Change the Default Font in Microsoft Office

Change Default Font in Microsoft Word
Change Default Font in Microsoft Word. (c) Screenshot by Cindy Grigg, Courtesy of Microsoft

The Microsoft Office 2016 productivity suite supports several types of font-default switching so that your Office documents present with your preferred look-and-feel without you having to manually configure styles every time you create a new file.

Microsoft Word

To establish a default font for viewing documents in Draft and Outline views, click the File tab and select Options. Click Advanced. Scroll to the section labeled "Show document content" and check the box for "Use draft font in Draft and Outline views." Pick the font and size you prefer.

To adjust the default styles used within a Word document, either create a new template or adjust your current default template.

  • Adjust the template. From the Home tab, right-click on any style in the Styles group. In the pop-up menu box, select Modify. In the "Modify Style" box, make whatever adjustments you prefer. At the bottom of the box, select the radio button to enable "New documents based on this template" to ensure that your style changes persist when you create new documents.
  • Save the template. For major changes to your defaults, open a blank new document and adjust the different styles to meet your needs. If you save the document, you may (or may not, depending on how your copy of Word is configured) receive a request to update or overwrite the normal.dotx template. To save your changes as the "new normal," proceed with the save. Otherwise, to create a separate template file for yourself, visit the File tab then select Export. Click Change File Type. In the box that appears on the right, select Template (*.dotx) and give the file a name and a location. In the future, just open that template to see all of your customized font and layout choices. When you save new documents made with the template, by default you'll get the Save As dialog box—you won't overwrite your new template unless you specifically export a new DOTX file.

    Microsoft Excel

    Visit the File tab then select Options to open the Excel Options window. From the General tab, scroll to "When creating new workbooks" to identify the font and size for your new default.

    Microsoft OneNote

    Change OneNote's default font by clicking File then Options. In the General group, scroll to the "Default font" section and reset the font, size, and color to taste.

    Microsoft Publisher

    From any blank Publisher document, select the Home tab then click the Styles button. A pop-up menu invites you to import or create a new style. To import, open a document that already has styles associated—another Publisher file, or a Word document. To create a new style, give it a name then change its parameters. You can specify the font, text effects, character spacing, paragraph breaking, bullet and numbering formats, horizontal rule lines, and tab placement. Additional styles may be new or based on one you've already defined.

    Microsoft PowerPoint

    PowerPoint does not identify default fonts; instead, fonts are associated with templates. Base your design off a template that meets your visual design needs.

    Microsoft Outlook

    Set Outlook's defaults by going to the File tab and selecting Options. Click the Mail section header. In the "Compose messages" box, click the Stationery and Fonts button. The Signatures and Stationery dialog box guides you to either select a defined theme or to manually configure the font (including size and color) for new messages, replies, forwards, and plain-text composition. 

    You must be configured to send email in HTML format to use the themes, otherwise, your message will be written and received as plain text.

    The Microsoft Office User Interface

    By default, Windows 10 does not offer functionality to change the user-interface elements of Microsoft Office products. Thus,  you're stuck with the same fonts for menus, buttons and dialog boxes unless you install a non-native theming application.

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    Your Citation
    Grigg, Cindy. "Change the Default Font in Microsoft Office." ThoughtCo, Oct. 6, 2017, Grigg, Cindy. (2017, October 6). Change the Default Font in Microsoft Office. Retrieved from Grigg, Cindy. "Change the Default Font in Microsoft Office." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2018).