I am attempting to follow the APA style guideline for section headers. Under their guidelines, there are 5 different styles of section headers. The first three levels are on their own line, but the last two are inline headers: enter image description here

Source: https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/paper-format/headings

In google docs, the only way to achieve this is to manually change all Level 4 and 5 headers. This prevents them from showing up in the "Document Outline". An example of this can be seen when looking at the default "APA" template provided by google docs. Their default template shows how to properly format APA using the inline header style, but their level 4 and 5 headers do not show up in the Document outline (They also label their levels slightly differently than APA in their example):

enter image description here

I want to know if anyone has a workaround for this. In "Microsoft Word" the solution is to use Style Separators, but I am interested in using Google Docs.

There does not appear to be a way to do this in "vanilla" google docs, so I was wondering if anyone knows of a way to modify this default behavior (maybe a google add on?)

Other places I have seen people having the same issue:

1 Answer 1


Assign the header to the full text first, THEN manually change the font size, weight, color, etc. of the subsequent body text. The body text will still be assigned to whatever header you assigned it to, i.e. the whole paragraph will still technically be a header, but the body will look different and it will appear in the document outline. See my picture reference below.

This is a quick and dirty workaround, and the document outline will show the entire text, not just the "inline header" but it worked enough for me. It seems to be the backwards version of what you tried. Hope this helps!

enter image description here

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