I’ve have friends call me all the time, inside and outside the legal industry, because I know a few things about computers. Regarding Microsoft Word, the number one complaint is always this:

“Mike, every time I open up Word it’s set to Calibri, 11-pt. font, and is double spaced with 10-pt. after-spacing. How do I set it to something normal so that every time I open up a new document, I don’t have to waste my time trying to figure out how to fix it?”

I’m glad you asked. When you open up Word 2010, and type a sentence or two, this is what it might look like (depending on your default settings):

Step 1- Right-click any part of the document:

Step 2 – Left-click “Font”. This will open up the following menu:

Step 3 – Select whatever Font, Font Style, Size and/or Effect you’d like standardized, and then click the “Set As Default” button in the bottom left corner of the box. It will launch the following box.


Step 4 – Select the “All documents based….” option and hit “OK”. All done for the Font defaults.

Step 5 – Now you want to get rid of your pesky spacing. Say your goal is single spaced, 0-pt before or after. Right click any part of the document:

Step 6 – Select “Paragraph”, which will open a box that looks like this:

Step 7 – Change the Before, After, and Line spacing options to whatever is desirable for you. Then, as you did with Font, hit the “Set As Default” button. It will look like this (just like the Font did):

Step 8 – Select “All documents based…” and hit “OK”, and you’re done!

So, there you have it. You’ve changed your fonts and spacing in about 30 seconds; remember, this also works for font color, for scale, position, and so on. Once you set the default on your PC, it won’t change unless you change it, meaning every time you launch a new document, you’ll have everything exactly as you need to do your job quickly, efficiently, and without having to search the enormous Microsoft program each time you need to make some type of common change.