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What’s the Default Font on Word?

Since 2007, the default font on Microsoft Word has been Calibri, which came to displace Times New Roman at the time. However, there’s no universal default font on Microsoft Word as you can also change the default font to Ariel on Normal.dotm, a hidden file in Word program files responsible for storing the default formatting settings for Word texts.

In most cases, the default font on Word is Calibri unless set otherwise. You can follow the guide here for a simple, step-by-step guide on how to change the default font for Word.


Does Microsoft Word have a New Default Font?

Microsoft recently announced that they’re in the final stages of changing the default Word font to one of five sans serif fonts shortlisted for users to vote for. The font that emerges winner will be made the default Word font come Q2 2022.

To understand the motive behind Microsoft’s selection of the default font for Word, we must go back to when Times New Woman was pretty much commonplace on most desktop computers.

The old font, which lasted between 1993 and 2007, was a typeface developed for print from Word 6.0 to Word 2007. Microsoft had hard prints in mind when deciding what the default Word font would be at the time, and Times New Roman was easy to read on paper.

Be that as it may, the serif typeface had one major drawback, which was its poor readability on screen. And, as more people moved from dealing with paperwork to digital texts, transitioning to something apt for computer and mobile screens was a no-brainer and a necessity.

This was where Calibri came into play as it has excellent onscreen readability, with subtly rounded stems and extensive use of sophisticated OpenType formatting. Its design and slope form can be considered to be truly italic, with evident touches of handwriting style in its overall design.

The only feature of Calibri that doesn’t sit well with me could well be the indistinguishable nature of the lowercase L and uppercase I, which is a common problem with other sans fonts. Still, it’s worth noting that Calibri didn’t resolve it either.

On the subject of the new fonts coming to Word, the sans serif fonts Tenorite, Skeena, Grandview, Seaford, and Bierstads are the names that Microsoft has shortlisted, one of which will eventually replace Calibri as the default Word font once the winner is announced.

You can read the details of the new contenders here on Microsoft’s website. Microsoft has termed the impending transition from Calibri as “evolving and “bringing a fresh visual identity that communicates the very essence of what the app stands for”

Final Notes

While it’s not yet clear which of the five new fonts will be made default on Word, Microsoft has made provision for all five fonts to be available in the list of optional fonts on the next version of Word. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whichever your favorite of the fonts is, as you’ll be able to change it when you dive into the formatting settings on the app.

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