Displaying Actual Font Faces

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 2, 2013)


When you are applying formatting to various parts of your document, you may find it useful to actually see a sample of a font before you apply it. For instance, the drop-down font list on the Formatting toolbar can be very handy if the fonts names are displayed using the representative typeface, rather than just a simple listing of typeface names.

Beginning with Word 2000 you can control whether Word uses typefaces to show font names. You do this by following these steps:

  1. Choose Customize from the Tools menu. Word displays the Customize dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Options tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Options tab of the Customize dialog box.

  4. Ensure the List Font Names in Their Font check box is checked.
  5. Click on OK.

If you check out the font drop-down list, you will notice that it now uses the various typefaces to display font names.

Remember that this feature is only available beginning with Word 2000. Regardless of the version of Word you are using, you can always use the Font dialog box to display what a font will look like. Simply select the text you want to format and then press Ctrl+D. The font dialog box is displayed, with the selected text appearing as the sample at the bottom of the dialog box. As you select different fonts in the dialog box you can easily see the effect it has on the selected text.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1550) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Adjusting Test Scores Proportionately

Teachers often grade on what is affectionately referred to as "the curve." The problem is, it can be a bit difficult to ...

Discover More

Converting Time Notation to Decimal Notation

Want to convert an elapsed time, such as 8:37, to a decimal time, such as 8.62? If you know how Excel stores times ...

Discover More

Adding Automatic Time Stamps

Your computer knows the current date and time, and Word provides ways you can get that date and time into your document. ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

Too-Big Toolbars

Work around Words inability to have a multi-row toolbar.

Discover More

Changing the Insertion Point Cursor

Want to change the characteristics of the insertion point used by Word? You may be out of luck, unless you make some ...

Discover More

Word Won't Start Right

Sometimes it seems that no matter what you do, you can't display Word on your screen. If this is the case, it could be ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five less than 8?

2017-01-27 09:47:02


Thank you for helping me on 2 things - scrolling using mouse wheel and showing actual font in list of fonts. (I would never have found either on my own.) I lost my original computer guts and am struggling to put back the way I am used to.
Great help, thanks!

This Site

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.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.