tech tips for writers

Tech Tip for Writers #64: Reset Default Font

Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

Q: If you’re like me, you don’t like MS Office’s default font of Calibri, size 11 with a double space between paragraphs. Here’s how you fix that:

  • Type a couple of paragraphs in any document
  • Highlight what you typed and right click
  • Select font
  • Change the font to what you prefer. In my case, it’s TNR 12
  • Click the Default button on the lower left and approve that this is, in fact, how you’d like a future documents to be formatted when opening a new document. If it asks whether you want this for future documents, say Yes.
  • Now right click again and select Paragraph
  • Make sure Line Spacing is single (or double if you’re following MLS)
  • Go to Spacing and make sure both Before and After show 0 pts.
  • Click Default

template ms word

That’s it. The next time you open a document in MS Word, it will open with this revised formatting.

For more tech tips for writers, visit the Uncommon Rebel. For writing technical documents, check this publication from MIT.

More Tech Tips for writers:

Tech Tips for Writers: 13 Tips To Speed Up Your Computer

Tech Tips for Writers #92: Rollback Windows Updates

Tech Tip for Writers #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop

Questions you want answered? Leave a comment here and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, adjunct professor of technology in education, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. 

33 thoughts on “Tech Tip for Writers #64: Reset Default Font

  1. Pingback: Tech Tip for Writers #65: How to use Google Street View | WordDreams...

  2. It was how to get the first line of a paragraph indented right that was hanging me up. Now that I see your diagram, it’s easy. 🙂


  3. I tend to grab whatever document I worked on last, erase everything, and then start typing the new document. That way I always have everything just the way I had it before. Probably easier to do it your way, however.


    • I actually don’t track changes. When I collaborate, I use Google Docs–much easier. Otherwise, when I’m using Word (because Docs doesn’t accept a large-enough file), I keep it simple.

      What do you track changes for?


  4. I wonder if anyone actually leaves things in Calibri 11? I feel like no matter what you’re writing for–even business purposes–no one would actually accept it. (Maybe that’s just my imagination.)

    I changed the default on my own computer a long time ago, but there are times when I have to start a new document on one of the school’s computers, and that’s always maddening, because I feel like I can’t mess with the default on the university’s computers. (Though I know for a fact that both the Anthropology and History departments require 12-point font, preferably TNR, and I suspect all the other departments feel the same way.)

    The worst part is sometimes when I open those documents again at home, the end-of-file paragraph break didn’t take the change to font and paragraph style, and so it tries to force double-spaced Calibri 11 back on me. Ugh…


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