How to change the default font in Word 2016

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When you open Microsoft Word to create a new document, the default font that’s in place and ready to be used is Calibri. But did you know that you can change that, so that a new Word document will start off in whatever font you prefer?

MS Word font


This sounds like an interesting 2-part trivia question.

Question: What is the default font in MS Word 2016?
Answer: Calibri

Question: What was the default font BEFORE it was Calibri?
Answer: Times New Roman

Calibri has actually been around for a while. It was introduced as the standard Word font way back in Office 2007 (and if you’re still using Office 2007, you really need to get your life in order).  Before that, as you just read in the question above, the default was Times New Roman.

Why did Microsoft change it? Couple of reasons:

  1. Times New Roman looks okay on the printed page, but more and more things were being displayed on digital devices as opposed to just paper. Calibri is a “sans serif” font, which means it shows up more clearly on laptops and smartphones.
  2. They also wanted a font that looked more “modern”. Times New Roman had been around for a long time and Calibri just looks like a newer, more up to date font style.

But what if you don’t like Calibri? Maybe you WANT Times New Roman on all your documents. Or you might just prefer one of the other hundreds or thousands of fonts that are widely available. If that’s the case, it’s an easy change to make.

Here’s how you change the default font in Word 2016:

1. Under the “Home” tab, click the little pop-out arrow in the Fonts section:

MS Word font


2. That will open a new window with lots of choices – font, size, style, etc. Just choose what you want and check it in the preview at the bottom, then click “Set as Default”.

MS Word font


3. You’ll get a little pop-up asking if you want to set the new font as the default for just this document, or all documents. Make that choice and click OK.

MS Word font


If you’re not sure if you want to change the default font for ALL future documents, you might try it out on your next few documents just to see how you like it. Of course, even if you do change the default for all documents, you can use this same procedure to change it back.

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