Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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: Quickly Changing Font Sizes.

Quickly Changing Font Sizes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2015)


Word allows you a great deal of control over the size of the font used in your documents. If you want to change font sizes quickly, you can follow these steps:

  1. Select the text whose font size you want to change.
  2. Press Ctrl+> to increase the size of the font.
  3. Press Ctrl+< to decrease the size of the font.

(Remember that to access the < or > keys, you must hold down the Shift key. Thus, some people may refer to these shortcuts as Shift+Ctrl+> and Shift+Ctrl+<. This notation is redundant, however.)

Exactly how much the font size is increased or decreased depends. At smaller point sizes (12 or under), the point size is changed by a single point. Between 12 and 72 points, you are actually stepping through the point sizes available in the Font group of the Home tab on the ribbon (12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 36, 48, and 72). Thereafter, the font size is changed by increments of ten points. You can use this method to reduce a point size to a single point or to as large as 1638 points.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11076) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Quickly Changing 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. ...


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What is 1 + 8?

2016-10-19 22:08:11

Ruve Campbell

How do I decrease my font size to 18?

2015-04-27 18:13:25

Sueze Morris

Concur with the others - Ctrl [ and Ctrl ] works for me too.

2015-04-26 08:10:09


I also agree with Bryan. This is a shortcut that I use tirelessly and much easier to just use CTRL + [ or CTRL + ].

2015-04-24 17:25:08

Barbara Metz

Doesn't seem to work with Windows for Mac.

2015-04-24 11:10:01


Ditto to what Bryan said. I find this easier (no having to hold down a Shift key), and more granular; ergo, more helpful.

2013-06-04 07:19:30


If you just want to increase/decrease by one point at a time no matter what the starting font, you can use CTRL + ] and CTRL + [, respectively.

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