March 14 2010

Save time with heading styles in MS Word

by Barbie in Formatting

Graduate students writing their theses and dissertations often come to Carpenter Doc for help formatting their document. Each school – or department – has its own set of standards for these documents in addition to general standards set by the discipline’s style guide of choice. Luckily, Microsoft Word’s Styles and Formatting tool allows us to create standardized headings across documents and automatically generate a Table of Contents using these headings.

Save time formatting by creating heading styles with these tips:

  1. Determine how many heading levels your document will use. Then, refer to your university’s standards and discipline’s style guide for heading standards.
  2. With those heading guidelines in hand, create your heading styles by selecting Styles and Formatting… from the Format menu. Here, you can see all of the formats applied in your document and modify the style of Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.
  3. Once you’ve created the heading styles, apply them by highlighting the text and choosing the heading from the Styles and Formatting drop-down menu on your toolbar.
  4. With your heading styles in place, you can create a Table of Contents that displays as many heading levels as you’d like. Simply choose Insert – Reference – Index and Tables from the main toolbar, and select the Table of Contents tab. Modify the Table of Contents to meet your standards, and click OK to create it.

Heading levels can be tricky, so if you’re struggling with generating headings in your document, we can help! Contact us today!