How to Turn on Typography in Word 2011 for Mac - dummies

How to Turn on Typography in Word 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

The Typography features in Word 2011 for Mac work only on fonts that are specifically designed to support them. Very few of the fonts that are on your system now are likely to support more than one or two of these features.

To use these features, simply select some text and apply the formatting. If nothing happens when you try, the font you chose does not support the feature you tried to apply. For example, Apple Chancery and Zapfino support Ligatures. Office 2011 comes with Gabriola, a font specifically designed to take advantage of the new typography features.

Applying advanced typography on the Ribbon

The Ribbon’s new Typography group displays automatically on the Home tab when you’re using Publishing Layout view, but you can turn it on in other views by choosing it in the Ribbon preferences.

To turn on the Typography group in the Ribbon, choose Word→Preferences and then click the Ribbon button. In the Customize area, select the Typography option. You can now find this group on the Home tab of the Ribbon.

Office 2011 has improved support for typography. If you’ve switched from Windows, you may find some additional controls that are not in Word for Windows.

  • Ligatures: The combining of two letters in a fancy way, such as the letters fi on the Ribbon.

  • Stylistic Set: Select some text, then click this pop-up menu. If your font supports this feature, you can choose a style.


  • Number Spacing: Select some numbers and choose default, proportional, or tabular.

  • Number Forms: Select numbers and choose default, lining, or old style. Old style is supported by many fonts.

  • Contextual Alternatives: When selected, displays alternative font styles based on the sentence context. Your best bet is to select text and select this check box to see what happens.

  • Kerning: When selected, applies kerning. By default, a font must be at least 72 points or larger for this feature to work.

Adjusting typography controls

In addition to the Typography group on the Ribbon, you can select text and apply precise formatting by choosing Format→Font from the menu bar. When the Font dialog displays, click the Advanced tab.


On the Advanced tab of the Font dialog, you can choose from the following:

  • Scale: Adjust using the spinner control. This option makes characters fatter or thinner.

  • Spacing: Choose normal, expanded, or condensed, and number of points. This option adds or removes space between characters.

  • Position: Choose normal, raised, or lowered, and by how many points. This can be a way to control how much subscript or superscript to apply to text.

  • Kerning: Choose on or off and set the minimum number of points. Your font must support kerning to see any effect when this feature is applied.

  • Advanced Typography: These controls duplicate the controls found when you use the Typography group in the Ribbon.