Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing a Heading to Body Text.

Changing a Heading to Body Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 5, 2021)

Word contains a powerful outlining system that allows you to quickly make changes to document structure. You do this in Outline view, which is most easily invoked by clicking on the Outline view button on the status bar. When you enter Outline view, Word displays an Outline toolbar at the top of the document window. You use the controls on the toolbar to change indentation levels for your outline.

Besides headings, you may have body text within your document. You may wish to change a current heading to body text. You can do this in any of these ways, after positioning the insertion point on the heading you want to change:

  • Using the mouse, click on the Demote to Body Text tool. This is the one that looks like two right arrows.
  • Apply a formatting style that is not a heading level.
  • Using the mouse, drag the body text indicator (the small plus sign to the left of the heading) to the right. Drag it far enough that you pass through all nine heading levels, which is necessary before the paragraph is changed to body text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (762) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing a Heading to Body Text.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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