When you compose a new message in Hotmail, it will by default use the "Tahoma" font family, with "10 pixels" as text size. While formatting your email, you can choose other fonts, and multiple font settings inside the same message. But if you find yourself always changing to the same variation, time has come to customize your default font settings: this allows you to automatically use the color, font size and font family.
Note: this won't affect emails sent from an email program like Windows Live Mail, which has its own settings - only messages you send from the "web browser" version of Hotmail.
Configure your font color and text options
Once inside your Hotmail account, click on the "Options" button (a bit below top right corner), and select "More options" from the dropdown menu:
- When the Hotmail Options screen loads, click on the "Message font and signature" link under "Writing email":
- The page that loads contains two sections: the second is the one we cover in our "Hotmail Signature" tutorial, so let's look at the first text box and toolbar:
- The toolbar includes two dropdown menus: under "Font name", you'll be able to pick one of eight default font options - Arial, Garamond, Comic Sans MS, Courier New, Franklin Gothic Medium, Tahoma, Times New Roman, and Verdana.
- Tip: the reason Microsoft (the owner of Hotmail) chose this is because they are nearly guaranteed to be included on all internet-connected computers; using a font your email recipients don't have on their computer could cause legibility issues.
- The "Font size" dropdown controls the default size of letters in your emails (which can still be changed from within the message you are composing), giving you the following choices:
- Tip: "
10" pixels is the default text size because "
8" will be too small on many portable devices; anything above
12 will look disproportionately big, especially on smartphones. We recommend to stick with 10 or 12 as default font size; if you email to senior,
12 will be the courteous choice, which will allow them to easily read your message!
- Although you do have the option to make the default text "Bold", "Underlined", and/or "Italic", we recommend that you keep these formatting settings turned off, and only use them as warranted, for selected text inside a particular message. (Avoid underlining text, it could confuse your email recipients into thinking that this piece of text is a clickable link!)
- Finally, click on the "Text color" button to change that default setting: keep in mind that this will make all your emails' text be that particular color, and that you can always change the color for select portions of text in any given message. To keep your emails easy to read, make sure to use a dark color, since -by default- an email message's background color is always white:
- Once you have customized your default font options and are satisfied with the results, click on the "Save" button at the very bottom of the screen, and you'll be back on the Hotmail Options page.
Test your new font settings!
To test your new settings, either move your mouse cursor above the word "Hotmail" at the top, and pick "Send email" from the menu that opens, or click "Go to inbox" and compose a new message: it will use your new default font! And you have even more options to override your default by using the message's text formatting toolbar: