Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 March 7, 2016)

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 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, and 2013. 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. ...

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