Use a screen reader to change the font in Word 2016

Word 2016 has built-in commands that let you change fonts in a document, or even customize fonts. For example, you can change the font on a few words or characters with keyboard shortcuts. But if you want to change an entire document all at once, you can apply theme fonts to the document. Finally, you can set the default font for a document. You can also customize size, color, and style in several ways.

Note: The procedures in this topic are documented using Narrator and JAWS. For information about how to work with a specific screen reader, contact your assistive technology (AT) manufacturer.

Tip: Screen readers can vary in the way they describe fonts and formatting. For example, in JAWS, to hear which font is used, press Insert+F. In Narrator, press Caps Lock+0.

Note: This topic assumes that JAWS users have turned off the Virtual Ribbon Menu feature.

In this topic

Use keyboard shortcuts to change the font

Choice of font, such as Calibri versus Arial, typically doesn’t affect how a screen reader reads your document. However, fonts can make a big difference to people who have low vision, and people who have reading impairments like dyslexia. For these people, chose a SanSerif font such as Verdana, Calibri, or Arial.

Change text to a different font

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. To open the Font box, press Alt+H, and then F, F. The keyboard shortcut command selects the current font. As focus passes the options, screen readers identify the Home tab and the Font dialog, and then say the name of the selected font.

  3. Select the font you want or type its name, and then press Enter.

Note: To hear the font color in JAWS, press Insert+5.

Increase or decrease font size

  1. Select the text that you want to resize.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To make the text 1 point larger, press Ctrl+Left Bracket.

    • To make the text 1 point smaller, press Ctrl+Right Bracket.

    • To make text incrementally larger according to the sizes in the Increase Font Size button, press Ctrl+Shift+> (Greater Than).

    • To make text incrementally smaller according to the sizes in the Decrease Font Size button, press Ctrl+Shift+< (Less Than). (Narrator voices, "Unknown key".)

    • To select a size from the Font Size box, press Alt+H, and then F, S. You'll hear a numeric value of the current font size. Type the point size that you want or select one from the list, and then press Enter.

Change several font properties at once

You can browse font properties and change several at once while working in the Font dialog box. You can navigate among the options by using keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Select the text you want to format.

  2. To open the Font dialog box, press Alt+H, and then F, N.

  3. You can Tab through the options in the dialog, or use one or more of the following keyboard shortcuts to go to a specific option in the dialog box and select it:

    To go to:




    Font style


    Font size


    Font color


    Underline style


    Underline color




    Double strikethrough






    Small caps


    All caps




    Set as default


    Text effects


    Font tab


    Advanced tab


  4. To apply your changes and close the Font dialog box, tab to the OK button and press Enter.

Tip: To remove the formatting from selected text, press Ctrl+Spacebar. You can also use the Clear All Formatting button (Alt+H, E).

Use theme fonts to format a whole document

A theme font changes the fonts in your entire document by using a pair of fonts that are designed to work well together. The first font is used for headings and the second for body text.

Tip: To make sure the theme fonts are applied to headings, you must apply a Word heading style to the heading text. To learn how, see Use a screen reader to apply heading and paragraph styles in Word 2016.

  1. To open the Theme Fonts button, press Alt+G, and then T, F.

  2. Use the Tab key or Down Arrow key to browse the list of theme fonts. Select the theme font you want, and then press Enter.

  3. To hear a description of the fonts applied by the theme, use your screen reader. For example, in JAWS, press Insert+F. In Narrator, press Caps Lock+0.

More information

Office Accessibility Center

Get started using a screen reader in Word 2016

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word 2016 for Windows

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