Unwanted Font in Draft View

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 16, 2020)


Suddenly, all of Kathleen's documents (which she works with in Draft view) are in a typewriter font, maybe Times New Roman. Even though the formatting of the text is set to Arial (the font she has used for years because it's easier for her to read with her vision) that is not what displays. If Kathleen change to Print Layout view, it's Arial. But as a technical writer and fiction writer, she prefers working in Draft view. All of her documents have changed, and she would love to know how to change it back.

There are times when—let's face it—Word simply gets confused. This may be one of those times, and the best way to figure out if this is the case is to simply restart the program. If you do, the problem might be fixed, and you are "good to go." However, the confusion may be a little more persistent, in which case you'll want 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. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll down to the Show Document Content section. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Advanced options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Clear the Use Draft Font in Draft and Outline Views check box.
  6. Click OK.

That should fix the problem. The key was that the font change affected only viewing the document in Draft view. Word treats Draft view as a minimalistic approach to Word, one in which fonts aren't normally that big of a deal. Clearing the check box (step 4) causes Word to pay a bit more attention to fonts in Draft view.

If you prefer to use a specific font when using Draft view (perhaps Arial), then you can leave the check box selected in step 4 and use the controls under the check box to specify the font Name and Size. Word will then override any font settings, while in Draft view, and use that single font to display everything.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13207) 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. ...


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What is eight more than 6?

2021-05-24 20:55:39


Thank you! I've just left Word 2010 and Win7 behind for Word 2019 and Win10, and was encountering this problem for the first time (and only intermittently).

For what it's worth, I went through (and documented) lots of the Word settings a couple weeks ago when I was setting up Word 2019, and I definitely left that checkbox unchecked. But when I checked that setting just now while one of my documents was doing the draft-view-Courier thing, the box was checked, and unchecking it did the trick.

2021-02-11 15:06:22


Thanks for this advice, Allen. Had the same issue. Wouldn't have thought to look for the solution where you suggested. Regards from Poland.

2020-07-22 07:03:47

Biff Capp

Thanks a bunch for solving this otherwise insoluble issue for me! You're a lifesaver!

2020-06-18 10:54:57


Allen, thanks very much. This is not the first time an article of yours has helped me address a hard-to-identify Office issue, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

2019-07-21 12:52:45

Rodney Rawlings

But I don't do that, I just run those two macros. Or rather, one macro, this one:

Sub styleview_wrap()
' styleview_wrap Macro
Application.DisplayStatusBar = True
With ActiveWindow
.DisplayHorizontalScrollBar = False
.DisplayVerticalScrollBar = True
.StyleAreaWidth = InchesToPoints(2)
.DisplayScreenTips = True
With .View
.ShowAnimation = True
.Draft = True
.WrapToWindow = True
.ShowPicturePlaceHolders = False
.ShowFieldCodes = False
.ShowBookmarks = False
.FieldShading = wdFieldShadingAlways
.ShowTabs = False
.ShowSpaces = False
.ShowParagraphs = False
.ShowHyphens = False
.ShowHiddenText = False
.ShowAll = False
.ShowHighlight = True
End With
End With
End Sub

2019-07-20 13:45:11

Rodney Rawlings

I knew this, but I am finding that when I run a macro to both show the style area and wrap text to the window, the box somehow gets re-checked and my (multiple) fonts all go back to one font, Courier.

2018-07-10 05:53:47

Dr. Bartolo

Be aware that if you work in draft view and by mistake choose the open document from your list of recently used documents (perhaps because you are looking to open a different document in that list) and click to open it Word will always automatically toggle this switch to show the draft font whether you like it or not.

Only the steps in the action above will cure the problem - unless and until you try and open a document twice once more!

This seems to be a bug that Microsoft have just not picked up on and is of long standing - I have experienced it in Word 2010, Word 2013 and now in Word 2016 (and on different machines).

2018-01-22 12:50:14

Connie Goss

I had a similar problem in full screen reading view in Word 2010. It only seemed to affect documents that contained the font New Century Schoolbook. I read somewhere that Truetype fonts could cause this problem, so I switched to Opentype fonts, and have not had the problem since.

2018-01-21 22:47:26


Wow. That fixed it. Thanks! I spent a couple hours trying to fix this. I couldn't hone in on the solution using Google. Only found pages on how to enable draft view and such. Then on a whim, I added "courier" to the search because I noticed that the font I was seeing looked an awful lot like Courier. That led me here.

What caused the problem in the first place is that I had a Word doc open in draft view and didn't realize it was already open. I then clicked a shortcut file to open that same document. Then suddenly, that document switched to Courier font and I couldn't change it. At first, I didn't realize it was only draft view that was screwy. I thought I corrupted the template or my styles somehow by opening a file ontop of itself.

Thanks again!

2016-04-02 02:50:01


You solved my problems, as usual. Thank you Allen!

2014-08-16 08:06:00

Lee Batchelor

I agree with Dr. Bartolo.

I use Word 2010, and the comment: "Word treats Draft view as a minimalistic approach to Word, one in which fonts aren't normally that big of a deal" is not quite true. On the contrary, fonts are a big deal in all media!

All fonts displayed on computer monitors need to be sans serif fonts because even with high resolution monitors, serif fonts do not appear sharp enough for the human eye to effectively resolve. This is troublesome for Kathleen because she indicates that here vision is not 100 percent. In my response to her, I suggested she try using the Calibri font in place of the Arial font. The Arial font is very dated and Calibri was designed by Microsoft as a Clear Type font, very suitable for online viewing. The more control we have over font choice, the better.

- Lee Batchelor
Technical Writer, Technical Writing Instructor and Course Designer (Humber College, Toronto)

2014-08-16 04:55:47

Dr. Bartolo

In Office 2013 Microsoft seem to have taken the minimalist approach to an extreme - one I personally do not welcome. So, for example, a footnote that prints out as a raised, smaller character now, confusingly, appears in draft view as a normal character and not raised at all. It looks fine in print layout view

Considering that it is not that long ago that Microsoft called the draft view "normal view", it is odd that they have made this sort of change. The draft view has many advantages over print layout, and it is a shame to see Microsoft relegating draft view more and more.

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