Aptos Is the New Default in Microsoft 365: Will That Change the Font You Use for Contracts?

I learned more than a year ago that Microsoft would be changing the default font in Microsoft 365, and Microsoft announced the change in July 2023 (here), but the change made its way to me only yesterday: the new default font is … Aptos.

Here’s what I say in the fifth edition of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting:

This author switched from Times New Roman to Calibri. That’s why the indented extracts of contract text throughout this manual are in Calibri, as are the samples and the redrafted version of the contract in the appendix. But in 2021, Microsoft announced that it plans to replace Calibri as the default font. Unless you’re subject to institutional requirements, be open to alternatives.

For now, I’m inclined to use Aptos for contracts. I care about being clear, concise, and relevant; which font I use has nothing to do with that. All I need from a font is that it be simple and readable. I’m not looking to impress anyone, and I’m not looking to establish a brand—at least not yet. And I’m not so fond of Calibri that I’m going to stick with it.

What do you think?

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

6 thoughts on “Aptos Is the New Default in Microsoft 365: Will That Change the Font You Use for Contracts?”

  1. I had been unaware of this switch, but I just tested it out. Aptos seems to occupy a good deal more lateral space than Calibri, without being noticeably easier to read. I’ll stick with Calibri for now.

  2. I like Aptos. I liked Calibri, but at 68 I’ve learned that flexibility is a good thing and it doesn’t hurt to be open to change. I did adjust the size from 11 to 10 because Aptos takes up a little more room, but if that’s all I have to worry about, it’s a good day. I’m just glad my computer wasn’t mucking with me.

  3. Aptos is very harsh on the eyes and it doesn’t look good at all in ay spreadsheets / charts / pivot tables, etc. Calibri was so much easier and now all of the users in our company are freaking out over this new change. No amount of individual default changing back to Calibri works under each program… Microsoft just decides that this is best for us.

  4. 1/ I can’t imagine why Microsoft keeps changing its standard fonts. Is it simply “freshening” its brand, or are there problems solved or advantages secured by Aptos? Will they be changing it out like hem lengths in five years?

    2/ I have always preferred serif fonts, imagining that the extra “clues” given by serifs made the letters more easily apprehended by the eye, but studies to which I defer show that what’s most legible is what the individual is most used to. So my leaning toward Cambria is just a unscientific preference, I guess.


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