How to Set Word 2008 Default Fonts

When I first created a new document in Word 2008 for Mac, I found that the default fonts are now Cambria for body text and Calibri for heading. There is nothing wrong with the new fonts, it’s just that if you exchange documents with someone who doesn’t have the fonts, the formatting of the documents might change. I wanted to set the fonts to the Times New Roman for body and Arial for heading.

I googled the info about how to set the default fonts. A lot of people are suggesting changing the styles to achieve it. If you just use one style, that’s OK. You only need to change the style you want to use and be done with it. However, if you use a lot of styles. You need to change the font for each and every style you want to use. This doesn’t seem right.

There is a new feature introduced since Office 2007 called Document Theme. You can change the fonts and color schemes for every styles in a document, and it’s easy to do.

To change the default fonts in a document, do the following.

  1. First open Formatting Palette by clicking on View -> Formatting Palette.
  2. Expand Document Theme.
  3. Click on Fonts: drop down box and select Office Classic.

This changes the default fonts for the current document. If you want to set the default fonts for all new docuements, you need to make changes to the Normal Template. Here is the instructions from Word Help.

When you create a new document, Word uses the Normal template to determine the settings, such as fonts, styles, and margins of the document. If you change the settings in this template, all new documents that you create will use the new settings.

  1. On the File menu, click Open, and then click /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Templates.
  2. Double-click Normal.dotm.The Normal template opens.
  3. In the Normal template, make the changes that you want.You can use the same commands and features to change template settings that you use to change document settings, for example, fonts, styles, margins, and so on.
  4. Save and close the Normal template.

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  1. this can be done in an easier way, without manually adjusting the normal template.

    in the menu bar, go to Format > Font > select your font > Default… it will change the file automatically.

    • Thanks, Tina, none of the other complicated suggestions worked, since what they said would open did not, but yours was simple and everything worked beautifully to put Times New Roman as the default font, which is required for my books I write by the publisher. Thanks for the simplicity and knowledge!

  2. Tina: Your suggestion will change the specific font you select in the Normal template for the Normal style, but because you selected a specific font instead of the Body font placeholder, the documents will no longer be plugged into the Document Theme feature: selecting a different Doc Theme or Font Set will not update the document.

  3. If you read my post carefully, you can see that changing style is not the right way to do it. If you choose to change the default font that way, you would end up with destroying all the themes.

  4. Oh boy and before I found your instructions I think I did just that, destroyed my document themes. Any way to get them back at all? They are still listed and show different fonts/colors for each but they just won’t apply to anything.


  5. Thanks a lot! This is what I’m looking for. Modify the Normal style doesn’t work very well. I have to change the font every time I open a new file.

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