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Add shortcuts for all Word heading styles

Word’s in-built Heading styles come with some shortcut keys, but not enough for most people. Here’s how to add shortcuts to all Word heading styles not just the three that Microsoft does.

For many versions, Word has default Heading styles ‘Heading 1’ ‘Heading 2’ etc. They are a quick way to structure a document.

The shortcut keys to apply these styles have existed for a long time:

Heading 1    Ctrl + Alt + 1

Heading 2    Ctrl + Alt + 2

Heading 3    Ctrl + Alt + 3

Heading 4    nothing!

Heading 5    nothing!

Heading 6    nothing!

For some reason the Word developers believe that we only need keyboard shortcuts for the first three heading styles.

To add the missing shortcuts, modify the style starting with Heading 4.

Word - Modify Style.jpg image from Shortcuts for Word heading styles at

In the Modify Style dialog go to the Format button and choose Shortcut Key …

Word - Modify Style dialog.jpg image from Shortcuts for Word heading styles at

Click in the ‘Press new shortcut key’ field then press the shortcut you want to use. Note you don’t type the label of the shortcut, rather the shortcut combination itself.

Keep an eye on ‘Currently Assigned to’ which alerts you if your new shortcut is already applied to another style or command.

Word - Modify Style dialog - Customize Keyboard.jpg image from Shortcuts for Word heading styles at

For Heading styles presumably you’ll continue the ‘Alt + Ctrl’ plus a digit pattern

Heading 4    Ctrl + Alt + 4

Heading 5    Ctrl + Alt + 5

Heading 6    Ctrl + Alt + 6

And so on. Word has Heading styles from 1 to 9 though most don’t show up on the Recommended style lists or gallery.

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