SCULPT Structure of a document and how headings work

SCULPT Structure of a document and how headings work

Why does a document need a structure?

Documents often have visual and written cues to help you understand the structure of the content. These cues enable you to quickly skim through the document and directly dip into particular sections or topics of interest. 

But imagine

  • if you couldn't use a mouse and rely solely on a keyboard or assistive technology to read and navigate through it
  • if you have sight issues and can’t see it properly
  • if you couldn’t see it at all

Many people have these exact challenges, and they may use a screen reader to help them.

A screen reader doesn’t just read out loud word for word, it also has some clever features that simulate a navigation menu of chapters or topics within the document. With this navigation screen reader users can also quickly and easily tab through to get to content they need.

This useful navigation is provided when you apply a headings structure to your document, such as Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3

Adding headings is very simple to do

Heading 1: The title of your document is like the name of a book. This title is your Heading 1 and ideally you would only ever use the Heading 1 once.

Heading 2: The main topics in your document are like chapters of a book, these you would apply the Heading 2.

Heading 3: The smaller sub-sections you may have within chapters of your document, you would apply Heading 3.

How to add a heading structure for document navigation

In Microsoft Word the heading's function is in-built into the toolbar. This means you can very easily select and apply headings to your document. 

    Video:  Adding headings in Microsoft Word

    Additional resources and guidance to support you

    Document structure in PowerPoint

    PowerPoint also needs structuring correctly if you are sharing these documents with others. You need to make sure each slide has a title and that the reading order of each slide is logical.

    Other Microsoft products

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