September: Headings

What are headings?

Headings provide structure to documents or web pages. They generally appear in a larger font, and help break up large blocks of text while providing organizational structure for the content. 

Why use headings?

For sighted users, headings provide a visual break in the content which makes scanning and finding relevant information easier. For people using assistive technologies, such as a screen reader, headings allow them to navigate the content via their keyboard. Here’s a video of a University of Minnesota employee explaining how screen reader users navigate by headings.

How do I use headings?

Headings are easy to apply; highlight the line that you want formatted, and then select the desired heading from the top menu. 

A couple of tips:

  • DO use your application’s (Google Doc, Microsoft Word, Drupal, etc.) toolbar to create the headings.
  • DON’T just resize the text: screen readers cannot decipher larger text as headings.
  • DO keep the headings in numeric order. It definitely matters!  

Google Docs

In Google Docs, heading structures are found in the toolbar, under the Heading menu:

View of the Headings/Structure Dropdown in Google Docs


In Drupal, you can find the headings options in your editing toolbar

View of the Headings/Structure Dropdown in Drupal