Changing the Ribbon Font Size

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 10, 2018)


Louise wonders if there is a way to change the size of the font used in the ribbon. It seems a bit too small for her tastes, and she can't find a way to change it.

Word makes it easy to adjust the zoom level at which you view your document, but it doesn't provide any capability to adjust the size of the font actually used in the ribbon itself. This seems to be hard-coded within the program.

There is a potential workaround, however, and that is to use Windows to adjust the size of things displayed on the screen. There are actually two ways you can do this—you can either decrease the resolution of the display or you can increase the magnification at which items are shown. Both are handled in essentially the same manner within the operating system itself.

As an example, let's say you are using Windows 10. Start by right-clicking on an empty area of your desktop. You should see a Context menu, and near the bottom of that Context menu is an option named Display Settings. Choose this option, and Windows displays the Settings dialog box. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Changing display settings in Windows 10.

Exactly how this dialog box appears on your system depends on a lot of different things. I've seen it with and without a "Settings" title at the top. I've seen it with and without a navigation area at the left. It seems that Windows 10 adjusts what is in the dialog box by how you get to it (there are multiple ways) and how wide you make the dialog box (you can expand or contract it).

Regardless of how the dialog box exactly appears on your system, you want to pay attention to the drop-down list under the Scale and Layout heading. Using this control, you can adjust the magnification of your screen. It is normally set to 100%, but you can make choices to set it at a higher magnification—all the way up to 175%.

If you prefer to change to a lower resolution (which also makes things appear larger on the screen) you can use the drop-down list under the Resolution heading.

As you make changes in either the scale or the resolution, those changes are reflected immediately on the screen so that you can get an idea of how the display looks. If you have Word open on the screen, visible in the background, you'll be able to see, for instance, how your changes to the Windows 10 display settings affects the appearance of the ribbon. When you get things just the way you want, you can close the Settings dialog box and continue using your programs, including Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7401) 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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