2.3 Applying Headings

Headings are used to give a logical structure to a document.

Writers use all sorts of visual cues to alert the reader to:

  • a New Section in a document;
  • a sub-section of a Main section;
  • a sub-section of a sub-section etc.

They might use one or more of the following methods:

  • Emboldened text
  • Larger font sizes
  • Multilevel Numbering
  • Different Indentations
  • Different colours.

In a well-ordered document the same visual cues will be repeated throughout so that readers can recognise the structure of the document. However, screen-reading software does not recognise these visual cues. It needs Headings (created using Styles) to be applied in a logical way. Thus

  • Heading 1 should be used for a Main section
  • Heading 2 should be used for a Sub-section of that Main section
  • Heading 3 should be used for a Sub-Section of that Sub-Section, and so on.

It is very easy to change the formatting for each of the Headings you will be using. This practice will give the visual cues you want – please follow SAIF Guidelines for Making Information Accessible – and at the same time achieve electronic accessibility. To change the formatting in Styles see Microsoft Online Help for more information.