Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. 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: Changing Body Text to a Heading.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 13, 2019)
Word contains a powerful outlining system that allows you to make changes to document structure quickly. You do this in Outline view, which is most easily invoked by clicking on the Outline view button on the status bar if you are using Word 2007 or Word 2010. If you are using later versions of Word, Outline view is invoked by clicking on the View tab of the ribbon and then clicking Outline in the Views group.
When you enter Outline view, Word displays a new tab on the ribbon—the Outlining tab. You use the controls on the tab to change indentation levels for your outline, as you've learned in other issues of WordTips.
Besides headings, you may have body text within your document. You may wish to change a paragraph of body text to a heading. You can do this in any of these ways, after positioning the insertion point on the paragraph you want to change:
If you don't want to make your changes in Outline view, you can also change body text to heading by simply applying a heading style to whatever paragraph you want to promote. Apply styles has also been covered in other WordTips, but an easy way to promote something to a Heading 1 level is to make sure the insertion point is in the paragraph and then press Ctrl+Alt+1. You can also use Ctrl+Alt+2 and Ctrl+Alt+3 to apply other levels of headings.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12589) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing Body Text to a Heading.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
When you need to get around a long document, a really helpful method is to use the Outline view built into Word. This tip ...Discover More
Remember when you needed to create outlines for your writing when you were in school? Word includes outlining ...Discover More
Outlining is a great way to develop the content of your document. If you need to, you can even print the outline and only ...Discover More
Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.