Microsoft introduces Aptos as the new default font

Jul 15, 2023, 1:05 PM UTC
3 mins read
Microsoft introduces Aptos as the new default font
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Office, the industry-leading productivity suite, is undergoing a significant visual transformation with the introduction of Aptos, a new sans-serif typeface inspired by mid-20th-century Swiss typography. After an extensive search for a new default font, Microsoft chose Aptos, previously known as Bierstadt, as the culmination of years of feedback and meticulous design. With its sleek and modern aesthetics, Aptos is set to replace the long-standing Calibri font and become the standard across Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel for millions of users worldwide.

The Creative Process and Creator

Aptos was meticulously crafted by Steve Matteson, a renowned type designer responsible for creating Segoe, the Windows default font licensed by Microsoft. Matteson’s expertise in type design, coupled with his previous work on the development of Windows TrueType core fonts, made him the perfect candidate to bring Aptos to life. Drawing inspiration from the Swiss typographic style popularized in the mid-20th century, Matteson’s vision for Aptos embodies a fusion of elegance and functionality.

Aptos: A Seamless Blend of Precision and Softness

Aptos distinguishes itself through its distinct stroke endings, which are precisely cut off to create a crisp and modern look. However, the font also employs subtle softening techniques, carefully avoiding the rigid grid-based appearance often associated with similar typefaces. By striking a balance between precision and approachability, Aptos aims to provide a refreshing alternative to fonts like Helvetica, a renowned example of the “grotesque sans-serif” style. In doing so, Aptos seamlessly merges with Microsoft’s existing Arial font while offering a fresh and modern twist.

Transition from Calibri to Aptos

Calibri has been the default font for Microsoft Office since the release of Office 2007, replacing the long-revered Times New Roman. Its widespread usage even made headlines during a high-profile corruption investigation in Pakistan, The Verge reported. Although Calibri will step down as the default font, it will remain prominently placed at the top of the new font menu (initially available on the web), alongside its predecessors, Times New Roman and Arial. This decision acknowledges Calibri’s continued popularity and familiarity among users.


While Aptos takes center stage as the new default font, Microsoft ensures that users have access to the other four custom fonts commissioned for Office in 2021: Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite. These fonts, alongside Bierstadt, which retains its name in the drop-down picker, offer a diverse range of typographic options for users seeking variety and customization.

Beyond the introduction of Aptos, Microsoft is committed to enhancing the overall user experience of Microsoft 365. The inclusion of Aptos is part of a broader wave of features designed to make the software more expressive and inclusive. Users can expect a newly redesigned font picker experience, as well as fresh themes, colors, and backgrounds, all contributing to a more visually engaging and personalized productivity environment.

  • Microsoft introduces Aptos as the new default font
  • Microsoft introduces Aptos as the new default font
  • Microsoft introduces Aptos as the new default font
  • Microsoft introduces Aptos as the new default font

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