Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Fonts in the Font Drop-Down List.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 1, 2017)
When you add a font to Windows, that font shows up in the Font drop-down list on the Formatting toolbar, ready for you to use. The Font drop-down list is interesting because it doesn't list just the fonts available, but also includes a MRU list of the fonts you've used.
If you click the down-arrow at the right side of the Font list, you'll see what I mean. Just before the alphabetic listing of fonts, Word has up to ten fonts listed. These font names are separated from the regular alphabetic list by a horizontal bar in the list. They represent the fonts you most recently used in your formatting.
The MRU list in the Fonts drop-down list cannot be changed or controlled. In other words, you can't dictate how many fonts are listed there, nor can you specify what fonts should be there. The only way to change the list is to actually use the fonts.
Testing has shown that you can't even affect the Fonts list MRU by using macros. You might think that if you change the font of a text selection using a macro that the font name would appear in the Fonts list MRU. This is not the case; the only fonts that show up there are those that are actually selected using the drop-down list.
If you want to have a subset of your fonts available (perhaps the same few you use over and over again) and you don't want to rely on the Fonts list MRU, then you should consider creating your own Fonts toolbar. (Other issues of WordTips explain how to create toolbars; you just need to add the desired fonts to the toolbar.)
One caveat to changing the Fonts list MRU is that you can turn it off completely. Doing so, however, involves making some changes to the Windows Registry. You can find more information about how to disable the Fonts list MRU at this Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
The article indicates that it applies only to Word 2000, but the Registry fix it describes will actually work in all subsequent versions of Word.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (149) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Fonts in the Font Drop-Down List.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
If you use small caps text in a document, you know that there are several steps involved in properly formatting the text. ...Discover More
A common editorial need is to change the capitalization used on different words in a selection of text. Word provides a ...Discover More
Do you want a superscript and subscript character to appear directly above each other without using the Equation Editor? ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.