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April 18, 2016

Resetting the Default Font in Word

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

I get this question often and it surprises me that I’ve not written a blog post about it: How do you change the default font in Word?

The “default font” is actually the font set in the Normal style for the Normal template.

Normal. Normal. Normal.

The Normal template is the one that Word uses when you start a new document and don’t select a specific template. In fact, all templates use Normal as their base document, so there’s a little piece of Normal in everything Word does.

The Normal style is the body style, which is preset for all text written in Word. When you start a new document with the Normal template, the Normal style is applied to the new document’s only paragraph.

In Word 2016, the Normal style typeface is set to Calibri, which is Microsoft’s fancy-yet-sans-serif font. The point size is set to 11.

Back in the day, the Normal style typeface was Times New Roman, which many people prefer over the dull Calibri. If you want to reset the Normal template to use that font for all your documents, then follow these steps:

1. Press Ctrl+D to bring up the Font dialog box.
2. Choose the typeface and size you want for all your documents.

For example, if you want Times New Roman at 12 points, set that font and size. If you want Arial for the font and 12 points for the size, choose those items.

3. Click the button Set As Default.

The Set As Default button is the key to resetting the Normal style in the Normal template. Sure, you could edit that template directly, but doing so is a pain. It’s better just to use the Set As Default button.

After clicking the button, you see a warning prompt.

4. Choose All Documents Based on the Normal.dotm Template.
5. Click OK.

From this point forward, all new, blank documents you create (use Ctrl+N) feature the updated Normal style with the typeface and size you selected (Step 2).

If you believe that you’ve made a mistake by choosing the wrong font, you can restore Word’s default: In Step 2, choose the +Body typeface and 11 as the size. The +Body typeface is tied into the Office Theme, found on the Design tab. The Office Theme doesn’t change when you reset the default font, so it’s a way to quickly restore what Microsoft determined would be best.

1 Comment

  1. Dan, what are your preferred fonts for word processing, programming and terminal? I guess most programmers want monospace fonts. I hated the courier font that MS used to use. I personally like Georgia, Verdana and Arial. I guess MS is trying to catch up to Apple’s Menlo and Helvetica by using Calibri and Times New Roman.

    Comment by BradC — April 29, 2016 @ 5:01 am

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