Microsoft Office’s new default font: Aptos

An era of a new one is beginning: After 16 years, the standard font in Microsoft Office has switched from Calibri to Aptos.

Microsoft Aptos
Image: Microsoft Aptos(screenshot)

As the responsible Microsoft employee Si Daniels reports in a design blog post, the standard font Calibri, which has been in use since 2007, is being replaced by a new one in all Microsoft Office applications: Aptos is the name of the sans serif font, which – like Helvetica – is visually based on the Oriented towards Swiss typography in the middle of the 20th century.

After years of the selection process: “Bierstadt” wins

This change was preceded by years of searching for the perfect font for a new chapter in Microsoft Office history. Aptos is therefore not completely new. Under the name “Bierstadt”, the font was already integrated into Windows in 2021 together with “Grandview”, “Seaford”, “Skeena” and “Tenorite” and was thus sent into the race for the place as the new standard font. After two years of feedback, the decision has now fallen on “Bierstadt”.

The name is not – as one might assume – a reference to Munich, but the name of a peak in the Rocky Mountains, which Steve Matteson, the developer of the typeface, wanted to honour with it.

Image: Microsoft Office

To celebrate, the name was changed to Aptos, a reference to Matteson’s favourite spot near Santa Cruz, California. Matteson had already given Windows Vista a uniform typeface with one of his fonts.

Despite Apto’s replacement: Calibri will remain

Now that Calibri is following the same path as its predecessors Times New Roman and Arial after 16 years, it can still be found in an extra line in the font selection tab. This should only be annoying for the US State Department because the authority recently decreed that all documents must be written in Calibri.

Aptos will continue to be found under the name “Bierstadt”. The change affects all Microsoft Office programs, i.e. Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel. Microsoft has some other changes planned for Office 365 to make the applications more inclusive and easier to use.

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