Microsoft Word uses the default template whenever you open a new blank document. It is called normal.dotm and has predefined settings for font size, font family, themes, paragraph spacing, etc. The documents generally use Office theme with predefined set of styles. If you are not happy with these default settings in Word, you can customize the theme in Microsoft Word to make things as per your convenience.
Default Theme Settings in Word
A theme in Word document has three components:
- Fonts – size and family
- Styles – colors, spacing, etc., for each element like list, heading, paragraph, etc.
- Effects – bold, italic and other effects for elements
A theme can have custom values for all these components or use only few of them. For example, you will always see the document opens with white background in most of the Word themes though it is possible to have a different page color. In addition, you may also always see the font size of paragraph as 11 pixels and paragraph spacing as single. This may be annoying and you want to customize these settings as per your need.
Customizing Theme in Microsoft Word
The blank document in Word for Windows uses the font size as 11 pixels and family as Calibri. On Mac, you can see the default font size as 12 pixels. As mentioned, the blank Word document uses the Office theme as a default theme. There are two ways to change your default theme settings in Word:
- One is to choose from one of the predefined themes that come with your Word installation package. You can also create your own theme and use for future documents.
- Other is to customize each component of the default normal.dotm template so that you can use on all your documents. For example, you can manually change the default font size in the template to 14 px or 16 px instead of 11 px.
In both cases, the objective is to have a uniform setup for all your documents and keep things convenient for your working.
Choose Default Themes
This is an easy and recommended way without changing any other settings in Word.
- Go to “Design” tab in the ribbon and click on “Themes” option.
- You will see a list of pre-defined themes and select the one you want to apply on your current document.
- You can hover over the theme to see the live preview before selecting a specific theme.
- You will notice the style in your document like heading color, font size, font family are changed as per the theme you have selected.
- Word will apply the selected theme only on the current document. If you want to use the theme for all your future documents as a base template, then click on “Set as Default” option.
- You will see a prompt informing you that Word will apply font, colors, effects and paragraph spacing of the current theme on all new blank documents. Click “OK” to confirm the prompt and apply the changes.
Customize Blank Template
If you do not like to use any of the existing themes, then it is possible to customize the appearance of the blank template and set as your default.
- Choose the style set for heading and text elements under “Design” tab’s “Document Formatting” group.
- Select base theme colors, fonts, effects and paragraph spacing by clicking on the respective dropdowns.
- It is also possible to apply page background color and borders for your document.
- If the existing colors and fonts are not enough, you can always upload third-party items.
- Additionally, you can go to “Home” tab and apply new “Styles” for your heading and body text. If required, you can change the font family and size from here and define new styles for each element using styles editor.
- When you are done, go back to “Design” tab and click on “Themes” dropdown.
- Select “Save Current Theme…” option.
- Provide a name for your theme and save it for future use. In this case, you need to manually select the theme every time when you want to use it in your document.
- If you want to use the customized theme as your template, then click on “Set as Default” and confirm the prompt to apply your changes.
Next time onwards, your blank document will always open with the customized theme. You do not need to increase the font size or change the font family every time when you open Word.
Change Office Theme
Themes are available across all Office apps like Excel and PowerPoint. It means, you can save a theme in Word and open in Excel or PowerPoint. However, styles are only applicable for Word or in your current document. For example, the custom theme we have saved in Word with the name as “WebNots” can be seen in PowerPoint as shown below.
It is also possible to change theme of your entire Office applications like Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel in Windows version.
- Open any Office apps like Word or Excel.
- Go to “File > Options” menu and go to “General” tab.
- Select your preferred theme from “Office Theme” dropdown.
The selected theme will be applied to all Office applications like Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. You can choose the black theme to apply dark mode in Office apps or force to use system settings. However, these Office themes will not have impact on font size, family and other paramters. It will only affect the appearnce of the app by using the selected color.