Change the Default Font in Word 2010

1/23/2012

Change the Default Font in Word 2010 by Creating a Word Template

The default format for Word 2010 is 11 point Calibri font, line spacing of 1.15 and paragraph spacing of 10 points after. For years, the standard document format was Times New Roman font size 12 with single line spacing and no paragraph spacing. I really like the new format but many times students in Word classes want their newly created documents to look the same as their historical documents. The default formatting instructions live in Word’s default template called Normal.dotx. If you want to use a more standard format occasionally, you can create a template with different formatting instructions to use for those documents. That way you can determine which formatting instructions will be a document’s default based on whichever template you use.

To understand how the default font affects a document, one must know a little bit about Word Styles. When a new document is created and text is added to the page, the default style being used is called Normal. If you change the way the text looks by highlighting the text and changing font size or color or font face, that text is still Normal style, even though it looks different. On the far right end of the Home tab in Word 2010, there is a gallery of text styles.

The only way text stops being Normal in a document is when you change the way the text looks by using a Style from the Styles gallery. If you want the default text in a template to be a font different than the new Calibri default, then you have to redefine the Normal style.

Below are steps for creating a template in which you have customized the default font face and paragraph line spacing.

  1. Create a new blank document
  2. On the Home tab, right-click the Normal style on the Styles gallery and choose Modify. The resulting dialog box displays below.
  1. Change the font from Calibri to your font choice
  2. In the lower left corner, click “Format” and choose Paragraph
    1. Change line spacing from 1.15 to 1.0
    2. Change paragraph spacing from 10pt after to 0 after
  3. Click OK to close the Modify Style dialog
  4. That creates style instructions that affect that entire document
  5. Click File Button and choose Save As/ Template. It creates a file with a .dotx extension
    1. Give the template a descriptive name
    2. On the left of the Save dialog box, click Trusted Templates
      1. That way the document lives in the Templates folder
  6. When you want to use the template, click File/New/My Templates
  7. Choose the template you made. Word 2010 creates a copy of the template. You are not editing the original since you placed it in that Templates folder. Instead, you have created a document which uses your chosen default font and customized line and paragraph spacing.