As you settle into the fall semester at college, you may have noted on a few of your syllabi that you are required to type in Times New Roman size 12. However, every time you open a new MS Word file, the default font is in Calibri, size 11. That means that every single time you want to make a new homework assignment you will need to switch the font from Calibri, size 11 to Times New Roman, size 12.

In three easy steps completed in under a minute, you can change the font to your desired font without having to change it every time! I will also explain why Times New Roman is so often requested.

How to Switch to Default Times New Roman?

First, from a new document, click on the Home menu and press Ctrl + D which will allow you to customize your font.

Next, select your desired default font (Times New Roman, size 12) and click “Set as Default” in the bottom left corner. 

times new roman default step 2

Finally, you will be prompted to select whether you would like to set this as the font for this one time or all documents. Select “All documents based on the Normal template,” and you are DONE! 

times new roman default step 3

Why Do Teachers Always Ask for Times New Roman?

There are quite a few reasons why teachers request Times New Roman for writing assignments. I have my own reasons, and I’ve heard a lot of other reasons from other professors.

Teachers can gauge word count with one Font Style.

Firstly, when all of the students use the same font, the teacher can easily see how much work each student put into their work. Working with different fonts can either expand or shrink the length of your paper. So, by using a different font like Cambria, a 5-page paper could almost become a 6-page paper.

Shouldn’t the teacher base the grade on the quality of the writing over the quantity? Yes, they probably could. Yet, in the real world, there are times where you need to hit a specific word count to complete a project. For example, in research papers an abstract should be less than 250 words.

Different Fonts Can Be Distracting.

Imagine everyone in the class chooses Times New Roman and you choose Comic Sans. Fonts are meant to draw attention, and because Times New Roman is so pervasive, it draws the least amount of attention to it. Then your teacher can focus solely on the content of your writing.

It is Easy to Read

Some professors will simply not accept or read an assignment that is in the wrong font. I’ve heard some teachers say that it strains or hurts their eyes. Even so, they are also looking to see whether their students can follow directions and work to format their papers in an acceptable manner.

You Will Need to Use Certain Fonts for Different Citation Styles

Some citation styles such as the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) require either Times New Roman or Palatino Fonts in preferably a 12 point font. More popular citation styles like APA and MLA have no requirements, but your teacher may still want you to learn how to format your work by requiring Times New Roman.



If you are looking to speed up some of the writing process this semester, check out some of my related articles on citation styles.

I also highly recommend trying the free version of Grammarly. Check out my post on it by clicking here.

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Author: College Mamma

College Mamma is a professor who blogs for students. She is also a mother of two and a lover of coffee.