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Headings and titles

There are around 2 million people living with some form of sight loss or vision deterioration in the UK and many may use a screen reader to assist them with digital content. 


A screen reader has some useful features for the user that simulate a navigation menu of chapters or topics within the document or content. This useful navigation is only provided when you add headings correctly.

Just because you make text larger and bold doesn’t mean it's a heading.

Headings need to be added using in-built heading styles in your software.

Headings are named like this:


  • Heading 1 - this is usually your document's main heading or title

  • Heading 2 - this would be used for your main topic areas

  • Heading 3 - this would used for any sub-headings that sit within your topics

The video shows you how headings are added in Microsoft Word. 

Why else are in-built headings useful?

The navigation menu in a document is useful to everyone because: 

  • you can easily add a table of contents in a Word document to save time

  • you can use the navigation pane to jump straight to the parts of the document you need

  • you can easily change a heading colour or style in Word and it automatically changes the rest for you to save time

screengrab of Microsoft word with the navigation pane checkbox on the toolbar highlighted in red

Titles in PowerPoint slides

Titles in PowerPoint slides also work like headings to provide a useful navigation menu for screen reader users.

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