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How to set and keep your preferred default font in Word

Streeter S. Stuart (whose name is as unique as mine) doesn’t like Word’s default Calibri font. He’s also tired of changing it every time he starts a new document.

If you’re happy with the default settings, Microsoft Word can be a wondrously powerful and intuitive application. It’s also extremely versatile and can be configured to match your own personal preferences. Unfortunately, many of the configuration tools are anything but intuitive.

That also goes for changing Word’s default font. It’s easy enough to change a font in the word, paragraph, or document you’re working on. But changing the programs’ default font—the one that comes up every time you create a new document—isn’t so obvious.

I’ve tested the following instructions in Word 2010 and 2013. I suspect they’ll work on earlier versions with minor adjustments.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com.]

First, create a new document. The document should be based on the Normal template. That’s not difficult. You get such a document every time you launch Word or select File>New>Blank document.

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Once the document is up, go to the Home tab. In the Styles section, right-click the Normal box. If you don’t see the Normal box, click the down arrow in the Styles scrollbar; you’ll find it in the pop-up menu. Once you right-click it, select Modify.

This will bring you to the Modify Style dialog box. Once there, select your preferred font.

Here comes the important part. Select the New documents based on this template option before you click OK.

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When you save your document or close Word, you’ll be asked if you want to save the template. You do.

If, at a later date, you open up the Modify Style dialog box again, don’t be shocked to see that the New documents based on this template option isn’t selected. The important thing is that it was selected when you saved the changes. 

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