Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Changing Fonts in Multiple Workbooks.

Changing Fonts in Multiple Workbooks

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 10, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Hamish is facing a daunting task: He needs to change the default fonts used in a large number of Excel workbooks. He has over 100 workbooks, and the fonts used in those workbooks need to be changed to a new font specified by corporate mandate. (You know how corporate mandates can be!)

The manual way to approach this task is to load each workbook, go through each worksheet, select the cells, and change the fonts in those cells. To make Hamish's task even more complex, he needs to change multiple fonts in each workbook. In other words, given fonts A, B, C, and D, Hamish needs to change font A to C and font B to D.

The best way to approach this problem is through the use of a macro. There is so much loading, searching, and changing that is necessary that it only makes sense to relegate the work to a macro. The following macro should do the job:

Sub ChangeFontNames()
    Dim vNamesFind
    Dim vNamesReplace
    Dim sFileName As String
    Dim Wkb As Workbook
    Dim Wks As Worksheet
    Dim rCell As Range
    Dim x As Integer
    Dim iFonts As Integer
    Dim sPath As String

    'Change these lines as appropriate
    'These are the fontnames to find
    vNamesFind = Array("Arial", "Allegro BT")
    'These are the fontnames to replace
    vNamesReplace = Array("Wingdings", "Times New Roman")
    'This is the folder to look for xls files
    sPath = "C:\foldername\"

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    iFonts = UBound(vNamesFind)
    If iFonts <> UBound(vNamesReplace) Then
        MsgBox "Find and Replace Arrays must be the same size"
        Exit Sub
    End If
    sFileName = Dir(sPath & "*.xls")
    Do While sFileName <> ""
        Set Wkb = Workbooks.Open(sPath & sFileName)
        For Each Wks In Wkb.Worksheets
            For Each rCell In Wks.UsedRange
                For x = 0 To iFonts
                    With rCell.Font
                        If .Name = vNamesFind(x) Then _
                            .Name = vNamesReplace(x)
                    End With
                Next
            Next
        Next
        Wkb.Close(True)
        sFileName = Dir
    Loop
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
    Set rCell = Nothing
    Set Wks = Nothing
    Set Wkb = Nothing
End Sub

To use the macro with your own workbooks, there are a couple of things you need to do. First, make sure that all the workbooks you want to change are stored in a single folder and that you know the name of the folder. Then, within the macro, change the variables defined near the beginning of the macro. Change the elements of the vNamesFind and vNamesReplace arrays to match the names of the fonts you want to respectively find and replace. You should then change the sPath variable so it contains the full path to the folder containing your workbooks. (Don't forget a trailing backslash on the path.)

When you run the macro, it loads each workbook in the folder, in turn. Then, it goes through each worksheet in each workbook, and examines every cell. If the cell has one of the fonts to be found, then it is replaced with the respective replacement font. When the macro is done with the workbook, it is saved and the next workbook is processed.

Those interested in avoiding this type of problem on new worksheets should explore how to use styles in Excel. You can define any number of styles and use them throughout a workbook. If you later need to change the formatting for specific cells, all you need to do is change the underlying styles. (Styles have been covered in other issues of ExcelTips.)

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2526) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Changing Fonts in Multiple Workbooks.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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