How To Set the Default Font in Pages

Often people want to know how they can change the default font in Pages. But there is no default font. Instead, when you create a new document you are using a template, often the template named Blank. So if you'd rather start with a different font, then just create a new template that is a variation of the Blank one, and use that template instead.

Video Transcript
Here's a common question I get asked about Pages. When people use Pages and they start with, say, a blank document they're using the default font which is Helvetica Neue and they want this default to be something different. You would expect, maybe, to go into Pages preferences and there to be some sort of default font setting. But there's not. The reason for this is because when you created a new document here you didn't just say I want a blank document. You actually said I want to use the blank template. This is a template and its name is Blank.

One of the things about templates is they have different styles here. The styles have things like the font that you're going to use. The font size. All sorts of things. It's going to start with the body font and whatever the default font is for that and all sorts of other things. Like the size for instance. So if you want to change how you start in a new Pages document to a different font all you need to do is create a new template and use that one instead.

So, for instance, let's take this document we started here and let's change this font to something that we want to use. Say we want to use Times and let's say we actually want it to be a lot bigger. We want it to be 18 point Times as our default. This is how we want the default font to be when we start typing. So let's get rid of the text there so it starts off blank. This is how we want our Pages documents to start. So what do we do?

Well the first thing we need to do is we just made the change here to the text. We want to Update this style. You can see here the Style for Body Text has an asterisk next to it saying that this isn't body text. This is body text but it's been altered. If we hit the Update button now it's Body Text. So Body Text actually now is Times 18 point into this document. Great. So we are actually at the starting point we want to be. So how do we make sure it always starts this way?

Well we want to go to File, Save as Template. So we're not only just going to save this. We're going to add this to the Template Chooser. So add it there. We get to name it so we'll call it My Blank and it's under My Templates. There's some other things that I've added here in the past. Notice on the left here you've got All and you've got things like Basic, Reports, Books, and at the bottom is My Templates.

Great. So now let's close this document. Let's Delete it. It's served its purpose. Let's create a new Pages document. Now you can see here you can start with All selected but you can also start with My Templates selected. It will remember that choice and there's My Blank. Now I can select that one and now look! It's a blank document starting with Times as the default font and 18 point. I'm ready to go.

You can create more than one of these. So if for instance it's a special type of document I want to create that's using Times 18 point I can create this one. I can do another one where it's a different font in 12 point. I can, of course, make changes to all of these different styles. Change them all to be what I want and save that as a template and use it.

So the key is not to look for a preference for default fonts but actually to create your own template and use it.

Comments: 2 Responses to “How To Set the Default Font in Pages”

    Betti Franceschi
    11/15/18 @ 10:36 am

    I can’t figure out how to set line spacing in Pages. Can line spacing be set in Templates?

    11/15/18 @ 10:41 am

    Betti: In the Format sidebar, click Style, look for the Spacing section.

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