How to Change Default Fonts in Google Docs

The default font style in Google Docs is Arial, with the font size being 11. Any time you create a new document, the text in that document will be formatted in this style. It is possible to change this default style in Google Docs. 

Google Docs offers numerous options for font styles. Some examples include Cambria, Roboto and Times New Roman. You can find all these fonts and more by clicking on the font option in the toolbar. 

If you want more options for fonts, you can click on ‘More fonts’. Another way of finding more fonts is by installing an add-on called Extensis Fonts. We have written a detailed article about installing new fonts on our website.

The main benefit of changing the default font in Google Docs is that it saves you time and effort. Any time you create a new document, the text in that document will be formatted in the new default style. This means that you don’t have to spend any time or effort changing the defaults of each document.

In this article, we will be talking about how you can change the default font in Google Docs. Specifically, we will be talking about the following two methods.

Two ways to change default font in Google Docs:

  • Changing the normal text (and other paragraph styles) from the toolbar
  • Changing the normal text (and other paragraph styles) from the Format tab

We will also talk about how to reset the default styles.

Note that this article is intended for complete beginners. Hence, you can follow along even if you have no or very little experience with Google Docs. 

With that introduction, let’s get started.


Method 1: Changing the normal text (and other paragraph styles) from the toolbar

The first method involves changing the default font from the toolbar. You can do this by changing the ‘Normal text’ and other paragraph styles from the toolbar.

Here’s a brief explanation of the various paragraph styles. ‘Normal text’ refers to the bulk of the text in your document. For example, this paragraph is normal text.

‘Title’ refers to the heading you give to the text. For example, the title of this document would be ‘How to change the default font in Google Docs’. 

‘Subtitle’ refers to the text below the title. It provides more context about the title and more information about the text.

Next, there are different types of headings. The first is ‘Heading 1’ which refers to the heading under the subtitle. Under ‘Heading 1’, you will have ‘Heading 2’. Similarly, under ‘Heading 2’, you will have ‘Heading 3’. There are a total of 4 possible headings in Google Docs.

One way to apply these paragraph styles is by going to the toolbar or the Format tab. For example, you can click on ‘Normal text’ in the toolbar, which will open a menu. In the menu, you can hover over ‘Heading 1’ and click on ‘Apply ‘Heading 1’’. 

However, a much quicker way of applying them is by using keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcut for converting a text into ‘Normal text’ is Control + Alt + 0 (or Command + Option + 0, if you’re a Mac user). 

The keyboard shortcuts for headings are as follows:

  • Heading 1: Control + Alt + 1 (or Command + Option + 1, if you’re a Mac user)
  • Heading 2: Control + Alt + 2 (or Command + Option + 2, if you’re a Mac user)
  • Heading 3: Control + Alt + 3 (or Command + Option + 3, if you’re a Mac user)
  • Heading 4: Control + Alt + 4 (or Command + Option + 4, if you’re a Mac user)

Now that we are clear on these basics, let’s talk about the steps for this method.

Step 1: Open your Google Docs document.

The first step is to open the Google Docs document. This is the document in which you will change the default font.

To do this, first go to the Google Docs homepage. Type docs.google.com in the search bar of your browser and press enter. To open an existing document, select a file under ‘Recent documents’. 

You can also create a completely new document using one of two methods. The first method is to click on the plus sign at the top of the Google Docs homepage. This will create a blank document. There’s also another way of creating a blank document in Google Docs. Simply open a new tab, type docs.new in the search bar and press enter. 

The other method of creating a new Google Doc is by choosing one of the many templates. There are templates for various types of documents including class notes and resumes. You may also choose one that already has the default font style you want.

Step 2: Format the font in your document.

Now, it’s time to change the default font settings in your document. 

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 Cambria, click on ‘Cambria’ in the toolbar.

If you didn’t find what you are looking for, you can also see new fonts. To do this, click on ‘More fonts’. A window will appear from which you can add new fonts to your list.

Step 3: Change the defaults.

First, place your cursor in the paragraph that has the new default font.

Next, go to the toolbar. In the toolbar, you should see a button called ‘Normal text’. Click on it to open a drop-down menu where you can change the paragraph styles. 

The first option is ‘Normal text’. Hover your cursor over this option to open another menu. From this menu, select ‘Update ‘Normal text’ to match’. This will change the default style to the font you selected.

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. 

(Optional) Step 4: Make this the default style for all your future documents.

If you want to use these defaults for all your future Google Docs documents, you can.

To do that, go to the ‘Normal text’ 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. 

Keep in mind that this will not change the styles of all your previous documents. It will only apply to future documents.


Method 2: Changing the normal text (and other paragraph styles) from the Format tab

Another way of changing the default font is by going to the Format tab. This method is not very different from the first method. Everything is the same, except that you go to the Format tab instead of using the button in the toolbar.

You can use any of the two methods but we recommend the first one. This is because it is generally simpler and takes less time.

Below are the steps for this method.

Step 1: Choose your default font.

The first step is to change the existing defaults. Click on the fonts menu in the toolbar to find other fonts. You can also change the size, colour, etc. of your text. 

Step 2: Click on the ‘Format’ tab.

This tab is located in the top left corner of your screen. Click on it to open the ‘Format’ drop-down menu.

Step 3: Go to Paragraph styles.

In the ‘Format’ menu, you should see the ‘Paragraph styles’ option. Hover over it to open another smaller menu.

Step 4: Change the default paragraph styles.

First, make sure to place your cursor on the text with the new font. Then, click on ‘Normal text’ in the ‘Paragraph styles’ menu. To change the default style, select ‘Update ‘Normal text’ to match’.

You can also change the other paragraph styles, like the headings. You can even use a different font for these styles. To change the default, follow the same step. Click on the style (e.g. Heading 1) then select the update option (e.g. ‘Update ‘Heading 1’ to match’).

(Optional) Step 5: Make this the default font for all future documents.

You also have the option to use this style for all future documents in Google Docs. Hence, you don’t have to change the default style every time you create a new document.

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

How to reset the default style 

You can also reset the default styles of your documents. This means that Arial will once again be the default font in your document. 

To do this, click on the ‘Normal text’ button in the toolbar. Then, hover over the ‘Options’ button. From the drop-down menu that appears, click on ‘Reset styles’.

You can do the same thing by going to the ‘Paragraph styles’ menu in the ‘Format’ tab.


Conclusion 

We’ve finally reached the end of this article! Here’s a brief recap of everything we learned today. 

The default font in Google Docs is Arial but you can change it. There are two methods of changing this default font. The first method involves going to the ‘Normal text’ menu in the toolbar. You have to first choose your new default font, then update the defaults from this menu.

The other method is to go to the ‘Format’ tab instead. Once you’ve chosen your new font, go to ‘Paragraph styles’ to update the font.

Thank you for reading! 

Using MS Word? Then check out this tutorial on How to change default font in MS Word.

1 thought on “How to Change Default Fonts in Google Docs”

  1. Hi there,

    If I make a template using Google Docs (with official Google Fonts) and hand it off to a client, will that font automatically load when the client opens it? As in, they don’t necessarily need it installed to their computer, correct? Thank you.

    Reply

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