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For Seniors: How to Work with Fonts in Office 2010

A font is a standard way of making each letter. (It’s also called a typeface.) The font size controls the height of the letters. Across all the Office programs, you can choose different fonts and font sizes for your work.

The font size is based on the distance from the top of the tallest letter to the bottom of the lowest letter, measured in points. One point (pt) is 1/72 of an inch.

The default font and size in Word is Calibri 11-point. If that isn’t what you want, you can choose a different font or size. Simply select the text to you want to change, open a drop-down list on the Home tab (in the Font group), and then select Font or Font Size.

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Keep these tips in mind when changing font and font size:

  • If you don’t select any text to affect before you choose a font or size, the new setting applies to the spot where the insertion point is at the moment. Any new text you type there will have that new setting.

  • Different computers have different size monitors, so screen size isn’t a reliable indicator of how large the text will be when it’s printed. Also, adjusting the Zoom feature in the applications can affect how large the text looks onscreen.

  • To modify the default font and size for all new documents in the future, open the Font dialog box by pressing (Ctrl+D), choose a different font and size, and then click the Set as Default button. In the confirmation box that appears, click Yes.

  • The Font drop-down list contains a Theme Fonts section at the top. The fonts listed here are the fonts applied by the current theme. If you choose those fonts, rather than specific fonts from the lower part of the list, the fonts will update automatically when you change themes. (That’s a plus if you aren’t sure what look you want for the document.)

  • Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all have Grow Font and Shrink Font buttons on the Home tab (Font group), immediately to the right of the Font Size drop-down list. As you might expect, the Grow Font button increases the font size each time you click it, and the Shrink Font button decreases the font size.

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