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D4D Accessibility Guide

Milestone Overview: Heading Levels and Logical Order

Heading levels are used in the body of the text, and the heading levels are nested in logical order.

Heading levels can be used by screen readers like a table of contents for your page, allowing users to scan and skip content more easily.

Accessibility Best Practices

Checking and Editing Heading Levels

  • Double check that your box titles are all visible (no floating box titles)
  • Box titles are H2, any subheadings within that content box should go in order starting from H3, H4, H5.
  • Use the rich text editor to select the proper heading level

LibGuide Help Center Resources:


At NYU Libraries, we have set our LibGuides system to have the following default headings (but your organization may not have this so you will see these heading levels in the Rich Text / HTML box):

  1. Heading 1 = Page Title*
  2. Heading 2 = Box Title

There should only be one Heading 1 on the entire page (thus it make sense at NYU to have this set as the Page's heading).

So the first heading in any Rich Text HTML box (at NYU) will be a:

Heading 3

Is the first available heading level in the rich text editor. 

You can also include an unstructured list:

  • List item 
  • List item

Or you can include a numbered (structured) list:

  1. Item 1
  2. Item 2

Heading 4

This will add a sub-section under heading 3.

Heading 3

Additional section 

Heading 4


Another list:

  • List item
    • List sub item
    • List sub item
  • List item
Heading 5

Sub-sub section

Heading 6

Sub-sub-sub section

Additional Resources

Project Mangagement Suggestion

  • Custom CSS and Templates can help avoid the issue of authors/editors choosing a heading level for the look rather than the semantic meaning.
  • Make it clear to your authors/editors if your system forces box titles to be H2 or not. Our training was based off of a forced H2 for box titles.