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 the Default Font.

Changing the Default Font

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 14, 2016)

Every time you create a new spreadsheet, Excel uses a default font setting to determine how your text appears. While you can easily change fonts as you go, you may find it even easier to change your default font to the one you use most often. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. This displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the General tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The General tab from the Options dialog box.

  4. Use the Standard Font drop-down list to choose the font you want Excel to use by default.
  5. Modify the Size setting if you want the font a different size.
  6. Click on OK to save your changes. Excel informs you that you must exit and restart Excel for your changes to take effect.
  7. Click on OK to close the dialog box.

You have now changed the default font. As instructed by Excel, you should exit the program and restart. Your changes will then be in effect for any new spreadsheets you create.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2667) 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 the Default Font.

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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