Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing the Default Font.

Changing the Default Font

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 4, 2020)

2

When you create a new document, Word bases what that document looks like on certain defaults that it establishes. One default—the font used in the document—is stored in either of two places. It starts out in the Windows Registry, unless you've made sufficient changes to other default settings that Word creates a default template (Normal.dotm) to store those changes.

You can change the default font used for new documents in this manner, assuming that Word has not yet created the default template:

  1. Type a few letters into an empty document.
  2. Select the letters you just typed.
  3. Press Ctrl+D to display the Font dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Font dialog box.

  5. Use the controls in the dialog box to specify what you want as the default font.
  6. Click the Set as Default button. (This is what updates the information in the Windows Registry.)
  7. If you are asked whether you want to change the default font, click Yes.
  8. Click OK.

If Word has already created the default template (again, Normal.dotm) then the best way to change the default font is to make your change to the template itself. Follow these steps:

  1. Locate the file Normal.dotm on your hard drive, and then open the file in Word. (The best way to find this file is to use the search capabilities in Word.)
  2. Display the Home tab of the ribbon and click the small icon at the lower-right corner of the Styles group. Word displays the Styles task pane.
  3. Scroll through the list of styles until you can see the Normal style.
  4. Click the down arrow at the right of the style name and choose Modify. Word displays the Modify Style dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Modify Style dialog box.

  6. Click the Format button and choose Font. Word displays the Font dialog box.
  7. Use the controls in the dialog box to specify the font you want.
  8. Click on OK twice.
  9. Close the Styles task pane.

You have now changed the default template. You should save the file and then close it. The changes will take effect with the next document you create.

One side note: Those who have been around Word for a long time may remember the days when Word created a default template from the get-go, without using the Registry. The change to when Word actually creates the default template was made with the introduction of Word 2000, many years ago. That is described fully in this tip on the WordTips website for older versions of the software.

In the current versions of Word, how the software creates the default template functions as described in this tip.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6702) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Default Font.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Displaying ScreenTips

ScreenTips are those small, yellow boxes that appear when you hover over different objects in Word. You have complete ...

Discover More

Exactly Positioning Text

If you need to control exactly where text will appear on the page or relative to other text, you need to know about the ...

Discover More

Searching for a Value Using a Function

Searching for a value using Excel's Find tool is easy; searching for that same value using a formula or a macro is more ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Understanding Strikethrough Formatting

The strikethrough text feature in Word can be used as part of your document or to indicate that changes have been made to ...

Discover More

Superscript and Subscript at the Same Place

Do you want a superscript and subscript character to appear directly above each other? There are multiple ways you can ...

Discover More

Strikethrough Shortcut Key

One common type of formatting is strikethrough, which is normally applied from the Font dialog box. There is no built-in ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 5?

2020-01-04 19:11:11

Roger Williams

Allan you are not alone!


2020-01-04 14:14:13

Allan

I've tried every way known to man to change my Word 2007 default to Arial (Including the above ways). It stays awhile, but then soon reverts to Calibri (Body) as default.
Thoughts anyone?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.