Finding Word's Font Substitutes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 21, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 Microsoft 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

Adding Differently Formatted Text to a Cell

Want to add or replace some text in a column with text that is formatted differently? The ideas presented in this tip can ...

Discover More

Negatives in Pie Charts

Pie charts are a great way to graphically display some types of data. Displaying negative values is not so great in pie ...

Discover More

Adjusting a Range's Starting Point

Select a range of cells, and one of those cells will always be the starting point for the range. This tip explains how to ...

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)

Missing Fonts in a Letterhead

When you create a document (such as a letterhead) that you want multiple people to use, you need to be concerned with ...

Discover More

Protecting Hidden Text

Formatting some of your text as hidden can be a great help when you need to keep some things from being viewed or ...

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
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 four 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.

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.