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Microsoft Office will have a new default font

The Aptos font, formerly known as Bierstadt, has been searched by Microsoft for the past two years.

Microsoft is replacing the default Calibri font with Aptos, a new sans-serif font inspired by mid-20th century Swiss typography. The Aptos font, formerly known as Bierstadt, has been searched by Microsoft for the past two years. In 2021, the company ordered five new custom fonts for Office, and after several years of discussions, the Aptos font was chosen as the main font.

“Today we are entering the final phase of this massive change as the Aptos font becomes the new default font in Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel by hundreds of millions of users,” explains Si Daniels, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, in a blog post, dedicated to design. “And over the next few months, it will be the default for all of our customers.”

Aptos was created by Steve Matteson, the lead font designer. Previously, Matteson created the Segoe font, which was licensed by Microsoft to be used as the default font in Windows. Microsoft first started using the Segoe UI font subfamily in Windows Vista, and Windows 11 still uses it today. Matteson was also involved in the development of the original core Windows TrueType fonts. The Bierstadt font has been renamed Aptos after Matteson’s favorite town in Santa Cruz, California.

Although Aptos will replace Calibri as the default font, Calibri will still sit at the top of the new font menu (initially available only online) alongside its predecessors, Times New Roman and Arial.

Microsoft Office will have a new default font

Calibri has been the default Office font since Office 2007, replacing Times New Roman at the time. The Calibri font is so widely used that in 2017 it even became one of the key pieces of evidence in a corruption investigation involving the Pakistani prime minister.

However, not everyone has been using Calibri for many years. The US State Department only at the beginning of this year required its employees to use the Calibri font for memos. Prior to that, since 2004, the State Department used the Times New Roman font. Given that it took them a whopping 16 years to switch to Calibri, they will likely wait another ten years or more to eventually switch to Aptos.

The other four non-default fonts — Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite — will still be available in Office, and Microsoft is even keeping the Bierstadt font name in the drop-down menu for those who are already familiar with it.

“Aptos is part of a larger wave of features coming to Microsoft 365. We’re committed to making the software more expressive and inclusive,” explains Daniels. “We’re offering a new font selection option, as well as new themes, colors, and backgrounds.”