How to Use the New Font Picker in Microsoft Word for the Web

Microsoft Word for the web has improved its font interface: it offers more font options and they are now easier to find.

Image: Adobe Stock

Word supports dozens of fonts, but they’re hard to find because they’re all in one drop-down list, and the list is growing! More is better, but the more fonts Word adds, the harder it is to access the font you want to use. It’s a small problem to have considering the number of fonts offered by Word, and we don’t want to sound ungrateful, but the new font chooser completely eliminates the problem. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how Word for the web updated its font interface. Fonts are much easier to find and apply now.

I’m using Microsoft 365 Word for the web on a 64-bit Windows 10 system. The new font picker is only available in Word for the web at this time. There is no demo file; you won’t need it.

How to use the new font family organization

The new font selector in Word for the web lists font families in the main drop-down list in alphabetical order. The first thing you might notice are the new family submenus (drop-down menus) in the Font drop-down list, as shown in Figure A. To see all fonts in a family, click the arrow to the right of the font family name.

Figure A

Screenshot of the font picker in word.
Font Picker organizes fonts by families.

Using this new organization is simple: search for a font family, then choose a member of that family. However, there’s a lot more going on in the drop-down list.

How to Use Font Picker Sections

The font drop-down list now has three sections, each accessed by a drop-down list that you can expand and collapse:

  • Most recently used
  • Pinned Fonts
  • desktop fonts

The Most Recently Used drop-down list lists the 10 most recently used fonts in reverse chronological order. However, theme fonts are still at the top of this list. When you open a document, the font picker lists the fonts used in that document in this section. This list is dynamic, so items change as you use fonts and open other documents.

Pinned fonts include font families and individual family members. To pin a family or member, click the pin icon on the left. This will show that family or member in the Pinned section. In Figure B, you can see I pinned the Chiller font. To unpin it, click the pin icon; it’s a seesaw. You’ll want to limit items in the Pinned section to those you use the most, so they’re quickly accessible. Several fonts are pre-pinned and you can remove them if you want to make room for the fonts you use the most.

TO SEE: Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: A Side-by-Side Analysis with Checklist (TechRepublic Premium)

Figure B

Screenshot of adding a font to the pinned section.
Pin a family or family member to the Pinned section for faster access.

The Office Fonts section contains a list of font styles supported by Office. These are cloud fonts available on all devices supported by Office. If you plan to distribute an electronic file, it’s a good idea to stick with Office fonts because you know they’ll display well on all devices.

If you work with SharePoint, you may see a fourth section, Organizational Fonts. These are fonts you’ll find in a SharePoint resource library.

At the bottom of the family submenu, click About This Font to learn more about each font. Figure C shows a brief description of the Times New Roman font. This information can help you decide whether to use a specific font or explain the differences between similar font families.

TO SEE: Windows, Linux, and Mac Commands Everyone Should Know (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Figure C

Screenshot showing what the Learn More option looks like for a font.
Learn more about a font.

Perhaps the most important information you will learn is whether a font is a compatibility font. If so, this font will automatically download and display correctly on any device, even if the font is not installed.

Currently, the Font Picker is only available in Word for the web. Hopefully we’ll see it in all Office apps soon, both for the desktop and for the web.

About Nell Love

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