How to Add a Heading in Google Docs

Adding a heading in Google Docs is a simple task. Just click on the “Normal text” dropdown menu on the toolbar, select “Heading,” then choose the heading style you prefer. After this, type your heading text. This small action helps organize your document and makes it look more professional.

When you add a heading, it can transform your document’s layout, making it more navigable and visually appealing. It also assists readers in quickly finding the sections that interest them, saving time and improving the overall reading experience.


Writing in the digital age means we’re not just thinking about what we say but also how we present it. Formatting is king, and knowing how to add headings in Google Docs is akin to knowing how to steer a ship; it directs the flow and hierarchy of your content. Why does this matter? Imagine diving into a sea of words with no signposts—it’s overwhelming! Headings are those signposts.

Whether you’re a student outlining an essay, a professional crafting a proposal, or just someone compiling recipes, headings can make your document clearer and more effective. Plus, with the shift to remote work and digital classrooms, Google Docs has become a go-to platform for collaboration. Knowing how to finesse these tools is not just handy; it’s essential. Let’s dive into how you can master the art of adding headings to your documents and elevate your writing game.

Related: How to Add Google Docs Page Numbers

A Step by Step Tutorial

This tutorial will guide you through adding headings to your Google Docs, which will help in structuring your document.

Click on the “Normal text” dropdown menu

Select the “Normal text” dropdown menu on the toolbar.

When you start a new document in Google Docs, the default text format is ‘Normal text’. But for headings, you’ll need to change this format. The dropdown menu for this is on the toolbar right where you find the font style and size.

Choose “Heading”

Choose “Heading” from the dropdown menu.

Once you click the dropdown, you’ll see options like ‘Heading 1’, ‘Heading 2’, ‘Heading 3’, etc. These are the preset styles for headings that Google Docs offers. Each one is progressively smaller than the last, which is great for creating a hierarchy of information.

Type your heading

Type out your heading after selecting the style.

After selecting the style, you can start typing your heading. The style you chose will automatically be applied to the text you type. Remember, you can always change the heading style later if you need to.


Headings are not just aesthetic enhancements—they are functional tools that improve your document’s readability and organization.

Better Organization

Headings create a structured layout for your document.

The use of headings breaks down the information into manageable chunks. This organization makes your document look neat and well thought out, which can be particularly useful when dealing with complex topics or long documents.

Enhanced Readability

Headings improve the readability of your document.

People often skim through documents to find the information they need. Headings make this process easier by clearly delineating sections. This means readers are more likely to engage with your content if it’s well organized.

Efficient Navigation

Headings facilitate quick navigation in a document.

With headings in place, you can jump to different sections using the document outline feature in Google Docs. This can be a huge time-saver, especially in lengthy documents.


While headings offer many benefits, they also come with some limitations that should be considered.

Space Consumption

Headings can take up more space on a page.

Larger fonts and spacing used in headings can consume more space in your document, which can be a concern if you’re trying to keep your content concise.

Overwhelming if Overused

Too many headings can make a document overwhelming.

If you go overboard and every other line is a heading, your document can become difficult to follow. It’s important to find a balance to maintain a clear hierarchy of information.

Styling Limitations

Default heading styles may not suit everyone’s needs.

The preset styles in Google Docs may not align with your personal or brand guidelines, and while they can be customized, it may not be intuitive for all users to do so.

Additional Information

There are a few extra tricks that can help you get the most out of using headings in Google Docs. For starters, once you’ve got your headings set up, you can use the ‘Document outline’ feature to navigate around your document quickly—it’s like having a built-in table of contents that automatically updates!

Also, remember that you can customize the look of your headings. Don’t like the size or font of ‘Heading 1’? Change it! Right after you modify a heading style, Google Docs gives you the option to ‘Update ‘Heading’ to match’. This means you can have consistent headings that match your style or brand.

Finally, consider the power of headings when collaborating. If you’re working with others on a document, headings can help team members find and edit sections without getting lost. So, make good use of this feature to keep everyone on the same page—literally!


  1. Click on the “Normal text” dropdown menu on the toolbar.
  2. Choose “Heading” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Type your heading and apply the chosen style.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I create custom heading styles?

Yes, you can modify a heading style and update it to use across your document.

Is there a shortcut to apply headings?

Yes, you can use keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl + Alt + 1/2/3 for Heading 1, 2, or 3.

Do headings affect the document outline?

Absolutely, they automatically populate the document outline, which helps with navigation.

Can headings be used in a table of contents?

Yes, headings are used to create an automatic table of contents in Google Docs.

Will changing a heading style affect all similar headings?

If you update a heading style, it will change all headings of that level unless you’ve manually formatted some.


Mastering the use of headings in Google Docs can drastically improve the quality of your documents. It’s more than just formatting; it’s about effective communication. With this guide, you’re now equipped to structure your documents like a pro, enhancing both aesthetics and functionality. As we continue to embrace digital tools for writing and collaboration, these skills become more critical. Take some time to practice, experiment with customization, and see how headings can elevate your Google Docs experience. And remember, every great document, like a story, deserves a clear beginning, middle, and end—headings help you write that story.