Meet Aptos: The new default Microsoft 365 font that replaces Calibri

Calibri, Microsoft's main font for the last 15 years, is stepping aside. Our tech has changed, and so have our tastes in fonts, apparently. So, Microsoft went looking for a new default font.

The Windows-maker picked five new fonts: Bierstadt, Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite, and hoped one would be the next go-to font for Microsoft 365. Users got to try these out, and the most liked one was Bierstadt, which is now called Aptos.

Yes, starting today, Aptos is officially the new standard font in Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel! The person behind Aptos is Steve Matteson, a top-notch font maker. He's made important fonts for Windows and also created Segoe. He chose to rename Bierstadt to Aptos after a town he loves in California.

“Similar to mid-20th-century Swiss typography, Aptos is a sans serif. Also referred to as Grotesque or Gothic, sans serif often have simple letterforms, even strokes, and they’re easily readable. Aptos, made of varying geometric shapes, is bold, well-defined, directive, and constrained. It articulates many different languages and tones. Stem ends are clean cut. Subtle circular squares within the letters’ contours allow higher legibility, especially at small sizes,” explains Si Daniels of Microsoft.

Daniels adds, “There are different font weights to help set modes and direct the reader’s attention. The new default typeface is professional, and yet relatable. Aptos embodies professionalism, adaptability, subtle flourishes of expression, and more clarity. Now the lowercase l has a distinctive tail, separating it from the capital I. The heads of i’s and j’s are circular dots as opposed to grotesque squares. 6 is single stroked while two piled ellipticals make 8.”

While Aptos is now in the spotlight, there's still many fonts in Microsoft 365 from which to choose. The other four new ones: Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite are available too. And for those who love the old favorites, Times New Roman, Arial, and Calibri, they're easy to find at the top of the new font menu.

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