Finding Word's Font Substitutes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 21, 2019)

When Pierre opens a document provided to him by another person, there are times that the document will use a font that is not installed on Pierre's system. He then sees a message that says "This font has not been installed. The closest available font will be printed." Pierre wonders how he can discover which font Word will actually substitute. He can find out what font is causing the problem, but he can't seem to discover which font is being substituted for that problem-causing font.

The easiest way to figure out what font substitution Word is doing in a document is to follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. At the left side of the screen click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down to the Show Document Content section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced options in the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Click the Font Substitution button.

What happens at this point depends on whether there are substituted fonts in your document. If there are no font substitutions within the document, Word informs you and there is nothing more to do. If there are font substitutions, Word displays the Font Substitution dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Font Substitution dialog box.

The dialog box quickly shows you the missing fonts and what Word used to substitute for each missing font. If you pick one of the missing fonts, at the bottom of the dialog box you can specify a different font to be substituted, if desired.

Note, as well, the Convert Permanently button. This button is equivalent to doing a Find and Replace to change all the missing fonts to the specified replacement fonts. It obviously affects the formatting within your document, and no more on-the-fly substitutions will occur.

If you are interested in knowing which fonts are similar to a given font, then this online resource may be instructive:

http://www.identifont.com/similar.html

All you need to do is type in a font name and when you click the Go button, you'll see typefaces considered similar to the one you questioned.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12657) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365.

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

Specifying an Index Entry Separator

One of the switches you can use with the index field allows you to specify how index entries should be separated from the ...

Discover More

Item Not Available in Library

When sharing workbooks with others, you may find that the macros in those workbooks may not work as you expect. This tip ...

Discover More

Sorting Text as Numbers

When you are sorting by text values, Excel can be very literal, which may not get you the sorting that you want. This tip ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Understanding Monospace Fonts

Monospace fonts allow you to easily achieve a specific "look" with your text or to line up information in a certain way. ...

Discover More

Understanding Underlines

Part of the formatting you can add to your text is underlining. That simple word (underlining) represents quite a few ...

Discover More

Adjusting Small Caps Text

If you use small caps text in a document, you know that there are several steps involved in properly formatting the text. ...

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}] 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 three more than 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.

Newest Tips
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.