Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 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: Accurate Font Sizes.

Accurate Font Sizes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 12, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


2

You already know that Word allows you to easily change the size of your fonts. You can use either the formatting tools on the various ribbon tabs or the controls in the Font dialog box (press Ctrl+D) to set the size of the type you've selected in your document. You may not know, however, that Word can use virtually any point size you want, not just those listed in the drop-down size lists.

Font sizes are specified in points, which are a typographer's measurement roughly equivalent to 1/72 of an inch. You can either select a size from the drop-down list, or you can enter your own size. Select the size shown in the list, and then type the size you actually want. When you press Enter, the size of your selected text is changed. This is great when you want your text to be really large for special signs. For instance, you can easily set your font size to 120 or 200 points to make huge letters for a sign.

It is also easy to overlook the fact that Word can display and print fonts in increments of half a point. Depending on the typeface being used, this can make a big difference. For example, there is a very marked difference between 10- and 11-point Verdana, and 10.5 may be just what you need.

You obtain the half-sizes by typing them directly into the size box. If you try to type in any other fractional size (like 10.25 or 10.4), Word displays an error message. You can only set full point sizes or half point sizes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9171) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Accurate Font Sizes.

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

Positive and Negative Colors in a Chart

When creating a line cart, the line can show values both positive and negative values. This tip explains how you can use ...

Discover More

Deleting Every X Rows

Grab some info from a source other than Excel, and you may find the need to delete a certain pattern of rows from a ...

Discover More

Referencing a Worksheet Name

Excel provides ways to reference the column or row number of a cell, but it doesn't provide a built-in way to reference a ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Applying the All Caps Format

Want your text to always appear in uppercase, regardless of how you type it? Word allows you to add formatting to your ...

Discover More

Shortening Word's Font List

When you format the text in a document, you can use any of the fonts that Word makes available to you. If that font list ...

Discover More

Searching for Text that Does Not Have a Certain Format

You can easily use Find and Replace to find text that has a particular format to it. Most people don't know you can use ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 six less than 9?

2019-10-22 07:29:18

Piotr Grochowski

The point size is really 3÷4 of the ppem (pixels per em) size, not all ppem sizes have corresponding integer point sizes, so they have to insert fractional point sizes divisible by 1.5, such as 1.5, 4.5, 7.5, 10.5, 13.5, 16.5, etc.


2019-09-27 12:57:02

jon deaux

Is there a hidden setting that allows users to specify type sizes using millimeters?

Being able to use the same unit of measure (millimeters) for type sizes, leading, margins, paper sizes, et cetera would make life much simpler by avoiding conversion errors.


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.

Videos
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.