Change Word's Format Defaults


I’m trying to change my Word document defaults—such as the font and tab settings—and my computer keeps telling me I can’t change my characteristics. I even went to Help (F1) and followed the instructions, but no luck there either. Help!

I think I know what you’re doing wrong. Let’s back up a bit. Your goal is to change Word’s ; that’s the template for all new Word documents created on your computer. If you try to create a document and name it, y our computer will flash this screen:

There are two ways to change your . I think when you tried to open the existing, you probably did not open the real one. For example, if you do a search in Explorer, you’ll probably find a few of them—each in a different location. The one you want is in C:Documents and Settings Y our user name Application When you change that file and save it, it will be your new default.

There’s another way to change the default, which some users believe is easier: Open a new document and click on Format , Styles and Formatting , bringing up this screen:

If you right-click on Normal , a new screen appears with a Modify button. Click on it and use the Modify Style screen that appears to change the d efaults . When done, click on OK and you have a new, custom d efault .


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