Google Documents - Creating Custom Heading Styles

One of the biggest reasons I am given that people do not use headings in their Google Documents is they want to customize the look of them.  However, creating your own custom heading styles in a Goggle Document is pretty easy - once you know how.  It just takes one step beyond what people already do in formatting their first heading, yet can save a ton of time if there are multiple headings throughout the document.

Create Custom Headings:

1. Highlight the first heading and format to as you wish it to look (you can set font, font size, style, spacing, etc).  Here in my example, I have changed the font, enlarged it to 18 pt, bolded and centered it.



2. Go to the formatting toolbar, select the dropdown that says "Normal text," scroll down to "Heading 1" and select "Update 'Heading 1' to match" (or another heading of your choosing)


3.  Whenever you want to apply the same heading style, you can just highlight the text, go to the formatting toolbar, select the dropdown that says "Normal text" and click on "Heading 1" (or the heading you set with the customizations)




That's it!  No more having to remember your text styles to set them multiple times through your document!

Some people use it as a hack - you don't necessarily have to use it for heading settings, as it can be used for a custom style you want to use on any text in your document. This is NOT recommended as part of the purpose of headings is to create a more accessible document, and this hack creates a situation where a person using a screen reader would struggle with understanding the order of the page contents.

How many custom styles can you create?  You can set for the following six from the toolbar:


If you need more, you have nine total options if you go to the Format menu:




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