How to Set Your Own Default Font in Microsoft Word

How to Set Your Own Default Font in Microsoft Word
Screenshot: David Murphy

Say it ain’t so, Calibri. I’ve always favoured Microsoft’s default Word font — much more so than Times New Roman, at least, which Microsoft replaced with Calibri way back in Office 2007. And while Microsoft is finally looking to shake things up again with a new default font, you don’t have to follow the whims of Redmond. You can set any font you want as Word’s default. (Calibri forever.)

To get started, open up Word and create a new document. Click on the teeny-tiny arrow — the “Font Dialog Box Launcher,” as Word calls it — in the lower-right corner of the “Font” section on your Ribbon. You can see it here:

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

This window should then pop up:

Screenshot: David Murphy Screenshot: David Murphy

It’s now time to pick the font you’ll want Microsoft Word to use as a default whenever you open a new document. Tempted as you might be to pick something zany like Wingdings, that’s going to get very old, very fast. (Bookmark that idea for later, though, because it’s great for pranking unsuspecting friends or colleagues.)

Once you’ve made your selection by clicking on your chosen font’s name, make sure you click the “Set As Default” button in the lower-left corner. You’ll then be asked whether you’d like to set your selection as the default for your current document (no) or every document “based on the Normal.dotm template” (yes).

If you’re on a work computer and this choice doesn’t stick, it’s possible that your company is prohibiting you from editing said template. As Microsoft notes, you can check if this is the case by doing a quick Windows 10 search for “Normal.dotm” via your Start Menu. Right-click on the result and open the file location, and then right-click on the file and select Properties. Make sure “read-only” isn’t checked in the file’s General tab, and uncheck it if it is.

After that, click on the Security tab and make sure that you (or the group your account is in) has write permissions for the file. If not, you might be stuck, unless whoever controls your office PC is willing and able to give you a helping hand.

How to help Microsoft choose the next default font

Beyond that, if you want to help Microsoft choose a new default font for everyone to use, now that it’s grown tired of my sweet Calibri, let your voice be known over social media. Microsoft has five new fonts it’ll be dropping in a future version of its Office suite; like Highlander, there can be only one default.






Pretty sure a few of those aren’t fonts, but products sold at IKEA. Maybe that’s just me.

Log in to comment on this story!