How to Select a Font and Style for an Email Message

Email Font Options. Copyright Alison Doyle

When you are sending an email message, it's important to use a font that is clear and easy to read. With the right font selection, you'll make it easy for your recipient to read and digest your message, rather than focusing on your choices regarding font size and style.

Get guidelines for font size, recommendations for professional fonts, and step-by-step instructions for changing the font in an email.

Choose the Best Size

Be sure to make your font large enough so that the reader doesn't have to squint to read your message, but not so large that the reader has to scroll a long way down to read the entire message. Depending on how much content you have in your email message, select a 10 or 12 point font size.

It's also important to use a plain font because not all email programs view messages the same way. You don't want the content of your message to be jumbled or strangely formatted because the reader's email program didn't view the font the same way yours did.

Best Fonts for Email Messages

Basic fonts like Arial, Verdana, Calibri, and Times New Roman work well. Choose a professional font — in fact, the default font in most email programs is most likely appropriate for work-related emails. Avoid fonts that look like handwriting, script fonts, and any novelty-type font, such as Comic Sans.

No matter which font you choose, be consistent: having one paragraph in Arial, and another in Times New Roman, is jarring for readers. Similarly, make sure that the font size is also the same throughout.

When you are using Microsoft Outlook, here is how to select a font for your message and how to select the font size.

If you're using a different word processing program, the process is similar.

How to Select an Email Message Font

  • Select the font and the font size before you start typing your message, or:
  • Type your email message.
  • Highlight the content of your message.
  • Select a font from the list at the top of the message.
  • Select the font size you want to use the same way.
  • Proofread your message.
  • If you're not sure how your message is going to look, send a copy to yourself first, then edit it, if necessary, before you send it to the recipient.

Email Message Spacing

Regardless of the font size you select, there needs to be space after the greeting and between each paragraph and before and after the signature of your email message. Here's how to space your email message.

Job Search Email Etiquette
Job search email etiquette including what to write in your job search emails, how to format your email, how to make sure your email message is read, and sample job search email messages.