change default font in Google

You may have a dislike for the default Arial font that Google docs present and wouldn’t also like the thought of having to change the font of each part of your document all the time. If you find yourself in such a state then  you may be wondering how to change the default font in Google docs to a new font of your choice.

In these times where almost everything is done online and remote working has become the norm, you may be using Google docs more often than not. As such, having the default font set to one that you like will go a long way to help you.

At some other times, it is not only important for you to change the default font for your own sake but for other more pressing reasons including:

  • The company or brand that you are working for has a specified font they use for their documents
  • You are writing for a journal or any kind of publication and the font to be used has been specified

In fact, there are many more reasons why you may want to change the default font in Google docs. If you have decided to change it then follow the methods illustrated below to get it done.

Google has a whole set of other fonts and at least one of these numerous fonts is likely to satisfy your taste. Some of the very common  fonts that are available when using Google docs include:

  • Times New Roman
  • Calibri
  • Comic sans MS
  • Cambria
  • Roboto and many more

Apart from the common fonts that are available, you also get the option to choose other uncommon fonts. There is an option labeled “More fonts” that you can use to bring up a list of other fonts.

When you use the “More fonts” option, you get to sort the fonts according to either:

  • The type of font or
  • By popularity of the font

Another way that you can get fonts which are not easily available in Google docs is to install extra fonts. Some companies or brands use a customized or premium font which wouldn’t be found within the Google Docs database of fonts. In such cases you would have to install that font in order to get access to it in Google docs.

Why should I change the default font in Google Docs

The main reason why you should go ahead and change the default font in Google docs is that when you don’t do that you will have to keep updating or changing the font to what you like any time you add new information to your document. 

This can be very tedious and time consuming especially when you are working with a very large document or one with several pages.

Therefore, by changing the default font in Google docs, you are able to save yourself some time and also reduce the efforts or energy spent on editing your work. Once changed, the new font will be automatically applied to all parts of any new document that you create.

In this article we will be discussing two specific ways you can change the default font in Google Docs. 

What are the Two Ways to Change Fonts in Google Docs?

The two ways that you will learn about are:

  • Changing the default font from the normal text and paragraph styles available on the toolbar
  • Changing the default font from the normal text and paragraph styles available on the Format tab.

It is also important to know how to reset them in case you accidentally make changes that you don’t want, so we will consider how to reset the styles back to the default in this article.

To make things easier for you, you need to get familiar with the Google Docs interface.

Getting Familiar With Google Docs Interface

Before we do anything, the first thing is to know the tool you’re using. Although google docs is very similar to Microsoft Office Word, its interface has been more simplified in my own opinion.

Here is a list of some of the features of the google docs interface you should know before moving forward. However if you are already familiar with this interface then I suggest you proceed on to Method 1.

Document Title: Before the area where you find tabs like File, Edit, View is where the document title is located.

Navigation Area: This area gives you options on where to explore in google docs. A few tabs found in this area include File, Edit, View and Insert. In the ‘File’ tab you have the Share, New, Save and other options.

Menu Toolbar/Toolbar: this tool contains most of the tools you will need for editing and formatting your work, It is located below the ‘Navigation area.’

In this tutorial we will mainly focus on the Format tab in the ‘Navigation Area’ and the ‘Toolbar’.


Method 1: Changing the default font from the normal text and paragraph styles available on the toolbar

In order to change the default font from the normal text and paragraph styles available on the toolbar, let’s get to understand what the various options are and what they actually mean.

Normal text: This is the default style that is applied to any text that you write on Google docs. It is used for the actual content or bulk of the text. This means that the body of your paragraphs will always follow the styles of the normal text.

Title: This is applied to the main heading or topic of the content that you are writing on the page. It is usually used once on a page. 

Subtitle: As the name suggests, this will apply to the text below the main title. It is basically used to provide more information about the main title and sometimes give more context to the title.

The other important paragraph styles that you may need to use in a document include the various header options, starting from Heading 1 through to Heading 6. These headings follow a hierarchy in order of importance.

These options are used to distinguish between the main title and subtitles or subtopics being discussed.

To apply any of these default styles to your text in Google docs, you can go ahead to select the portion you want to apply the styles and click on the dropdown caret beside “Normal text”. When you click on the particular style you want to use, it will automatically be applied to the selected part.

Another way to achieve the same outcome will be to use keyboard shortcuts. Below are some of the keyboard shortcuts that you may find necessary:

StyleWindowsMac
Normal textControl + Alt + 0Command + Option + 0
Heading 1Control + Alt + 1Command + Option + 1
Heading 2Control + Alt + 2Command + Option + 2
Heading 3Control + Alt + 3Command + Option + 3
Heading 4Control + Alt + 4Command + Option + 4
Heading 5Control + Alt + 5Command + Option + 5
Heading 6Control + Alt + 6Command + Option + 6

Hopefully, if you have gone through the above then you are now comfortable to maneuver your way around Google docs. However, if you didn’t go through the above then I guess you already know your way around Google docs. Either way, let’s get into how to change the default font in Google docs using the first method.

Step 1: Open the Google Docs Document

To begin changing the default font of any document, you have to begin by opening that particular document. To open the Google docs, open a browser and type into the address bar the URL docs.google.com. Press enter.

You will get a list of all the documents that you have recently worked on.

Go ahead and click on the specific document of interest. You can as well use the search box to search for the document.

If you are just starting out then you would rather have to create a new document by clicking on the blank document template. Another way to create a new document is typing the URL docs.new into the address bar of a browser and hitting the enter key.

You can equally choose to work with any of the many templates that Google docs provide you with. 

Step 2: Format your document the way you want

Once the document is ready, you have to go ahead to format it using the various styles we talked about. These include setting the:

  • Topic
  • Subtitles
  • Normal text
  • Heading 1
  • Heading etc

You can start by changing the font style. To do this, click on the font name in the toolbar to see the list of fonts available to you. For example, if your paragraph’s font is Times New Roman, click on ‘Times New Roman’ in the toolbar.

Then go ahead and select all the text on your document. You can do this with the keyboard shortcut CTRL + A. Change the font style to the one that you want.

Click on the dropdown caret beside the default font (i.e. Arial in most cases) and select the exact font you want.  

Step 3: Make the selected font the default font

Now that you have set the font style for the various aspects of your text, you now need to make the default so that any time you create a new paragraph or heading it will be applied automatically.

So, if you take the title, select your title and go to the format toolbar where you find the various paragraph styles. 

  • Click on the dropdown caret beside Normal text.
  • Hover over the title option and click on “Update ‘Title’ to match”
  • Do same with all the other parts (subtitles, heading 1, heading 2, etc)

You can also change the default formats of the other paragraph styles. For example, you can change the font size for the ‘Title’ style to 20 and make it bold. Then, follow the same process as above. Click on the menu, hover over ‘Title’, then update it.

Once you are done with this process, the defaults of your document are changed. 

How to set default font for future documents

If you are interested in setting a particular font, perhaps the one that you are currently using as your default font even for future documents that you create, then that is also possible and you can easily do that by following the steps below. 

Click on the dropdown caret beside Normal text just before the current selected font.

At the very bottom of the items listed on the drop down, you will find “options”, click  or hover over “options” and you will find another dropdown

To do that, go to the ‘Normal text’ in the ‘Toolbar’ menu once again. At the very bottom of this menu, you should see ‘Options’. Click on or hover over it to open a new drop-down menu. From this menu, select the ‘Save as my default styles’ option. 

Click on “Save as my default font”. 

Once that is clicked, your current font will be set as the default font for all future documents you create in Google docs until you decide to change it again. It is worth noting that this change will, however, not affect previously created documents.

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Method 2: Changing the default font from the normal text and paragraph styles available on the Format tab

The other way to change the default font in google docs is to use a tool on the format tab. This method is not very different from the previously discussed method. You will go through almost the same steps as was discussed. The only exception is that with the second method, you will rather go to the Format tab instead. 

You are allowed to use either of the two methods, however, the first method illustrated above is the more preferred method. The reason is that the first method is easier and quicker.

To use the second method to change your default font in Google docs, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Choose your default font.

To begin with, you have to change the current font of your document, which is likely to be the default font of Google docs that you don’t want to use. Change the font to a font that you want to use and would like to set as your default.

Do so by clicking on the dropdown caret just beside the font name of the currently selected font. You will be presented with a list of fonts. Go through and choose the one you like. You can also click on more fonts if you don’t find the font you want on the list on the dropdown.

On clicking on more fonts, you can then use the search bar to search for the actual font that you want. Once you have identified the font you want, you can then proceed to the next step to make this font your default font.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Format’ tab.

In order to set the current font that you have set as your default click on the Format tab which is located as part of the top menu items usually between the Insert tab and Tools tab.

You will be presented with a dropdown list when you click on it.

Step 3: Go to Paragraph styles.

From the dropdown list, the second option is Paragraph styles. Click or hover over that and another dropdown will show up.

On the next dropdown menu list, hover over “Normal Text” and on the next drop down that shows up, click on “Update normal text to match”.

Upon clicking that, all content in your document which were formatted as or will be formatted as normal text will be updated to have this font that you have set as default.

Note that this new default font has only been applied to normal text and doesn’t apply to other styles like the various heading styles (Heading 1, Heading 2, etc). 

If you want to set a default font for any of the other styles including the various heading styles, then you would have to follow the same processes as illustrated but choose the respective style that you want to change and click on the update to match option.

For example, if you want all your heading ones to have a specific font, follow the steps below.

Select the font you want it to have and then click on the Format tab.

Click the “Paragraph styles” on the dropdown that shows up. Another dropdown shows up when you hover over Paragraph styles, click on heading 1 since that is what you want to update.

Now go ahead and click on the “Update to match Heading 1” option on the next dropdown that shows up.

How to make the current default font the default font for future documents

If you are in love with the font you just set as default or your work demands that you use that font regularly then you may be considering having it as your default font for future documents.

Let us therefore take a look at how to set your current default font as the default font for future documents.

To do this, open the ‘Paragraph styles’  in the ‘Format’ menu again. At the very bottom of this menu, you will find ‘Options’. Hover over it to open another small drop-down menu. From this menu, select the ‘Save as my default styles’ option.

How to reset the default style?

If you happen to have changed your default styles by accident, or someone else did it for you and you want to switch back to the original default style that comes with Google docs, then the steps below can help you reset the default styles.

When you do a reset style in Google docs then your default font will change to Arial since that is the font that is set by default for Google docs. Follow the steps below to reset the styles.

Click on “Normal text” on the toolbar and scroll to the bottom of the dropdown to click on “options”.

You will be presented with another dropdown list, click on the last menu item “Reset styles”. 

You can also achieve this using the “paragraph styles” menu list in the format tab.

Check this other article out, you may be interested in it: How to add comments in Google Docs

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