How to Change Default Text Properties in Gmail

Make your emails unique with custom options

With the Gmail default text options, you can get your message across. When you want your communications to include a bit more pizzazz, change the text options to something that better reflects your personality. Do it for an individual message or change the defaults, so Gmail uses your preferences every time.

Change the Gmail Default Text Settings

Use the Gmail General settings to change the default text Gmail uses when you compose email messages. When you change the settings, you choose the typeface, size, and color of the text. Once you save your changes, every email you send uses those styles unless you change them again.

  1. Open Gmail. In the upper-right corner, select the Settings (gear) icon, then choose Settings.

    Gmail with the Settings menu item highlighted
  2. Select the General tab.

    Gmail settings with the General tab highlighted
  3. Select the Font drop-down menu on the far left and choose a new typeface. Sans Serif is used by default.

    Gmail settings with the text options highlighted
  4. Select the Size drop-down menu to the right to change the size of the default text. You can choose between Small, Normal, Large, and Huge. Normal is the default setting.

    Gmail settings with the text size button highlighted
  5. Select the Color drop-down menu to the right to access the color picker. Choose any color you like. Black is the default color.

    The Gmail Default Text Style options with the Text Color option highlighted
  6. The furthest command to the right of this bar is Remove formatting, which returns Gmail to the default text options. Select it if you want to start the process over.

    The Gmail Default text style options with the reset button highlighted
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings screen and select Save Changes to set the new default text options.

Use Formatting Bar Options

After you set your preferences as the new default, you can still modify the way text appears in an individual email message by using the formatting bar at the bottom of the email composition screen. No matter how you set the defaults, everything is editable from the window where you send an email. This is true whether it's a new message or a reply or forward.

  1. Open a new message. The text formatting bar appears at the bottom of the composition area, above the bar with the Send button.

    A new message in Gmail with the text formatting options highlighted
  2. Select your recipient and enter a subject and your message. Highlight the message text.

    Selected text in Message composition screen in Gmail
  3. Make selections using the formatting bar. For example, change the text to be Huge (size), Bold (font), and Comic Sans MS (typeface).

    There are some controls here that aren't included in the default settings. For example, you can align text left, right, or center or add bullets.

    Text changed in Message composition screen in Gmail
  4. Make any other adjustments you'd like, then select Send.