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How to Change the Default Font Face and Size in Outlook


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Steve Prezant/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

When you installed Outlook, it set the font for composing (as for reading) mail to "Calibri" or "Arial"—and "tiny". If this is not your typesetting dream team, you can adjust the font settings to suit your needs better. Recipients of your emails will be happier, too.

Of course, you can change the default mail font in Outlook to anything you want. Smaller, fancier, bigger, or more conventional—Outlook accepts them all.

Change the Default Font Face and Color in Outlook

To customize the fonts used by default for reading and composing messages as well as replies in Outlook:

  • Click File in Outlook.
  • Select Options from the menu that shows.
  • Go to the Mail category.
  • Click Stationery and Fonts… under Use stationery to change default fonts and styles, colors, and backgrounds..
  • If you have a theme or stationery set:
    • Disable the stationery or theme,
      • (Click Theme….
      • Make sure (No Theme) is highlighted under Choose a Theme.
      • Now click OK.)
    • make sure Outlook will use your custom fonts instead of those specified by the stationery or theme
      • (Select Use my font when replying and forwarding messages or Always use my fonts for Font: under Theme or stationery for new HTML e-mail message.)
    • or specify the font for plain text emails alone.
  • Click Fonts… under New mail messages, Replying or forwarding messages and Composing and reading plain text messages to select the desired fonts; to finish, click OK for category.
  • Click OK.
  • Click OK again.

Change the Default Font Face and Color in Outlook 2003-2007

To set the fonts used for messages and replies by default in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007:

  • Select Tools | Options... from the menu.
  • Go to the Mail Format tab.
  • Click Fonts... under Stationery and Fonts.
  • Use the Font... buttons under New mail messages, Replying or forwarding messages and Composing and reading plain text messages to choose the desired font faces, sizes and styles.
    • In Outlook 2003, use Choose Font... for When composing a new message:, When replying and forwarding: and When composing and reading plain text:.
  • Click OK.
    • In Outlook 2003, if stationery is defined to be used by default under Use this stationery by default:, the font specified in it may override the font you have just specified. You can either choose "<None>" as the default stationery, adapt the stationery to include your favorite font, or make Outlook ignore font specified in stationery altogether.
  • Click OK again.

If Outlook Does Not Use Your Default Color in Replies or Forwards

If you have set a default color for replies and forwards, but Outlook refuses to use it, try setting up a default signature.

(Updated May 2013)

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