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Two ways to make Word remember your preferred font

There are two ways to make Microsoft Word open with your preferred font ready to go.

Just like with Two Ways to Change Word’s Opening Paper Size there are two ways to change the default or preferred font.

Change the base Normal style or open the main Word template and make the change directly.  Either way gives the same result.

Change Normal Style

On the Home tab find the Normal style in the Style Gallery, right-click and choose Modify …

That opens the standard Modify Style dialog.  Change the font, font size or any other option you like.

Those changes will only apply to the current document unless you also change the option on the bottom line.

New documents based on this template – choose that to change the template instead of just the open doc.

What Template Am I Using?

Modify Style is missing one important detail – which template it’s changing!

That’s right, the option talks about ‘… this template’ but nowhere on that dialog or its sub-menu does it tell you which template will be changed.

Most likely it’s the Word default Normal.dotm, that’s what you’re using when you choose New | Blank Document.

To check the template in use, go to File | Info | Show all Properties.

Word for Mac

On Word for Mac go to File | Properties | Summary and way down at the bottom is the template name.

The settings for Word documents live in a template called Normal.dotm, so if we want to make our changes stick, we need to save them in this template.

Find Normal.dotm

Normal.dotm is automatically saved to the right location when you installed Word.

Word for Windows

To find it, open the File Explorer (Windows + E is a handy shortcut for that), and go to:


Find the Normal.dotm file and open it.

Word for Mac

Go to Word Preferences | File Locations | User templates.

Click on Modify … to open that folder in Finder.

 Set Your Preferred Font

Now that you have your Normal.dotm template open, just change the font and any other settings to what you want them to be and then save the file.

The important thing to note here is that the Normal.dotm file should never have any text or other content in it.  Text will show up in each document made from that template.  That’s great for letterhead or other templates but not normal.dotm.

If you need to put some content in to try out different settings, make sure you delete it before you save the file.

Once you have saved your preferred font in the template, next time you start a new Word document, it should automatically open with your preferred font selected.

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