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Use Headings

Headings allow screen-reader and assistive technology users to skim the structure of a page and navigate to or skip over sections.

Accessibility Information for Headings:
There are a few simple rules to follow when using headings:

  1. Use headings to create the structure of the page content
    • Create sections and sub-sections of text
  2. Headings must be properly nested, in the correct order
    • Heading levels must not be skipped. For example, do not jump directly from h1 (which is always the document title) to h3.
  3. Headings are for structure, not formatting
    • Headings should be used to divide content into meaningful sections, not to format text. Your h2 styling may be italic and green, but that does not mean that anytime you want italic green text you should make the text an h2.

Making text larger and bold does not make it a heading. In order to convert text to a heading in Microsoft Word, you must use the built-in Heading styles like “Heading 1” and “Heading 2”, available under Styles in the Home tab of the Ribbon in Office versions 2010  and higher.

  1. Select the text and click on the appropriate style.(E.g. “Heading 1”)
  2. Headings 1, 2, or 3 can also be assigned using CTRL + ALT + 1, 2, or 3, respectively.

Headings should form an outline using styles as follows:

  • Use Heading 1 style for the main heading – this is the document’s title and there should generally just be one title/Heading 1 in your document.
  • Use Heading 2 for sub-headings.
  • If there are additional levels of headings within the document’s outline, using Heading 3, Heading 4, etc.
  • Use Normal for regular paragraph text.

Please Note: If, after reviewing these tools, you still have questions about the web accessibility procedures, you may contact your Web Content Manager or the SED Help Desk. You may also submit your question to the NYSED Web Accessibility Support Forum.