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How To Use the Google Sheets’ Change Default Font Function (3 Easy Ways)

When using Google Sheets,  we all have a ‘favorite’ font. Most of us like to use a particular ‘special’ font in every document, spreadsheet, and report.

For example, I’m fond of using the ‘Georgia’ font, and when in a lighter mood or the ‘Comic Sans’ font (yes, I know many people find it cheesy, but I like it).

Most word processors and spreadsheet software come with their own default fonts. Most of the time, it is either the ‘Arial’ or ‘Calibri’ font. Whenever you create a new document, the default font is selected until you change it.

Of course, you can change the font to whatever you like, but for practical reasons, you might have a preferred font pre-selected every time you open a Google Sheet.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to use the Google Sheets’ change default font function. Read on to learn how.

Why Use the Google Sheets’ Change Default Font Function?

Here are some reasons why you might need or want to use the Google Sheets’ change default font option:

  • You might not like the appearance of the default ‘Arial’ font.
  • Your company might use a particular font as part of its branding.
  • There may be requirements for a particular format or layout for all the documents in your company.
  • You might like to give all your documents and spreadsheets a personalized touch with your own signature font.
  • You might want your documents and sheets to stand out from others.
  • Sometimes, changing the default font may help inspire in you a renewed sense of motivation!

Changing the default font helps get your work done quickly so that you don’t have to select your preferred font whenever you open a document.

In Short: How To Use the Google Sheets’ Change Default Font Function

The simplest way to change the default font is to navigate to “Format” > “Theme” > “Customize” > “Font.” Then, change the font and click “Done.”

This will save a theme to the spreadsheet. I’ve used the same process as I did with my rental property spreadsheet template. If you use this blank spreadsheet as a template for new workbooks (File > make a copy), it will automatically have the font you chose.

How To Change the Google Sheets’ Default Font 

If you select the “Font” option from the Google Sheets toolbar, you will find that the ‘Arial’ font is selected as the default font in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets change default font—Default font in Google Sheets is Arial

While it is not possible to permanently change the default font in Google Sheets, it is possible to save a document with your desired default settings and then re-use that document every time you need it.

There are three ways in which you can change and set the default font in Google Sheets:

  • By using Custom Theme settings
  • By using a template spreadsheet
  • By using App Scripts

Method 1: Using Custom Theme Settings

Themes are a new addition to the Google Sheets tools. It was provided to help users create their own settings and customize the look and feel of their spreadsheet.

This means that you can create your own theme with a different font from the default font in Google Sheets. So, the next time you use this theme, the new font will be what you want it to be. You can also have a different font size and other styles in your theme.

Below are the steps to create your custom theme and set the default font:

  1. Fire up your browser and open a new Google Spreadsheet.
  2. Click on the “Format” option in the menu.
  3. Select “Theme” from the sub-menu.
    • This will open the “Themes” side panel on the right, where you can see the theme customization sub-menu box.
    • In this box, you will see previews for each theme that you can quickly select and edit.
      Click on Format and then click on Theme
  4.  Since we want to customize our own theme, click on any theme (except the default ‘Sheets Classic’ theme) and then click on the “Customize” button.
    Click on the Customize button
  5. You can see options for changing font, text color, and chart settings. Select the font you want to use as your default from the drop-down. In this example, I’ve chosen the ‘Georgia’ font.
How to change the default font in Google Sheets
  1. Click on “Done.”
    Click on Done when you have set the font and colors

If you check the font tool now, you will find your chosen font as the selected default.

  1. Save this spreadsheet with the name “My Custom Theme.” This theme will have all your customized fonts, colors, default styles, and other settings.
  2. Every time you need to use this layout, simply:
    • Open the file “My Custom Theme
    • Make a copy of the file with a new name and use it as any regular Google Sheet.

You will find the default font set to your favorite one!

If you only want to change the default font in Google Sheets, this method may be overkill. This method is a good Google Sheet tip that allows you to create a completely new theme, and then you can use the same theme repeatedly.

You can also customize the font, text color, chart colors, and hyperlinks. If you are wondering how to change the default font size in Google Sheets, then this method should work as well.

Method 2: Using a Template Spreadsheet

Here’s how to change the default font Google Sheets with templates. Templates let you create pre-formatted spreadsheets that you can set the default font Google Sheets and reuse for creating new sheets.

For different purposes, you can create templates with your choice of background colors, Google Sheets fonts, and formulae. For example, you can create a template for your budgets, one for your schedules, and one for monthly sales.

Every time you need to create your budget for a new month, you can open your budget template and enter new data into it without having to bother about formatting.

Creating a font template is a great way to have a spreadsheet ready with your Google Sheet default font settings. It will add the same settings to new cells that you add to your sheet.

  1. Open a new Google Spreadsheet.
  2. Select all rows and columns by pressing the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A or selecting the gray square on the top left corner.
  3. Set the font, text color, and font size to one that you want to use as your default. I’ve chosen the ‘Georgia’ font.
  4. Save this spreadsheet with the name “My Font Template.”

Every time you need to use this template, simply:

  1. Open a new file Google Sheet from the template by navigating to “File” > “New” > “From Template.”
    Click on From Template
  2. Search for your saved template.

If you have already set this file as the template, you will see it in the list. If you haven’t set it as the template, the above steps will open the dialog box where you can submit the Google Sheets document as the template and then use it after that.

When you open a new sheet with the template, it will have the default font settings you had set to have Google Sheets change the default font.

Method 3: Change the Default Font with Apps Script.

People often use Google Apps scripts to automate tasks, and you can also do the same to change the default font in Google Sheets. If you want to know how to change font on Google Sheets with app scripts, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Go to “Extensions” > “App Script.”
Go to extensions then App Scripts in the toolbar

This will take you to a new window where you can edit the scripts.

  1. In the Script Editor, you will need to put in the changing font function, as follows:
function ChangeFont() {

var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();

var range = ss.getRangeList(["A1:G18"]);

range.setFontFamily("Comic Sans MS");

}

In the set Range List, you can input whatever range you want to have the font changes in. If you just put the column letters without specifying the row, then the font change will be applied to the entire column.

The set font lets you choose the new font you want to use. You can add any font in this section if it exists in Google Sheets.

  1. Once you’re done, save the project and click “Run.”
  2. You may have to give authorization at this point, in which case you can allow it. Once the App scripts finish executing the scripts, when you go back to your spreadsheet, you will see the font has changed.

You will notice that once the font has changed, the new font is still not using the default font. Here’s how to set the default font in Google Sheets to the new font using App Scripts:

function changeFont() {

var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()

var thisfont = ss.getSpreadsheetTheme().getFontFamily()

Logger.log("DEBUG: the starting font = "+thisfont)

var newfont = "Caveat"

ss.getSpreadsheetTheme().setFontFamily(newfont)

Logger.log("DEBUG: changed the font to "+newfont)

var currentfont = ss.getSpreadsheetTheme().getFontFamily()

Logger.log("DEBUG: post-change font is now = "+currentfont)

}

The function above will set the font you use as the default font for the entire spreadsheet.

How To Add More Fonts

If you want to change the default font in Google Sheets to a different font, but you can’t find it in the list of fonts in Google Sheets, then don’t worry. You can always add more fonts. You can find this option at the very top of the font menu.

Go to fonts menu and click add more fonts

Here you can see all the fonts, including fonts for different languages as well.

Once you add all the fonts, you can click “OK,” and the fonts will appear in the font menu.

The fonts window will appear where you can add new fonts

What Is the Difference Between a Theme and a Template?

A theme consists of a set of templates. Templates in Google Sheets are pre-made spreadsheets that are built for specific purposes, like budgets and schedules. They may have a pre-set font structure, background color, and a pre-set layout for charts, formulae, and highlighted areas.

A theme is a set format that is not necessarily specific to a particular task or purpose. It mainly customizes the look and feel of a spreadsheet with a particular color scheme, default font, and chart styles. Companies often customize their own theme to reflect their branding.

Currently, these are the three ways available on Google Sheets to change the default font settings.

Conclusion

Now you know how to use the Google Sheets’ change default font option and how to use app scripts to make Google Sheets change the default font. If this article was useful, then you might also be interested in our other article on how to change cases in Google Sheets.

You may also like the following Google Sheets tutorials:

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14 thoughts on “How To Use the Google Sheets’ Change Default Font Function (3 Easy Ways)”

  1. What if I want to set the default on a font that is not offered? I want my do to default to Time New Roman. How do I do that?

    Reply
  2. Google application settings are so obtuse. Every aspect is somewhat “special”. Google gets in the way of daily productivity. I give them an F.

    Reply
  3. This did not work. I created a blank document as instructed, putting in my chosen font options, but when I went to Your step 1: “Open a new file Google Sheet from the template by navigating to File -> New -> from Template” only Google’s stock templates were there. In fact, File – > New only had two choices: “Spreadsheet” and “From template gallery.” There was nothing that offered the option “From template.”

    Reply
    • Open the spreadsheet you originally changed each time you want to start a new spreadsheet. Then use File > Make a copy to copy that spreadsheet. The new copy will have the settings you desire.

      Reply
  4. Creating a Google Sheet from a template with my favorite font / font size sounds great, but the instructions did not work for me. I wonder if I need the paid version. When I try to create a new Google Sheet from a template, my only option is the template gallery, with no option to use previously created Google Sheets.

    Reply
    • 1. Save an empty version of the sheet with the format settings you’d like.
      2. Open the empty sheet every time you want to make a new spreadsheet.
      3. Navigate to File > Make a copy and use the new sheet that you make.

      Reply
  5. Perfect!
    I have just implemented the Script way of changing the default text in gSheets. (had to modify all the ” to ‘). This will make a huge difference for me.
    Also looking for a way to force the text size from 10 to 11 and background from white to light grey
    Thanks!

    Reply
  6. The scripts has some corrections. For Times New Roman I applied this.

    function changeFont() {

    var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()

    var thisfont = ss.getSpreadsheetTheme().getFontFamily()

    Logger.log(‘DEBUG: the starting font = ‘+thisfont)

    var newfont = ‘Times New Roman’

    ss.getSpreadsheetTheme().setFontFamily(newfont)

    Logger.log(‘DEBUG: changed the font to ‘+newfont)

    var currentfont = ss.getSpreadsheetTheme().getFontFamily()

    Logger.log(‘DEBUG: post-change font is now = ‘+currentfont)

    }

    Reply

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