Aptos
Aptos

Microsoft Office unveils Aptos as new default font

What To Know

  • Si Daniels, a principal program manager at Microsoft, shared in a recent design blog post that the transition to the new font is now entering its final phase.
  • Daniels mentioned that over the next few months, the rollout of Aptos as the default font will extend to all Microsoft customers, marking a significant milestone in the font transition process.
  • However, the font incorporates a subtle softening effect to prevent it from appearing overly rigid or adhering strictly to a grid-based structure typically associated with this font style.
  • While Aptos will replace Calibri as the default font, Calibri will still be prominently featured at the top of a new font menu, initially available on the web.

Microsoft has made an exciting announcement regarding the default font in its Office suite. The company has decided to replace the current default font, Calibri, with a new sans-serif typeface named Aptos.

Aptos draws inspiration from mid-20th-century Swiss typography and was previously known as Bierstadt during Microsoft’s search for a new default font. After considering user feedback and commissioning the creation of custom fonts for Office, Microsoft has chosen Aptos as the new default font for its software suite.

Si Daniels, a principal program manager at Microsoft, shared in a recent design blog post that the transition to the new font is now entering its final phase. Aptos will start appearing across applications such as Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel, serving the vast user base of Microsoft Office.

Daniels mentioned that over the next few months, the rollout of Aptos as the default font will extend to all Microsoft customers, marking a significant milestone in the font transition process.

The renowned type designer Steve Matteson crafted Aptos, the newly chosen default font for Microsoft. Matteson is well-known for his design of Segoe, the default font licensed by Microsoft for Windows. The Segoe UI font subfamily was introduced with Windows Vista and continues to be used in Windows 11.

Matteson also played a role in the development of the original TrueType core fonts for Windows. Notably, the font previously known as Bierstadt, now named Aptos, derives its new name from Matteson’s favorite unincorporated town located in Santa Cruz, California.

Microsoft Office Introduces Aptos, a New Sans-Serif Default Font

This font exhibits distinct stroke endings deliberately cut off to create a unique visual appearance. However, the font incorporates a subtle softening effect to prevent it from appearing overly rigid or adhering strictly to a grid-based structure typically associated with this font style.

Aptos draws inspiration from “grotesque sans-serif” fonts, with Helvetica being a well-known example. Steve Matteson intentionally created a contrast to Microsoft’s Arial font in the design of Aptos.

While Aptos will replace Calibri as the default font, Calibri will still be prominently featured at the top of a new font menu, initially available on the web. It will appear alongside its predecessors, Times New Roman and Arial.

Calibri has held the position of the default Office font since the launch of Office 2007, replacing Times New Roman. Calibri gained significant recognition and usage, even becoming a crucial piece of evidence in a corruption investigation involving Pakistan’s prime minister in 2017. However, it is important to note that not all users have been using Calibri as their default font for an extended period.

The US State Department, for instance, only recently instructed its employees to use Calibri for memos earlier this year, transitioning from their previous font choice of Times New Roman in 2004. Considering the 16-year span it took for them to switch to Calibri, it is likely that it will be another decade or longer before they eventually adopt Aptos.

While Aptos was chosen as the default font, the other four fonts that were considered—Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite—will still be available in Microsoft Office. Additionally, Microsoft has decided to retain the Bierstadt font name in the drop-down picker for users who have become accustomed to it.

Si Daniels further explained that Aptos is part of a broader wave of features coming to Microsoft 365, showcasing their commitment to enhancing software expressiveness and inclusivity. This includes a redesigned font picker experience, as well as new themes, colors, and backgrounds.

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