To edit the default font in Google Sheets, you need to edit your current sheet theme and select a new font. This change will only affect the currently opened file. Doing this using the menus only allows you to select from 6 fonts. To change your default font to anything you like, you need to run a tiny Apps Script. This script, and instructions on how to run it are below. Don’t worry, it’s pretty quick and easy to do.
If you want every new sheet that you create to use a different default font, the best solution is to create a template file and always create your new sheets as a copy of this file. I’ll show you a quick way to do that too.
How to edit your current theme to select a different default font (one of 6)
Open the Format menu using the mouse and select Theme. You can to this with the keyboard using Alt+Shift+o or Alt+o and then ↓ and to highlight the Theme option and Enter (↵) to select it.
This will open the Themes toolbar at the right side of the sheet. They list the current theme at the top. Unless something has changed already, it will be Standard.
Now click Customise to open the theme customizer. When you do this, you will see the options to alter the default font, font color, accent colors and hyperlink and chart background colors.
Then open the default theme font selection box and choose your default font.
The problem here is that there are only 6 fonts listed; Arial, Comic Sans MS, Courier New, Georgia, Roboto and Verdana.
Why are there only 6 fonts choices in Google Sheets themes?
I can’t seem to find an answer to this question. It just is. However, there is a workaround which we’ll come to next.
How to choose ANY default font in Google Sheets with a little Apps Script
Open the Apps Script editor by select Extensions from the toolbar and clicking on Apps Script.
This will open a new Apps Script editor window. Don’t worry, you’re not doing anything too complex and you won’t need to learn how to code. Copy the code below and paste it directly into the editor window.
You can change Yanone Kaffeesatz to be any font of your choice. Just alter the part of the code below in between the single quotes to be the name of a font you choose. Look at fonts.google.com for all the Google Fonts that are available. Yanone Kaffesatz is a narrow font that allows you to fit a lot of data inside a cell. But you may not find it to your liking.
Once you have your script pasted, click Save project.
Once this is done, the run button, which was previously greyed out, will become available. Also, because there is only one function in the editor, Google Sheets selects it (set_default_font) in the drop-down to the right of Debug.
All we need to do now is click Run. When you do, you may get the authorization window shown below.
Don’t worry, all we are doing is creating a small unverified application, but we need to allow access to our Google Sheets for that application. Doing this will not make your drive files any less secure. Why? Because this is our application, it has 1 line of code and we know exactly what it does and what we are allowing it to access. So click Review Permissions.
You will then see a window telling you that Google hasn’t verified this app. Which is fine because we won’t publish our app and we don’t need them to. At the bottom of this window, click the Show Advanced link. Then click Go to Untitled project (unsafe).
The next window will show you the permissions you are going to grant to your Untitled project. If you changed the name of the project after opening the Apps script editor, you’ll see your project name here instead. Click Allow.
We should now be back in the Apps script editor and can click the Run button again. After a few seconds we should see the following at the bottom in the Execution log.
And our default theme font is now Yanone Katteesatz.
Whilst that might seem like a long process, just to change a default font. Don’t worry, next I’m going to show you how to make a template with this font that you can easily copy and open with 2 clicks.
How to open new Google Sheets using a template
In order to start a new spreadsheet, I like to type sheets.new into my browser. But in order to use a template instead, you’ll need to create a custom link and save it as a bookmark or favorite.
To make that link, open your spreadsheet with the custom default font and copy the URL from your browser’s address bar. It will look something like this:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10VkF_ahiDQcIzpAdMx95l-7ID0SX_deU6OrSvNF3l0o/<strong>edit#gid=0</strong>Code language: HTML, XML (xml)
We need to remove
edit#gid=0 from the end and replace it with
copy like this:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10VkF_ahiDQcIzpAdMx95l-7ID0SX_deU6OrSvNF3l0o/<strong>copy</strong>Code language: HTML, XML (xml)
Open the new URL in your browser and save it as a favorite or bookmark. Each time you open that bookmark, you will see this screen and all you need to do is click Make a copy.
If you followed all the steps above, you will have a template Google Sheet with a default font of your choice from Google Fonts. You will also be able to create a new sheet from that template in 2 clicks.
How can I change the default font size?
So you’ve changed the default font for your theme, but you’ve noticed there is no way to change the default font size in the theme options. In order to do this the best method would be to open your template file containing your custom theme, select the entire sheet by clicking in the column and row header intersection or using Ctrl+a (Windows, ChromeOS) or ⌘ +a (Mac).
Then simply change the font size using the font size selector in the toolbar or by using the Format menu and selecting Font size.