This tutorial shows how to change the default font in Microsoft Word. Specifically, we will look at how to change the default font for normal body text. Then, we will look at how to restore Word’s original defaults by replacing the normal.dotm template file through the Windows File Explorer.
We will change the default fonts for all nine heading levels in a separate tutorial.
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365 and the Windows 10 File Explorer. These steps will also work in Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013. However, your interface may look slightly different in those older versions of the software. These steps don’t apply to Word for Mac.
Important Note: These steps may not work if you are using Word through work or school because you need permission to change the Normal.dotm file.
How to Change the Default Font for Body Text
These steps can be used to change the default font, font size, and font color for regular body text styled as Normal. However, other styles that rely on the Normal style may also be affected.
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon.
- Select the dialog box launcher in the Font group.
- Select your new default font, font size, and font color in the Font dialog box.
- Select the Set As Default button.
- Select the All documents based on the Normal.dotm template? option in the question dialog box.
- Select the OK button.
Your existing body text should change to your new default font immediately. Plus, your new default should appear when you open a new Word document.
How to Restore Word’s Default Font Styles
Your default font choices are stored in the Normal.dotm template file. If you want to restore Word’s default font styles, you can delete the existing Normal.dotm file. Word will then create a new Normal.dotm file the next time you open the software. Be aware that this process will delete any existing custom themes.
Important Note: The location of the Normal.dotm file shown below will be correct for most Windows users. However, there is a chance that your file will be located elsewhere.
- Save any open documents and close Word.
- Press the Windows key + E on your keyboard to open the File Explorer. (Alternatively, you can search for “File Explorer” in the search box in the taskbar.)
- Select the Windows (C:) drive in the File Explorer.
- Select the Users folder.
- Select your username folder. (For example, my username is Erin.)
- Select the View tab.
- Select the Hidden Items option if it is not already selected. This will reveal folders that were previously hidden.
- Select the AppData folder.
- Select the Roaming folder.
- Select the Microsoft folder.
- Select the Templates folder.
- Select the Normal.dotm file, and then select the Delete key on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can right-click the file and select Delete from the shortcut menu.
- Select the X to close the File Explorer.
When you reopen Word, the original defaults should be restored.
Updated February 20, 2022