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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 9, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007 and 2010


7

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Scaling Your Output

One of the lesser-known features of Word is that it allows you to create a document for one page size and scale the ...

Discover More

Determining How Many Windows are Open

Does your macro need to know how many windows Excel has open? You can determine it by using the Count property of the ...

Discover More

Removing Add-ins

Add-ins are used to extend Excel's capabilities in lots of different ways. If you want to get rid of an add-in ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Formatting Currency

If you need to format a number so that it appears as currency, it is not as easy to do in Word as it is in Excel. You can ...

Discover More

Special Symbols Display Incorrectly

When sharing your documents with others, you may occasionally have a problem where some of the symbols used in your ...

Discover More

Specifying Font Styles

Fonts, by default, come with one or more styles that define variations of how that font is displayed in your document. ...

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 two minus 1?

2020-11-01 16:03:17

John Mann

Just Type 18 in the font size box in the Font group of the Home tab on the ribbon. If appropriate, make sure you have selected the text to change first, otherwise you will be changing the size from where the insertion point is located for all text inserted thereafter.


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

Natalie

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

Maggie

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

Bryan

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.


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.