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Two ways to change the default font and more in Word

Changing the font, size or style for all Word documents is remarkably easy and there’s two ways to do it. Alter the font that’s automatically used when you make a ‘blank document’.

In Word 2007 and later 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. For example, the default font size 11pt is often thought too small and is better at 12pt or even 14pt for standard readable text

There are at least two ways to change the default font settings in Word 2010 and later including Word 365.

Open Font Settings

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

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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. 

Set as Default

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.

One document or all documents?

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

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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.

‘This document only’ changes the styles in the current document only with NO change to the template.

About Normal.dotm

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. 

More font effects to make default

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.

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

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

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