Software & Apps Google Drive How to Change the Default Formatting Settings in Google Docs Use existing content as a template for changes to default settings by James Marshall Writer James Marshall is a pro journalist who covers technology and computer troubleshooting. He is also skilled with Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, and other word processors. our editorial process James Marshall Updated on June 17, 2020 reviewed by Jon Fisher Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jonathan Fisher is a CompTIA certified technologist with more than 6 years' experience writing for publications like TechNorms and Help Desk Geek. our review board Article reviewed on Jun 09, 2020 Jon Fisher Google Drive Docs Sheets Slides Tweet Share Email When you create a document in Google Docs, the default settings such as font style, line spacing, and background color are applied automatically to the document. Changing any of these elements for part or all of your document on a case-by-case basis is easy enough—but if you consistently use the same settings across most or all of your Google docs, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by changing the default document settings. Lifewire / Marina Li These instructions apply to the desktop version of Google Docs. Changing Default Formatting in Google Docs After you change the defaults, all documents you create thereafter will reflect these settings. You can still change the formatting of any individual element within a document, of course, but the default format provides a consistent starting point. To change the default settings for Normal text in Google Docs, follow these steps: Open a document. Highlight the text you want to change. Lifewire In the bar above the text, select the font, font size, paragraph spacing, text color, background color, or any other aspect you'd like to change. Select Format. Lifewire Select Paragraph styles. Click Normal text. Choose Update "Normal text" to match. Lifewire Click Format. Click Paragraph styles > Options > Save as my default styles. Lifewire You also can change the default format settings for other elements such as headings, titles, borders, and shading using the same process. Instead of choosing Format > Paragraph styles, simply select the formatting option you'd like to set in place of paragraph styles. Update the style to match the selected text and save as your default styles, and these styles will be applied to every document you create from now on. If you'd like to reset to Google Docs' original styles, select Format > Paragraph styles > Options > Reset styles.