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Change Default Font Settings in Word

Changing the font for all documents is remarkably easy.

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by Office for Mere Mortals

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In Word 2010 the default font face is Calibri, font size 11 and style Normal. This might not be the ideal combination for many as different individuals have different font preferences. Making modifications to font style, size and font face to suit your requirements every time you use Word is a pain.

You need not worry about it as there is way to change the default font settings in Word 2010.

For this open Word 2010 and in Home | Font click on the small down arrow located at the bottom right corner.

Font ribbon image from Change Default Font Settings in Word at

In the Font settings window that pops open select required font, font style, font size, font color, underline style, effects like strikethrough and small caps. As you make the changes you can see a preview of the selections in the preview pane. Apart from standard font settings you can also make changes to text effects and advanced font settings. 

Font settings image from Change Default Font Settings in Word at

After making all the required changes and setting the font style, size, color, etc. click on “Set As Default” button located at bottom left corner of the Font window.

You will be prompted to confirm if you want to set the default font only for the current document or for all the documents.

Confirmation image from Change Default Font Settings in Word at

To make your selected font settings apply to all future documents of that type, choose ‘All documents based on the Normal.dotm template’ (or whatever template applies).  The changes will be set as default and apply to the current document, any documents based on that template and when you open a new Word document.

The Normal.dotm template ( for word 2003 and before) is the ‘base’ template used for all blank documents in Word.  The ‘Set as Default’ option is really telling Word to make the font changes apply more broadly than the current text selection, either to the document as a whole or all documents based on that template. 

To make additional font changes there are Text Effects and Advanced settings.  For changes to Text Effects click on “Text Effects” button.  In the Format Text Effects window that pops open select required effects from the available options. After making the changes click on Close button. You will return back to the Font window.

Text effects image from Change Default Font Settings in Word at

Click on Advanced tab in the Font window there are even more options.

Advanced image from Change Default Font Settings in Word at

Here you can make changes to character spacing and ligature features.

In future issues we’ll delve more into Word templates, styles and Word’s complex notion of a ‘default’ setting.

Article posted: Tuesday, 30 November 2010

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