Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Formatting All Headings At Once.

Formatting All Headings At Once

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 11, 2015)

3

Suppose you want to apply a particular formatting attribute to all the headings in your document in one fell swoop. If you use four heading levels in your document, and you want to make them all red, you could use Find and Replace to search for all the heading levels, in turn, and change them to red. This gets tedious, of course. You could speed up the process by using a macro, but the macro would still be quite long since you would still need to do four separate Find and Replace operations.

There is a quicker way, however: Do your work in Outline view. When you show only certain heading levels in Outline view, Find and Replace only operates on those particular heading levels. Follow these steps:

  1. Switch to Outline view by clicking on the Outline View button on the status bar.
  2. Use the Show Level drop-down list on the Outlining tab of the ribbon to choose Level 4.
  3. Press Ctrl+H to display the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. If available, click the More button. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  6. In the Find What box, enter ^? to signify that you want to replace any character.
  7. In the Replace With box, enter ^& to signify that you want to replace whatever is found with whatever was found.
  8. With the insertion point still in the Replace With box, click the Format button and choose Font. Word displays the Replace Font dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. The Replace Font dialog box.

  10. Using the Font Color control, choose the color of red you want to use.
  11. Click OK to dismiss the Replace Font dialog box.
  12. Click on Replace All.

The result of this procedure is that all the headings in the document are changed to red text. This works because Find and Replace only works with whatever is visible when you are working in Outline view. If you didn't use Find and Replace, but instead selected the whole document (Ctrl+A) and changed the font to red, Word would make the changes in everything you see and everything that is hidden. Using Find and Replace, instead, results in only the visible text being modified.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5969) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Formatting All Headings At Once.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is eight minus 3?

2017-07-05 14:56:16

Amar

While I followed the above steps "Formatting All Headings At Once" I found out that the final output changes the font size of the headers and footers as well even though in the outline view does not show them. Is there any way I can change only the headings for the paragraphs and not the headers and footers for the whole document ?


2015-11-12 11:43:14

Benjamin Morin

I format all my side headings a little differently. If I apply Heading 1, Heading 2, and/or Heading 3 styles; then I decide to change any one style after the fact, I do the following:

1. I place the insertion point (you may select if you want to), on the Heading 1 style (for example).

2. On the Home tab on the Ribbon and on the Editing group, I click the down arrow of the "Select" option.

3. I click on "Select Text with Similar Formatting" from the pull-down menu.

At this point, all of the Heading 1 Styles are selected; I apply whatever formatting I want to the Heading 1 styles all at once: boldface, fonts, Point size, spacing before and after, etc. I do all this through the Ribbon groups and keyboard shortcut where applicable.

I follow the same steps to change my Heading 2 and Heading 3 styles, if needed.

In fact, you can apply these steps to any side heading that is on the left margin regardless of whether you applied styles or not. The heading simply has to be on the extreme left margin with space before and after the heading.

I hope someone finds this helpful.

Benjamin


2015-11-11 10:17:08

Kathryn

There is a much easier way to change through using the styles menu on the home menu. Right click on the heading selected then press modify. You have a larger selection of how to edit those headings.


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