In Microsoft, Tips & Tricks

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.

Showing 8 comments
  • Patsy

    This does NOT work for changing Calibri 11 pt to Arial 12 pt. Also does not work when trying to default to single spacing.

  • C. Richardson

    Nothing I have tried has resulted in being able to assign a different default. Not for the font or the spacing – .even when I do “select all” to change the entire document – the minute I move the cursor to a different part of the document that cursed Calibri 11 is back. Who decided that this was a good idea? I waste more time trying to re-format my documents than it would take to create them if I could just get rid of the Calibri 11 default.

  • Kim Boude

    Thank you so very much!!!! You made this so easy! I am just starting a Doctoral program, so am a bit rusty in every way. I typed assignments are required and then save in the default – you really helped relieve one stressor for me so I don’t have to keep re-checking my assignments!

  • Raphite Alustro

    These changes seem to go away the moment you close the program, meaning you have to do it again every time you open the entire program.

  • M

    Thank you.. 🙂

  • Leona

    I have followed these directions and dozens just like them–it does not work. I cannot change the default line spacing, paragraph spacing or font. Is there something else I can try?

  • Erin

    Hi Everyone, I’m with you. I’ve changed font in New Documents, in the Style Plane, in every conceivable format, and this stupid font does not change!!! You can hit default, you can say for all documents in Normal Template – Nothing!!! I have no idea why Microsoft did this, and why there is no way to fix it. This is why I did my dissertation in Word Perfect. Who has time to keep doing this over and over again? Word completely sucks. I only use it because the world demands it.

  • MrScience101

    I had to make sure every document was closed, and that I had only one document open. I also had to save the document after making the changes. I also had to have administrator rights. Those of you in a corperate sector will have to contact IT.

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