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Don’t use Times New Roman as “fall back” font

Several mail applications and web mail services do not actually specify a font when composing and sending a message in HTML format. So although the sender thinks that he/she is sending a message in the Arial format, it actually arrives in Times New Roman on my computer.

This is of course because Outlook uses Times New Roman as the default font when none is specified.

Is there any way that I can change this default font to something different than 12pt Times New Roman? For instance, 10pt Arial?

If no font has been specified in the message, Outlook will fall back to 12pt Times New Roman by default. You can change this default, but how and where you must change it depends on your version of Outlook and whether or not you have the same version of Word installed as well.

Changing the settings in Word

If you are using Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 and your version of Word matches your version of Outlook, then you can make the change from within Word. If the versions don’t match, use the Registry solution at the bottom of this article.

  1. Open the Options dialog in Word
    • Word 2007
      Office logo at the left top-> Word Options
    • Word 2010 and Word 2013
      File-> Options
  2. Select the Advanced section at the left.
  3. Scroll down to the “General” option group and click on; Web Options…
  4. Select the Fonts tab.
  5. Select; English/Western European/Other Latin script
  6. Change the “Proportional font” setting at the bottom from Times New Roman with size 12 to the font and size of your choice. For instance Arial with a size of 10 or Calibri with a size of 11.
    The “Fixed-width font” settings is used to display specific HTML tags which are often used to display code samples in a message.

Changing the default web font in Word
Changing the default web font in Word.

Changing the settings in Internet Explorer

If you are using Outlook 2003 or previous, then Outlook uses Internet Explorer to display the message. This means that the default font must be changed in Internet Explorer.

  1. Open Internet Options. For instance via;
    • Control Panel-> (Network and Internet)-> Internet Options
    • In Internet Explorer via; Tools-> Internet Options…
  2. In the Appearance section, click on; Fonts
  3. Change the “Webpage font” from Times New Roman to a font of your choice (changing the default size is not here).

When you use Word as the e-mail editor for Outlook 2003 or previous, then you can match the new default font in Word via;
Tools-> Options…-> section General-> button Web Options…-> tab Fonts

Changing the default web font in Internet Explorer
Changing the default web font in Internet Explorer.

Changing the settings via the Registry

If your version of Word and Outlook don’t match, then you can also make the change via the Registry;

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Word\Internet\Fonts
Value name: Latin
Value type: REG_SZ
Value: proportional font name, size, fixed-width font name, size

Example value: Arial, 10, Courier New, 10

Changing the default web font via the Registry
Changing the default web font via the Registry.



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