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Permanently Modifying Word’s Heading Styles

By Deborah Savadra

Microsoft’s idea of attractive headings doesn’t suit most legal documents. But you can permanently change your heading styles in word so you can start every new document with headings in the right typeface and font color.

Let’s Ditch Those Big Blue Headings

One of the first things that legal users of Microsoft Word want to change is the default font settings, particularly for headings. After all, legal documents don’t generally have big blue text.

You may remember my earlier video showing you how to reset the font style for both the +Body and +Headings Styles on the Design tab. Now let’s take care of that blue text. The color of the headings is controlled by the overall color scheme, specifically the Accent and Text colors, which even in the grayscale color set are often something other than black. The most straightforward way to isolate and fix the text colors is to reset each Heading Style back to black.

Word has nine levels of Heading Styles. You can adjust as many of them as you think you’ll likely use. The easiest way to get to all of them is to go to the Home tab and click on the small launcher arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of the Styles section. This will bring up the Styles pane on the right. On the bottom right of the Styles pane, click Options, then use the drop-downs to ensure you’re seeing all Styles in alphabetical order.

Best Way to Modify Headings Styles

You can adjust the Headings that are showing here by clicking on the downward-facing arrow on the right next to each and choosing Modify, which will bring up the Modify Style dialog box. Use the font color drop-down in the Formatting section to set the color back to black. To ensure that this change is saved for all future documents you create for this template, click the radio button next to “New documents based on this template” before clicking OK.

Repeat this same series of steps for each level of Heading Style you want to reset.

Test your new heading setup by pressing Ctrl+N to start a new document. On the Home tab, you should see your newly revised headings in the Styles area.

Click here to read more of Deborah’s Microsoft Office tips.

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Categories: Lawyer Productivity, Lawyer Tech Tips, Videos
Originally published April 24, 2018
Last updated June 28, 2023
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Deborah Savadra Deborah Savadra

Deborah Savadra spends a lot of her time explaining technology to lawyers, mostly as editor and chief blogger at Legal Office Guru, which features Microsoft Office video tutorials and other content especially for legal professionals. Watch her quick tips videos here, and follow her on Twitter @legalofficeguru.

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