Sample headings

There is a nearly limitless number of ways to make headings. This section shows you just a few samples. In each case, notice that the sub-heading is subordinate to the main heading in at least two ways.

That is, if the main heading is upper case and centered, the sub-heading shouldn't be the same except that it starts on the left margin. The main heading and sub-heading would look too similar. When readers turn to a page with only one heading, they might not remember if it's your main heading or your sub-heading.

But if your sub-headings are different in at least two ways, your readers are more likely to immediately tell whether a single heading on a page is the main one or the subordinate one. For example, there are three differences between the main and sub-headings in this example. Can you spot them?

Titles And Subheadings

Here are the three differences—each giving priority to the main heading over the layout of the sub-heading:

• The main heading has a line under it from margin to margin.

• The main heading is centered.

• The main heading is all upper case.

Now let's look at another way to make headings:

These main headings—the ones on the left margin—are "hanging headings."

They're quite common today for reports because of the white space they add. The page seems open and accessible, doesn't it?

Some people think that hanging headings waste space and make a document longer. Actually, though, the document gets only a little longer. That's because you can use a smaller type size for your main text.

Remember that the length of your line is important in choosing a type size. Because the hanging heading reduces the length of your line of main text, a smaller size works fine.

How much smaller? A point or so.

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