Introducing Improvements to Titles, Subtitles, and Headings

elizabeth tobey
The Medium Blog
Published in
3 min readAug 4, 2016


Readability is about more than the structure of a sentence. Sometimes, it’s about words on a page.

Our aim is to create a space that provides the best writing experience possible for storytellers to reach their audience. Today, we’re excited to show off our improved headers. It’s a small but significant change that we think you’ll appreciate each time you post.

The Medium editor supports two types of headings that we called H1 and H2. Generally, they are used for two similar (but really, quite different) purposes:

  1. As the title and subtitle of a story.
  2. To structure a story into multiple sections and subsections.

Previously, we used the same style headings for both purposes, but the headers were optimized in style and spacing to look best as titles and subtitles at the very beginning of a story.

Our intrepid writers have made titles and subtitles work well in all sorts of cases beyond titles and subtitles, but these were hacks to a tool that could be made to work better on its own.

While we are inspired by the ingenuity and creativity of people on the platform, we knew there was a way to make headers better so that they looked great when creating a story title and sections within the body of your writing.

Introducing new contextual title and subtitles

Improved for better readability

Instead of optimizing for a single use case of titles and subtitles as in the past, we now check to see if you are using a header at the top of a story (as a title or subtitle) or within the body (as a section or subsection), and style the headings to the size and spacing that complement your stories rather than compete with them.

We’ve also revamped the toolbar for selecting titles and subtitles from H1 and H2 to letters to be more clear about exactly what will happen when you pick that formatting option — because using HTML terminology for titles and subtitles might not be the clearest way to convey our message.

These header changes are now in effect for all posts and will be formatted automatically as you write so that you can spend more time on your stories and less on formatting.

Medium is always evolving, and we’ll continue building and improving to make your writing experience better and more beautiful. Enjoy the new headers, send us your thoughts (on headers or anything else!), and keep on publishing amazing stories.



elizabeth tobey
The Medium Blog

East coaster with a secret SF love affair. I enjoy juxtaposing things. Also: Cheese and tiny dachshunds.