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 Body Text to a Heading.

Changing Body Text to a Heading

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 4, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Word contains a powerful outlining system that allows you to make changes to document structure quickly. 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, as you've learned in other issues of WordTips.

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

  • Using the mouse, click on the Promote tool. This is the one that looks like a left arrow.
  • Apply a heading level style.
  • Using the mouse, drag the body text indicator (the small square to the left of the body text paragraph) to the left.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (769) 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 Body Text to a Heading.

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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