How to Format Your Level 2 Heading APA Style Using Word

Create your Level 2 Heading APA style by entering the settings in the Word screenshots below.

Two ways of formatting your Level 2 Heading are shown. They are:

  1. Select the text and apply the settings as shown in Figures 1 to 3.
    Use this method if you have a small number of Level 2 Headings, and you will not be writing any more APA style documents with Level 2 Headings.
  2. Use Word to create a style for the Level 2 Heading.
    You can then format your text in the Level 2 Heading APA style very quickly every time you need to.
    There is no need enter the settings again - they have been stored for you.
    Figures 4 to 11 give you the settings to create and use a Word style for your Level 2 Heading.

Level 2 Heading APA Format

APA Settings: Times New Roman 12 (other fonts are possible), Bold, Left aligned, Double spaced, Don't hyphenate.

My additional recommended settings:

  • Outline Level 2 - This allows you to set up a Table of Contents if you want to. Also lets you use the Outline view which could be useful.
  • Keep with next - This will keep the Level 2 Heading and the following paragraph on the same page.
Word screenshot of font properties required for APA Level 2 Headings.Figure 1: APA Level 2 Heading (Font properties)

If you prefer written instructions, they are as follows:

  1. Select the heading text (if necessary).
  2. Select the Home tab.
  3. Set the font to Times New Roman (or font of your choice).
  4. Set the font style to Bold.
  5. Set the font size to 12.
Word screenshot of paragraph properties required for APA Level 2 Headings.Figure 2: APA Level 2 Heading (Paragraph properties)

If you like written instructions, they are as follows:

  1. Select the heading text (if necessary).
  2. Select the Home tab.
  3. Click on the arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the Paragraph group.
  4. Select the Indents and Spacing tab (if not already selected).
  5. Set Alignment to Left.
  6. Set Outline level to 2.
  7. Set Line spacing to Double.
  8. Select OK.
Word screenshot of page break and hyphenation properties required for APA Level 2 Headings.Figure 3: APA Level 2 Heading (Line and page break properties)

If you like written instructions, they are as follows:

  1. Select the Line and Page Breaks tab.
  2. Select Keep with next.
    This will make sure that the Level 2 Heading is kept together with the following paragraph.
  3. Select Don't hyphenate.
    Word will not hyphenate (i.e., split a word) if your Level 2 Heading goes onto the next line. 
  4. Click on OK.

Using Word to Create a Level 2 Heading APA Format Style

Save lots of time by creating a Word style for your Level 2 Heading.

What does a Word style do?

A Word style keeps all the settings for your Level 2 Heading in the APA format required (e.g. bold, left aligned, and so on).

Then you can format all your APA Level 2 Headings quickly with no hassle.

But you must set up your Level 2 Heading APA format first.

Once you have created Level 2 Heading APA Word style, apply the style to your headings in your current document, and future documents.

You will save so much time because you will not have to define the format settings every time - just apply the style.

The following screenshots (Figures 4 to 7) show you the settings to create a Level 2 Heading APA style in Word.

See styles in word if you are unsure on how to create styles.

N.B. You do not have to use Times New Roman for your APA headings and subheadings. APA seventh edition allows various font types and sizes.

See allowable font types and sizes here (opens in new window).

Word Tip

Press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S to open the Styles Pane (the New Style button is the bottom left hand).

Not easy to hold four keys down at the same time?

Try this:

  1. Press Shift five times (turns on sticky keys).
  2. Select Yes in the popup window to turn on Sticky Keys.
  3. Press Ctrl, then Shift, then Alt, then S (do not hold the keys down).
  4. Press Shift five times (turns sticky keys off unless you want them left on).
The Create style Window in Word with the Style and Font properties for the APA Level 2 HeadingFigure 4: APA Level 2 Heading Style and Font Properties

N.B. If you do accidentally select OK then:

  1. Open the Styles panel (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S).
  2. Select the down arrow next to the style you have just created.
  3. Select modify in the popup window. Your screen will reappear, except you will have Modify Style in the title (but that's okay - just continue).
The menu in Word that gives the formatting options, for example, font, paragraphFigure 5: Format menu for the APA Level 2 Heading style
Word screenshot of paragraph properties required for APA Level 2 Headings.Figure 6: APA Level 2 Heading (Paragraph properties)
Word screenshot of page break and hyphenation properties required for APA Level 2 Headings.Figure 7: APA Level 2 Heading (Line and page break properties)

Close each open Window (select OK).

Your Level 2 Heading APA style will be created and added to the Styles panel.

How to Use the APA Level 2 Heading Style you have created

The Word styles panel showing the newly created APA Level 2 Heading style.Figure 8: The newly created Level 2 heading style in the Styles panel

Changes to the Level 2 Heading APA Format

The HUGE advantage of using Word styles is that if want to change the Level 2 Heading format, you only have to make the change once - in your Level 2 Heading APA Word style.

For example, suppose you want to change your Level 1 Heading font from 11-point Calibri to  10-point Lucida Sans Unicode.

Modify your Level 2 Heading style in Word, and the changes are applied to your Level 2 Headings.

The Word styles available including the APA Level 2 Heading.Figure 9: APA Level 2 Heading in the Styles panel
Submenu that gives the option to modify the APA Level 2 Heading styleFigure 10: Modify style menu with the choice to modify the APA Level 2 Heading style
The Modify Style window for changing the format of the APA Level 1 HeadingFigure 11: Modify APA Level 2 Heading style example

Summary

Word styles can save you a lot of time.

Instead of formatting your level 2 heading in APA style every time you need to, just apply the style.

Set it up and use it - it is a great time saver.

And you will become a Word styles expert, and be able to use it in your academic writing, and in your chosen profession after that.