3 Ways to Batch Promote or Demote Heading Levels in Your Word Document

In this article, we would like to expound 3 ways to batch promote or demote heading levels in your Word document.

The proper use of headings makes a good structure in a document. And speaking of property, it’s inevitable to change heading levels now and then. For example, while merging several individual documents into one, you will have to promote or demote some heading levels.Batch Promote or Demote Heading Levels in Your Word DocumentAdmittedly, it’s not rocket science to promote or demote a single heading level at one time. But, when it comes to batch processing, you must find the right way to it. Read on to find out what you can use.

Method 1: Promote or Demote All Headings of the Same Level

Particularly in a long document, there can be multiple headings of the same level. Here is the way to batch promote or demote them by utilizing “Find and Replace” feature.

  1. Firstly, press “Ctrl+ H” to open “Find and Replace” box.
  2. Then put cursor at “Find what” box and click “More” to get more options.
  3. Next click “Format” button and choose “Style” on the drop-down menu.
  4. In “Find Style” box, select the heading level you need to promote or demote and click “OK”.Click "Format"->Click "Style"->Select a Heading Level->Click "OK"
  5. Now place cursor at “Replace with” box and repeat step 3.
  6. Next in the “Replace Style” box, select heading level and click “OK”.
  7. Lastly, click “Replace All” in “Find and Replace” box.Click "Replace All"


  1. To promote heading levels, you should start with the highest level. For example, you must replace level 3 with level 2 first, and then level 4 with level 3.
  2. To demote heading levels, you should start with the lowest level. For instance, you must replace level 7 with level 8 first, and then level 6 with level 7.

Method 2: Promote or Demote the Level of All Headings

  1. First of all, click “View” then choose “Outline”.
  2. In “Outline” view, you press “Ctrl+ A” to select the entire document.Click "View"->Click "Outline"
  3. Next click the single right arrow in “Outline Tools” demote the level of all headings in the document. Or click the single left arrow to promote heading level. Each click promotes or demotes one level a time. So, make one or multiple clicks accordingly.
  4. Lastly, click “Close Outline View” to exit.Click "Promote" or "Demote"->Click "Close Outline View"

Besides, you can also remember shortcuts to do it quickly.

  1. At first, press “Ctrl+ A” to select document.
  2. Then press “Alt+ Shift+ right arrow” to demote, and “Alt+ Shift+ left arrow” to promote.

Method 3: Run a Macro

As you see, method 2 can do a perfect job to get what you want. But, it requires a couple of clicks and switch between “Outline” and “Print Layout” view. And even with the shortcut, you have to remember the key combination first.

However, with a macro way, there would be no such troubles. You can specify promotion or demotion with a single letter.

  1. First of all, press “Alt+ F11” to trigger VBA editor in Word.
  2. Next click “Normal” and “Insert”.
  3. Then choose “Module”.Click "Normal"->Click "Insert"->Click "Module"
  4. Double click to open new module.
  5. Paste the following codes:
Sub PromoteOrDemoteParagraph()
  Dim strRule As String
  strRule = InputBox("To promote heading level, enter p" & vbNewLine & "To demote heading level, enter d")
  If strRule = "p" Then
  End If
  Selection.Collapse wdCollapseStart
End Sub
  1. Then click “Run” button.Paste Codes->Click "Run"
  2. Now there will be an input box. Letter “p” represents to promote, and “d” to demote. Enter the letter in the text box and click “OK” to proceed.Enter Letter->Click "OK"

Running the macro once means to demote or promote one level a time. So, repeat it as you need.

Be Prepared All the Time

In terms of preparing for a document corruption, one of the first things we should think is to generate a regular backup plan. It provides us with the copy of the file, so we won’t suffer too much from the data loss. However, the most efficient way is to get a tool to recover word, for this offers us the latest version of a document.

Author Introduction:

Vera Chen is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including xls repair and pdf repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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