Fonts are a stylistic choice that’s often overlooked. Knowing which font to choose if you want to squeeze as much text as possible onto a page is an important skill. The key is to find small fonts while still being readable to most! This article will explore the best ones.
What Are The Smallest Fonts In Microsoft Word?
The best small fonts which are readable are Arial (and variations), Segoe, Helvetica, and Calibri. There are plenty of good choices, but most of them all feature the “sans serif” style (which means they don’t have extra noise or “lips” around the edges of letters).
Let’s start with Arial. It’s one of the most well-known fonts in the world. After all, it’s been one of the mainstay defaults in Microsoft Word for as long as the software has been around.
Arial works when it is a small font. It is designed in sans serif, meaning that it only keeps the most simplistic look to each of its letters. It’s recommended as one of the best choices for both professional and informal writing, so it works well as a small font.
Of course, there are plenty of variations in sizes when it comes to using any font. It’s up to you which size you pick. Arial can easily get down to a 5px or 6px size and still be perfectly readable to many.
Being a sans serif font, it’s also nice to look at. That’s why it’s one of the most popular choices for many writers.
The only issue you might have is that it’s seen as overused by many hiring managers. Therefore, if you use it in your CV or resume, it might be scrapped based purely on the font you chose to use!
2. Arial Narrow
Arial Narrow is an extension of the previous one. We thought it would be good to touch on because it follows all the same general trends while also allowing for even more words to be included in your writing.
Naturally, the “narrow” in the title means that the words have been squeezed together more. You might think this sounds a bit cramped on a page, but it’s ideal when you’re trying to get as much information out as possible.
And, since Arial is such a good-looking font, when we use the narrow format, we can expect most of the good aesthetic side of it to stick around.
3. Segoe UI
Segoe UI is potentially more readable at smaller fonts than Arial. It’s definitely easier to read on certain monitors, which is what makes it such a great choice. The only reason we didn’t place it higher is that Arial is such a common name in the world of fonts.
Nevertheless, Segoe UI is great at both 5px and 6px (as well as any larger font). You don’t really need to make a font go much smaller than that because there’s almost no way to make a word visible below 5px.
It’s a fairly common option, but it’s not one that’s a default on Microsoft Word. You’re more likely to find it on websites because it’s such an easy read for many people.
Helvetica is known as the classic website font. It’s the font that all websites used to default to, and it’s still widely used today. It’s another sans serif choice, which means that it looks clean and easy on a page. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come standard with Microsoft Word.
If you’re willing to install Helvetica as an extra font, it’s well worth it! There are plenty of corporate logos that use it (like Jeep and Panasonic). It even works in smaller font sizes, right down to 5px and 6px (though it’s not quite as readable as the fonts above).
It’s more common for Mac users to write with Helvetica since it’s preinstalled on them. Although, it’s not difficult for PC users to find a website to get it downloaded.
Calibri is the new default on Microsoft Word. It’s only been the default for a few years, so there is still plenty of room for it to grow. It’s the new Times New Roman alternative, but it’s better because it’s a sans-serif font.
Since it’s a Microsoft Word default, it’s not surprising that Calibri is one of the most used fonts in the world. It’s also a popular choice for 6px, though some argue that 5px is too small for Calibri.
Unlike Arial, Calibri is still well-regarded in business spheres. Many people will accept CVs and resumes that feature this default font in them. It’s the next best thing you can include in your writing.
Courier is a serif font, and it’s one of two on this list. Therefore, it’s got to bring something pretty special to the table. Luckily, it does. It’s one of the easiest serif fonts to read, which makes it one of the best smaller font options in this article.
The only thing stopping us from placing Courier higher is the fact it’s a serif font. While serif fonts are much easier to read in larger fonts (most novels are published with serif fonts), they are not as legible when the font size is halved.
Nevertheless, 6px and 7px Courier are still easy enough for many people to distinguish on a page. That’s why we think it’s worth using whenever you get the chance.
It’s also a default for many website pages, making it a solid choice that many people are familiar with.
Tahoma brings us straight back to the sans-serif look. It works well at sizes 6px and 7px, and we can use it in our writing whenever we want to load up the page with words. It’s not overwhelming either, making it a great choice for many writers.
It’s a fairly well-known option, and it’s one that you’re likely to see without even realizing it’s there. You might be vaguely familiar with the name, but you might not have tried it yet.
Lato is a fairly young font compared to the others on this list. It’s only about seven years old (founded in 2015), but it’s already the third-most served font on Google Fonts. Unfortunately, that means it’s not a direct font choice on Microsoft Word.
However, you can always download and install it. Once you’ve got it on Word, you’ll understand why we included it as such a strong choice for smaller fonts.
It appeals to the eye, and 6px seems to be the sweet spot for it. Again, you won’t find much need to go lower than that anyway!
9. Open Sans
Open Sans is a fairly well-known font, but it seems all too easy for people to forget about. “Sans” in the name means it’s another sans-serif font that allows us to read it much easier when it’s smaller.
It’s another great font that works well at 5px and 6px. There’s a certain level of spacing between each letter that really allows the smaller fonts to pop out on the page nicely.
However, these letter spaces can also be a bad thing since it means you’re going to be limited by the number of words you can get on each line. Many of the fonts above this don’t worry too much about spacing the letters, making the smaller fonts much easier to condense.
Verdana almost looks like a shorter Open Sans. The basic principles are the same, and the letter spacing is still present. However, Verdana has the added benefit of being a few pixels shorter when it is written at 5px or 6px.
Verdana is another internet classic, and many websites historically used Verdana before moving onto some more modern font variations.
Since it’s a classic, it’s a very well-used font, and many people will be happy to do most of their writing with Verdana. Its sweet spot seems to be around the 6px mark.
11. Microsoft Sans Serif
Microsoft Sans Serif (previously known as MS Sans Serif) is another great choice that works in smaller fonts. Unfortunately, it’s probably better at 7px than anything smaller, but that’s still a remarkably small font compared to others.
It’s a little difficult to make sense of Microsoft Sans Serif when it sits at 5px or 6px. That’s why we think it’s one of the lesser fonts on this list. You can still get a lot of words out on a page, but you might want to try out one of the other options if you can.
Incidentally, since it’s a “Microsoft” name, it’s one of the fonts that’s always loaded on Microsoft Word, no matter what machine you use. Therefore, you can always have access to it, should you fail to find any of the others!
We mentioned there would be two serif fonts, and Georgia is the last one we want to go through. It works well as a small font because it seems to remove the serif look when you shrink it down to 5px or 6px.
Of course, it’s still a serif font, so it’s still a little bit blurry when it’s down in the lower registers. Nevertheless, it’s still a great choice that tends to thrive at around 7px.
It’s also a very popular choice that many people will use over anything else when writing on Microsoft Word.
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.