10 Default Microsoft Word Settings You Can Optimize

162230 10 Default Microsoft Word Settings You Can Optimize

Microsoft Word is the most widely used word processor in the world. With over 1 billion users, it offers powerful features to create professional documents.

However, the default settings are not always optimized for every user’s needs. Tweaking these settings can help boost your productivity and customize Word to suit your preferences.

In this article, we will discuss 10 default Microsoft Word settings you can optimize for a better user experience.

1. Change Default Font

The default font in Microsoft Word is Calibri at 11 points. While it is a safe, neutral font, you may prefer something else for your documents.

Steps:

  1. Go to the Home tab
  2. Click the Font Dialog Box Launcher (small arrow at bottom-right of Font section)
  3. Choose the desired font and font size
  4. Click Set As Default

Now your preferred font will automatically apply to all new Word documents.

2. Adjust Margins

The default margins in Word documents are 1 inch all around. You can customize them based on your preference.

Steps:

  1. Go to Layout tab
  2. Click Margins and select Custom Margins
  3. Adjust the values under Top, Bottom, Left and Right
  4. Click Default to set these margins for all new documents

Narrower margins can fit more text, while wider ones enhance readability. Choose what works for you.

3. Change Default Line Spacing

The default line spacing in Word is 1.08 lines. You can change this to single, double or custom spacing.

Steps:

  1. Select the paragraph(s) you want to change
  2. Go to Home tab > Line and Paragraph Spacing
  3. Choose your preferred spacing
  4. Click Set As Default

Line spacing directly impacts readability. Set your default to suit your audience.

4. Adjust Tab Stops

Tab stops help you align text and organize content uniformly. You can customize their position.

Steps:

  1. Go to View > Show > Ruler
  2. On the ruler, drag tab stops to desired positions
  3. Go to Home tab > Paragraph
  4. Under Tabs, click Set for the spacing you want
  5. Click Default to always use

Your customized tab stops will now apply to new documents.

5. Change Default Numbering Style

The default numbering style starts from 1 for every numbered list. You can begin from a higher number.

Steps:

  1. Create a numbered list
  2. Right click the number and select Set Numbering Value
  3. Choose your preferred starting number
  4. Click Set As Default

Now new numbered lists will automatically start from your chosen number.

6. Adjust AutoCorrect Settings

AutoCorrect automatically fixes common spelling mistakes and typos as you type. You can add your own corrections.

Steps:

  1. Go to File > Options > Proofing
  2. Click AutoCorrect Options
  3. Enter common mistakes and the correct words/phrases
  4. Click Add to include in AutoCorrect

Customizing AutoCorrect saves you time and ensures consistency.

7. Change Default Save Location

By default, Word saves documents to the local Documents folder. You can change this location.

Steps:

  1. Go to File > Options > Save
  2. Under Save documents, choose your preferred save location
  3. Click OK

Saving to a cloud folder or external drive helps you access files anywhere.

8. Disable Automatic Hyperlinks

Word automatically formats web URLs and email addresses you type as hyperlinks. This can be distracting.

Steps:

  1. Go to File > Options > Proofing
  2. Under AutoCorrect Options, deselect “Internet and network paths with hyperlinks”
  3. Click OK

Now you can type web URLs without Word enabling them as links.

9. Show Formatting Marks

Formatting marks like paragraph marks (¶) help reveal hidden formatting. You can opt to always display them.

Steps:

  1. Go to Home tab > Paragraph group
  2. Select Show/Hide ¶
  3. Click on the dialog box launcher
  4. Check “Always show these formatting marks on the screen”

The formatting marks will now always be visible as you edit documents.

10. Reset Grammar Settings

To revert any grammar and proofing tools to default settings:

Steps:

  1. Go to File > Options > Proofing > When correcting spelling and grammar in Word
  2. Click the Reset button
  3. Click OK

This resets suggestions, grammar and refinement rules, and writing style.

Conclusion

Optimizing these default Microsoft Word settings helps boost productivity. You can customize options like font, spacing, save location, and more to suit your needs.

Implementing these tweaks also results in professional, visually appealing documents formatted for their purpose. With practice, you can master Word’s settings to work smarter.

Try out some of these tips to take your documents up a notch! Let us know in the comments if you have any other default settings you like to change in Word.

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