How to Convert H4 Elements to Bold Text in Google Docs with Apps Script

You can achieve this task using Google Apps Script, which allows you to automate actions within Google Docs. The script below selects all H4 elements in a Google Doc and converts them to regular text that is bolded. This is done by finding all the text elements formatted as Heading 4, changing their attributes to normal text, and then applying bold formatting to them.

Here is a sample Apps Script code snippet that you can use:

function convertH4ToBoldedText() {
  var doc = DocumentApp.getActiveDocument();
  var body = doc.getBody();
  var searchType = DocumentApp.ParagraphHeading.HEADING4;
  var foundElements = body.getParagraphs();
  foundElements.forEach(function(element) {
    if (element.getHeading() === searchType) {
      // Change the heading to normal text
      // Get the text range and apply bold formatting
      var textRange = element.editAsText();

Here’s how the code works:

  • It starts by getting the active document and its body.
  • It defines the search criteria as Heading 4 (DocumentApp.ParagraphHeading.HEADING4).
  • It retrieves all paragraph elements in the document and filters them by the specified heading type.
  • For each element found, it changes its heading to normal (DocumentApp.ParagraphHeading.NORMAL) and then applies bold formatting to the entire text of that paragraph.

To use this script:

  1. Open your Google Doc.
  2. Go to Extensions > Apps Script.
  3. Delete any code in the script editor and paste the code snippet provided above.
  4. Save the script with a name of your choice.
  5. Run the convertH4ToBoldedText function by clicking the play (▶️) button next to the function name in the script editor.

Please note that running this script will apply the changes to all Heading 4 elements in your document. If you need to undo these changes, you can use the Google Docs undo feature (Ctrl + Z or Cmd + Z on Mac) immediately after running the script, or manually change the formatting back as needed.

Google Docs is an incredibly versatile tool for creating and editing documents online, but sometimes you might find yourself needing more customization than the standard features offer. For example, suppose you’ve got a document filled with Heading 4 (H4) elements that you now want to convert into regular text but keep them distinguished by making them bold. Doing this manually for each element can be tedious, especially in longer documents. Luckily, Google Apps Script comes to the rescue, allowing you to automate this task efficiently.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through a simple script that automates the process of converting all H4 elements in your Google Doc into regular, bold text. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency throughout your document.

Understanding Google Apps Script

Google Apps Script is a powerful development platform that allows you to enhance and automate workflows across Google Workspace. It’s based on JavaScript, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced developers. With Apps Script, you can script actions in Docs, Sheets, Forms, and more, tailoring them to fit your specific needs.

Let’s break down what each part of the script does:

  • Get the Active Document: The script starts by fetching the currently open Google Doc.
  • Identify H4 Elements: It looks for all paragraphs with Heading 4 styling.
  • Convert and Style: For each found H4 element, it changes the heading type to Normal and applies bold styling to the text.

How to Implement the Script

To put this script into action, follow these steps:

  1. Open Your Google Doc: Navigate to the document you want to modify.
  2. Access Apps Script: From the menu, go to Extensions > Apps Script.
  3. Insert the Script: In the script editor that opens, erase any existing code and copy-paste the script provided above.
  4. Save and Run: Name your project, save the script, and execute the convertH4ToBoldedText function by clicking the play button next to its name.


With just a few steps and a simple script, you’ve automated the conversion of H4 elements to bold text in your document. This process showcases just a glimpse of what’s possible with Google Apps Script, opening the door to a world of automation and customization in your Google Workspace applications.

Remember, this script will apply the changes to all H4 elements in your document. If you wish to revert the changes, you can do so immediately after running the script using Google Docs’ undo feature.

We hope this tutorial inspires you to explore more ways to use Google Apps Script to enhance your productivity and workflow. Happy scripting!