How to Change Gmail's Font Settings

Spice up your emails with custom fonts and colors

What to Know

  • Access the formatting options in an email: Select the A icon at the bottom of the message.
  • Change the font, font size, weight, and more: Highlight the text you wish to change and select the corresponding icons.
  • Make your formatting the default: Go to Settings > See all settings > General > Default text style, then make your changes and save them.

This article explains how to change the font color in Gmail as well as the font type, background color, and more.

Access Font Options in Gmail

To set the font, size, and other characteristics of the text while composing a message, select formatting options (the underlined A) at the bottom of the message window.

Formatting options icon in Gmail message window

How to Change the Font in Gmail

Here's how to use the formatting options toolbar to adjust your text:

  1. Highlight the text you want to change and select formatting options.

    Formatting options icon in Gmail message window
  2. Select the font selector in the formatting options at the bottom of the screen and make a font selection from the list that appears. The font selector is located above Send.

    The Gmail font formatting options with the Font menu highlighted
  3. The next option is Size, labeled with a small T and a large T. Select it and choose from the sizes available.

    Gmail with the Text Size option highlighted
  4. The next three options indicate bold, italic, and underlined type.

    Gmail with the text type options highlighted

Change Font Color and Background Color in Gmail

You can also assign colors to the text of your email or the background from the formatting bar.

  1. Highlight the text to which you want to change and select formatting options.

  2. Select the small A to the right of the Underline button in the formatting bar to open two color palettes labeled Background color and Text color.

    Gmail with the Text and Background Color menu highlighted
  3. Select the color swatch for the background color of the text.

  4. Select the color swatch for the text color.

Any new text you add after the colored text appears in the same color scheme until you make a change.

A person using multiple fonts in an email
Lifewire / Maddy Price

Alignment and Other Text Options

The formatting bar contains a few more options, mostly related to text alignment. To reveal all the options, select the down arrow on the right end of the toolbar.

  • Align text: Next to the color icon is the text-alignment button. Text within a Gmail message can be aligned to the left, center, or right using the Align button.
  • Ordered and unordered lists: Make lists using the next two buttons from the left in the formatting bar. Highlight a section of text and click one of these buttons to apply either bullets or numbers.
  • Indent text: Some email programs let you tab to create an indent, but that isn't supported in Gmail. Instead, use the Indent More and Indent Less buttons to move text in and out of the left side of the page. You can also use it with a list to make sublists.
  • Quote: Similar to the indent option is the Quote button that makes the selected text stand out from the rest with an indentation and vertical bar.
  • Strikethrough: Add a horizontal line across the text.
  • Remove Formatting: Remove the custom formatting options you made and convert everything to plain text. Select the text and click this button to remove the custom color, indentations, font changes, and anything else you added.

Format Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Most of these editing tools can be accessed through Gmail keyboard shortcuts. Hover the mouse over a button in the formatting bar to see its shortcut. For example, to quickly make text bold, highlight the text and press Ctrl+B on a PC or Command+B on a Mac. Press Ctrl+Shift+7 on a PC or Command+Shift+7 on a Mac to convert text to a numbered list.

Save Your Changes as the Default

If you like the new font changes you made and want Gmail to use this formatting as the default for every message, edit the text style from the General tab of your Gmail settings.

  1. In the upper-right corner of Gmail, select the Settings gear.

    The Settings gear in Gmail
  2. Select See all settings.

    The "See All Settings" button in Gmail
  3. Go to the General tab, then scroll to the Default text style section.

    Gmail General settings with the Default text style section highlighted
  4. Make the changes in this section to match the style you want for all future emails.

  5. Select Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

You can also change the default font in Gmail if you want all of your messages to have a consistent style.

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