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Change Default Formatting in Word 2007

In Word 2007 you probably notice that the default formatting is Calibri, line spacing is expanded, and space is added automatically after a paragraph.  Today we will show you how to change the default document format into a style of your own.

The first thing is to access the dialog box launch icon in the Styles section under the Home tab on the Ribbon.  That is the little corner and arrow icon in the corner of the Styles section.  You can also use the key combination of “Alt+Ctrl+Shift+S”.

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At the bottom of the menu click on the Manage Styles icon.

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In the Manage Styles dialog box click on the Set Defaults tab and make the changes to the fonts, line and paragraph spacing.  To make sure this document and all new created documents will have the changes make sure to select “New documents based on this template” then click OK.

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Now all new documents will have your own customized settings as the default format.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/18/09

Comments (12)

  1. Johnny

    I hate the calibri style, I has always been lazy changing it when creating a new document.

    Thanks allots

  2. Annie

    Thank you SO much! Microsoft Suite 2007 is a creation from hell and the biggest pain in the butt (hope you didn’t create it!!) so thank you so much for providing a simplified how-to so that we can do the things we need to fix!! Keep it up! Oh, and maybe you could pass on your notes to Microsoft…

  3. darrell

    how do you change the spacing in word 2007 i have seen alot of fixes but not a single one works

  4. SheriMae

    I can not get changes to the default font and spacing to hold in Word 2007. Please help.

  5. Lesley

    Thats works a dream but when you close down microsoft word then open it again it reverts back to the Calibri font again – help !!!!!

  6. Amy

    Even after you make changes to the formatting in ‘Set Defaults’, the settings do not change.

  7. Andrew

    I agree with the last 3; the settings revert when you next open Word.

  8. Melzipan

    @Lesley, Amy, and Andrew: Make sure you have “New documents based on this template” selected before hitting “ok”. It’ll take care of you. :)

    @darrell see where it says “line spacing”? Set After to “auto” and Line Spacing to “single”. That should do it!

  9. John Birk

    In word doc and Outlook, when I am writing I hit “enter”, then the next sentence
    always starts with a capital letter.
    Do you know how i can stop this happening,
    Thanks,
    John

  10. Debbie

    Melzipan, I hear what you’re saying but even when I do ALL the steps you’ve described, it STILL reverts back.

  11. Craig

    What you want to do is change all the settings you want when you open a new document, and have them still be there every time you open a new document. To do this you need to change the Normal.dotm template that Word uses as the default settings every time one opens a new document.

    The Normal.dotm template opens whenever you start Microsoft Office Word 2007, and it includes default styles and customizations that determine the basic look of a document.

    When you change the Normal.dotm template, the changes will be applied to all documents that you create in the future.

    1.Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Open.
    2.Do one of the following:
    In Windows Vista:
    Click Templates, and then double-click the Normal.dotm file to open it.

    In Microsoft Windows XP or Microsoft Windows Server 2003:
    Click Templates next to File name.

    If no templates are listed in the Open dialog box, click the arrow next to the Files of type box, and then click All Word Templates.

    3.To be certain that you’re working in the default template, check to see that Normal.dotm appears in the Word title bar.

    4.Make any changes that you want to the fonts, margins, spacing, and other settings. You can use the same commands and features that you use to change a document — but remember that any changes that you make to Normal.dotm will be applied to documents that you create in the future.

    5.When you have finished, click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Save.
    Note If Normal.dotm is renamed, damaged, or moved, Word automatically creates a new version (which uses the original default settings) the next time that you start Word. The new version will not include any of the customizations that you made to the version that you renamed or moved.

    Hope this helps!

  12. Jason

    I’m trying to change the background from black to clear on Level 4 so they black doesn’t block out the black font…any idea how to change it so the 4th level is legible?

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