Skip to content
ODL Websites and okpls.org
promote servicesconnect with communityshare knowledge

Styles and Headings

How to Apply Headings

Create a paragraph: hit Enter

Create a line break: hit Shift + Enter.

Click inside the paragraph or click within the text itself, choose and apply the style you desire. The style is applied to the entire paragraph.

Style Tips

Use Heading 1 only once per page - it is the title of the document.

A heading must be on its own line. You won’t be able to select and highlight part of a paragraph and apply a heading style.

Never use Underline. Text that is meant to be underlined will already be formatted to have an underline. If text is underlined, it is conventionally assumed to be a link.

Never Justify. Justifying creates unnatural breaks in the flow of text and makes your site un-readable.

Don’t apply bold to Headings. Headings are already bolded and the results are weird.

Headings are not for styling paragraphs.

Headings should be used in logical order. You'll use heading 2 and 3 most often. You'll rarely use headings past heading 4. Headings should not be randomally applied based on size display preferences. Proper application of headings helps others use your website more efficiently.

Why Use Headings?

“Despite the nature of the Web and the vast change in its role from a structural medium to a visual media, it is still important that Web content be designed with proper structure…

Pages should be structured in a hierarchical manner, with 1st degree headings (<h1>) being the most important (usually page titles or heading), then 2nd degree headings (<h2> - usually major section headings), down to 3rd degree headings (sub-sections of the <h2>), and so on.” Learn more about creating semantic structure.

Use headings to give webpages meaningful structure which conveys hierarchy. Screen readers and other assistive technologies allow users to navigate web pages by structure. However, there has to be a structure available to use for navigation.

Users also scan your webpages to find specific information or to accomplish a certain task. They are not reading the whole page word-for-word. Proper use of headings helps users scan your webpages.


In sponsorship with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.