Shortening Word's Font List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 11, 2017)


Stephen's font list in Word contains hundreds of fonts, many of which are not usable. He would like to shorten the font list to include only those he wants to use in Word, but is at a loss as to how to go about this.

The fonts displayed in Word are those installed on your Windows system. You cannot make changes to fonts directly from within Word, but you can within Windows. Whatever font changes you make are then reflected in Word the next time you start the program.

Both adding and removing fonts are rather easy to do, once you know where to look. Here is a tip that can help you understand exactly how to do it:

Interestingly enough, if you are using Windows 7 or later, you can also "hide" fonts so that they remain installed on your system, but do not show up in any of your well-behaved applications (such as Word). Here's how to accomplish that task:

If you want to get even more technical—and if you have the correct level of authorization on your system—you can also block fonts from being installed on your system unless they come from a trusted source or you've indicated that they are allowed. You can find information on how to do that here:

You should understand that any changes you make to the fonts in Windows will necessarily affect all your other programs on the system, as well. If the number of fonts presented in Word still overwhelms you and you don't want to delete fonts within Windows (perhaps the fonts are necessary for a different program), you may want to reconsider how you are using the fonts within Word.

For instance, if you select text and then use the Font drop-down list to select what font you want to use when formatting that text, this can get quite tedious. Instead, consider using styles. You can define a style for each use of a font within your system, and then simply apply that style to your text. The style list will no doubt be shorter and, therefore, much more usable than the long font list.

Still another option is to use a third-party tool to manage your fonts. For instance, you might consider using Font Finder, a Word add-in that works with Word 2013 and Word 2016. This add-in is available at Microsoft's Office Store. It allows you to categorize and easily browse through fonts on your system, from within Word itself. If you want to do your management within Windows, then you might consider NexusFont. This free utility allows you to organize, compare, and tag fonts for use in different applications on your system. You can find it here:

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (565) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 7 - 2?

2017-03-05 08:46:28

Lee Batchelor

Good thought, Ian but most sources say we should leave this turned on. Problem is, your idea makes sense!

Perhaps this is yet another MS bug that will never be resolved because there is "no money in the cure." MS is sluggish at fixing bugs that don't generate profit.

2017-03-04 21:44:42

Rogan Wu

where shall i find Font Finder? i couldn't find it on the microsoft office store.
can i have the link that direct me to download this add-on?

2017-02-17 11:37:26

Liz Adams

I was excited to read this tip on how to hide fonts that aren't used. However, I followed the instruction on how to hide a font, but it did not work -- the font still appeared in the list on both Word and Excel :-(

2017-02-13 10:52:07

Ian R.

@Lee Batchelor
Try disabling Windows Font Cache Service.

2017-02-12 15:12:46

D. Georgiev

No, this method doesn't work. Despite I hided a lot of fonts in the control panel, they still appearing in the Word fonts dropdown list.

2017-02-11 13:07:17

Landolphe D\'Aquin

A very useful tip for solving an annoying problem. But how do you do this in Mac Word (2008)?

2017-02-11 11:06:55

Lee Batchelor

I tried hiding unneeded fonts in the Fonts Control Panel. They still appear in the Word 2007 list after I re-open Word 2007. Any other ideas that actually work? (Windows 10 Pro, Office 2007).

Thanks :).

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