Nine changes to the default Word 2013 settings

The default Normal Template

This gallery is also available as a post in the Windows and Office Blog.

Microsoft Word has been the primary tool of my trade for many years now (at one time it was WordPerfect) and for the most part I am happy with the application - well, at the very least, I am comfortable with it. However, every new version of Word requires some tweaking to make it work the way I want it to work and Word 2013 is no exception.

Now, the changes I make may not make sense for you and I am not suggesting that everyone do exactly what I do, but I am suggesting that you take a few minutes to adjust the default settings in Word 2013 to make it work the way you want it to work - at least as best you can. And, I mean before you starting using it, not after. A few minutes now can save you some frustration later.

Change the Normal Template

This suggestion is probably the most obvious and the most often overlooked. I don't like the default font and spacing in Word - I haven't liked it since 2007. Personally I like the Arial font and I like my paragraphs spaced evenly, so I change the default Normal Template (Figure A) right away.

Credit: Images by Mark Kaelin for TechRepublic

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.