok.

As always, if you have any accessibility tips or questions, please feel free to reach out to the district’s Website Accessibility Specialist, Robert Hardy at extension 6105.