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What’s normal for some isn’t appealing to others. Case in point: the “Normal” text style in Microsoft Word. The Calibri font? Really? I don’t think so. So let’s do something about it.

To change the default “Normal” style in Word:

  1. Create or open a document that has two or more paragraphs made up of more than one line of text each. You’ll want to see how your new Normal style looks within the context of a multi-line paragraph and between paragraphs.
  2. Select two complete paragraphs of text.
  3. To change the font specifications, open the Font dialog box (Ctrl+Shift+F). Select the font and size that you want as your new default. OK it.
  4. With the two paragraphs of text still selected, right click within the text and click on the “Paragraph…” option. (Software trivia: Anytime you see a command that is followed by an ellipsis (…), that means that clicking on it will open up a dialog box).
  5. The Paragraph dialog box is where you’ll make changes to indentation, and spacing within and between paragraphs. This may take some trial and error to get the way you want it. Microsoft’s Preview pane that they include on their dialog box is pretty useless. You’ll have to OK your selection and go back to your actual page of text to see a live demo of your changes. Right-click back into the Paragraph… dialog to tweak it to your heart’s content. (Phil goes with the defaults for General and Indentation, but modifies the Spacing to Before = 0 Pts , After = 0.5 Line , and Line Spacing = Multiple at 1.2)
  6. Got it the way you like it? To make it so that this becomes your new “Normal” for every new document that you create (please note that this will not override styles applied in existing documents — this is just for new documents you create from now on), go up to the Command Ribbon and select the Change Styles drop-down box. From there, click on “Set as Default.”
  7. Hey presto! Now you’re stylin’ your own personal way.

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