Change the default font in Word 2008

Xavier Verhoeven
21 April, 2010
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I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there tinkering with Office 2008 day-in-day-out. I use it too – mostly out of habit, having worked in the PC world for too long. But there’s one thing that just irks me about it on the Mac: Cambria looks dated. I never noticed this on a PC, so maybe it’s something to do with superior font rendering on Mac. Perhaps Apple purposely makes the Microsoft default font look bad. Who knows?

But what I do know is that it’s possible to change the defaults. And they’ll stay that way for every document you create.

1. Start with a new document, and leave it blank.

2. Open up the formatting palette by clicking View → Formatting Palette. Expand the Styles section and you’ll see the defaults, as shown below:


3. The most important one is normal, so we’ll start there. Hover over it until you see a blue arrow. Click it and select Modify Style from the drop-down menu.

4. Under formatting, click where it says Cambria and change it to the font of your choice. (I like Helvetica, mostly because it’s not an option for the majority of PC-loving folk.)

5. Before clicking OK, make sure you check the Add to Template box (this means it becomes the default when you create other documents).

6. Continue to change the heading fonts as you wish (you can also change the colours away from Microsoft’s choice of blue), remembering to check the Add to Template box each time.

And that’s it. Now you can enjoy Microsoft Office with whatever font your heart desires. Just please don’t choose Comic Sans or Marker Felt.

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